I’m intensely interested in politics, and follow current events. I have my own opinions, of course, and they are not blandly ‘moderate’. I think what happens in the world of national and international politics is important to our lives and our future, and we ignore it at our peril.
And yet, talking politics (or writing about it) is something I do less and less these days. That’s partly because my own views have little or no representation on the national stage, and so it seems futile. But mainly it’s because political conversation these days seems always to be an attempt to bludgeon one’s opponents, rather than persuade them. (And this is true of all sides of the debate: if you think the people on your side are innocent of such, or even perceptibly better than your opponents, you are a damned fool.)
I’m not saying I’m innocent of that kind of behavior myself; quite the contrary, I tend to get drawn into it far too easily. I’m trying to break myself of the habit, mostly by no longer talking or writing about politics. I’m not sure it’s right to do so — as I said, politics matters, and requires attention — but it’s what I feel like I have to do for the sake of my own self-respect.