Monday, April 02, 2012

40 To 40 Day 14: On Politics

I've never been very good at speaking up. I can't think very well on the spot, and I really suck at debate. There are probably a couple different reasons for this. One is that I was raised thinking what I thought didn't matter. We didn't express our opinions, we did what we were told. It wasn't really until I was old enough to vote that I started paying a little more attention, which is pretty typical of everyone at that age I suppose. Of course I've always had a liberal attitude toward the way things are run, so I registered Democrat. I don't think I even realized there were more than two parties out there. Seriously- there are!

I did always love politics though, and even though I wasn't good at speaking up or debating, it didn't mean I didn't have thoughts or opinions. Even took a few courses in community college in Poli-Sci. LOVED those classes.

So for all elections leading up to 2000, it was straight Democrat voting, without really much thought or research. They had enough of my checklist beliefs that I could feel good about my choice. Like I contributed. Besides, everything was awesome in the 90's, right?

Then GW Bush was elected appointed. Sure I was bummed out that my team lost. I still didn't pay much attention. I had two children under 4, a new home, and was pretty much in the family-focus stage. Even after 9/11/01 I was of course very interested in what was happening regarding this new "War on Terror", but as blurbs on the evening news.

Then, in March 2003, the President gave Bret and I a 10 year anniversary gift. He started bombing Baghdad. That definitely ruffled my political feathers a bit more than usual. CNN became my new friend over the morning fluff shows. I had a lot of things brewing that I wanted to speak out about, but still no outlet in which to do so. Bret is nowhere near as political as I am. I usually get a two-minute window then the eyes start glassing over.

In late 2003 I began my social networking career with a business network called Ryze. I had a card design business for a couple of years, and someone introduced me to the site. I just looked at it now and I can't believe how archaic it still looks. Anyway, through that site I discovered a whole new world of... political forums! It was like finding Heaven, if I believed a place existed (that's another post). It was amazing- and wow there are other people out there who think and feel the way I do about things! Wow everyone is so smart! And-

Oh. Wow there are people who think I'm full of shit. But hey that doesn't matter because I have friends now to back me up! I made some great connections through Ryze. Many I still keep in touch with, and even though I still have not met them in person, they are my friends.

Eventually, posting on these networks wasn't enough. I even started my own network so I could control it the way I wanted to. I really believed (and still believe) that no one knows actual truth, but we all spend our lives seeking it. That is how Truth Seekers was born.

By late 2005 podcasting was really breaking out, and I was helping out with a couple of audio drama podcasts. Finally, realizing I had all the tools I needed, and I actually enjoyed speaking (especially about politics!) more than I wanted to admit, I started podcasting Truth Seekers on top of the forum. It also gave me the means to actually connect with some of the people I had only been typing back and forth with.

After that there was no turning back- I loved hearing what other people thought about, well, everything. They loved having a platform in which to speak about what they were passionate about. It really was win-win. It didn't come without controversy or even some awful backlash. Not everyone wants to hear what you have to say, and they will do anything to try and shut you up. That just made me louder, and rather than having them shut me up, I pushed back more, even pitting their harsh words against them. I remained focused on the topic at hand, and eventually the haters shut up. Well, I don't know if they shut up, but I didn't stop worrying about it and listening to it. Want to grow a thick skin fast? Get involved in politics!

I also just realized I seem to have a recurring theme in making sure the voice of the "little guy" is heard. :)

Today, with so many shiny things stealing my focus, my shows aren't nearly as often, but I do talk a lot of local news on KWSS. It's just so important to be informed and know what's going on. The worst thing someone can say is that they don't like politics or avoid news. Politics effects everyone, no matter if it's war, or women's rights, or even education. If you don't stay informed about it, and on top of it, someone is going to pull the wool over your eyes and you're going to wonder why you weren't paying attention sooner. As of now, I don't see myself ever stopping podcasting, or writing, or sharing politics.

There really is no excuse not to know what's going on.

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