Maybe I'm over-tired, at home with a sick 4 year old, but I'm a little emotional today. I watched Gabby Giffords resign today. I heard the things her colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, said about her. I want to believe those things.
When I was a little kid I would say, like all little kids, that I wanted to be President someday. I don't actually want that anymore, but I want to believe that the people who represent us are good people. I want real people who are doing what they think is right to run this country, not people who will say one thing one day, and change their tune to deny an opponent a victory. I want to believe that the tears I saw on the floor of the House of Representatives were real. When I see John Boehner, I don't want to think he's prepping a photo-op. The system as it stands now makes it hard for me to believe those things, though.
I haven't stopped believing in the things I have always believed in. I am still a ridiculously left of center liberal. I just don't want to be a bomb-thrower anymore. If someone I know believes something from the right, I don't want to think they are bad; I just want to think they are simply wrong. Watching the State of the Union and Rep. Giffords resignation, I got a brief reminder of how it felt when I could believe passionately without hating passionately.
I don't want to believe that all Republicans are Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter or Russell Pearce or Joe Arpaio and I don't want to be the liberal equivalent of those hate-mongers. I fear that is precisely what I have become. I want to remember that you can disagree with someone and still believe them to be a fine person. And I want to remember that even people I generally agree with and admire make poor decisions or have bad ideas; I don't automatically oppose you because I disagree with you.
I need to believe that people are basically good, whether I agree with them or not. I'm tired of being cynical. I am tired of being angry. I am tired of pointing fingers. I am tired of my thin skin. I am tired of the political person I have become. I can't change the system, and I can't change what others think or say about me, but I can change me and that is enough.
Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.