I don’t usually write about politics on this blog. It’s not that I don’t have an opinion; I actually have a lot of opinions. But I find political discussions quickly dovetail into easy jabs at someone you don’t like or disrespectful exchanges between parties who are convinced they are in the right.
However, I’ve found myself in a few situations the past few months feeling the need to defend myself as an American when I’m in certain circles. There have been a number of events (the situation in Ferguson probably being the most prominent) where I’ve very much felt not proud of my country.
I realize that I am not an ambassador or diplomat. I am, however, some people’s view into America and what it’s like. I feel a sense of responsibility to portray America in a truthful manner but also to be critical of areas where the U.S. government is not doing a very good job.
The State of the Union Address highlighted several places where the US government is failing. President Obama has made a lot of promises in recent months and taken actions that some could be considered unconstitutional. He has delivered on very few of his promises and when he has it has been at the expense of either the people or the fiscal welfare of the nation.
I am also aware I am not a politician and as much as I try to stay informed about what is going on, I don’t have all the facts. Even if I did, I wouldn’t be in a position to make policy changes.
What I do have is the rights of a citizen. I have the right to vote in order to make my voice heard. But I also believe that my right to vote comes with a responsibility to research and try to understand what is going on in America. If you want to be part of the democratic process, you have to be informed and think critically.
I don’t think I’m going to start writing a lot of political pieces. But I do think I’ve come to a place as a writer where I don’t feel I have to censor my opinions for fear of offending people or giving the wrong impression.
I’m a writer and I write what I want to write.