Ambivalent Politics: Guest Post

2012-11-06T08:30:50-08:00Categories: politics|Tags: , , |

Readers: I am honored to share with you this Election Week guest post by novelist, book critic and wise friend Isla McKetta: Why I’m Afraid to Talk Politics in a Free Society Election season 2012 is nearly over. Do you have any Facebook friends left? Regardless of where you live, I’ll bet there is a contentious race that is causing heated debate and if you haven’t unfriended someone for their beliefs (or been unfriended for yours), you know someone who has. Suddenly I’m afraid to share my political beliefs with my friends. Is this what democracy looks like? We hold these truths to be self-evident “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” As a child in the US, I learned these words from The Declaration of Independence and to be proud of the men who stood up against tyranny to endow our nation with the freedoms of a democratic government. Hearing those words recited by teachers and parents, my young ears thought the world was a wonderful and free place. And then I moved to Chile. I was seven and Pinochet was in power. I learned that people can be rounded up and killed for their beliefs. As Americans, my family and I were safe during the year we lived there, but every American history lesson thereafter reminded me how privileged I was. I believe all men (and women) are created equal. Our two-party system [...]