The cancellation of the The 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade in Portland due to threats from groups who were unhappy that the local Republican organization dared to participate really made me realize how much American society in 2017 allows politics to ruin otherwise good things. Politics are very important and they require some degree of participation from the general populous, but I don’t believe politics were meant to dominate as much of our lives as they have come to. Life is about so much more than just politics and forgetting that can cause us to miss out on some really wonderful things, like a parade.
I am a pretty firm believer that the majority of Americans were prefer to not pay attention to politics on a regular basis. Staying informed on current events and educating themselves during elections? Sure. But the perpetual campaigns, 24/7 news coverage, and constant stream of partisan punditry force everyday Americans to participate in political battles that they really don’t need to be burdened by. Even many of those currently active in politics I am sure would prefer not to be, but continuing expansion of government starts affecting their lives and their livelihood, many become involved out of necessity. When parades are being cancelled, people are getting stuck in traffic because protesters are blocking the roads because of politics, and even our favorite actors and singers throw their politics in our faces, we have gone too far.
Even those of us who are politically involved need to find a way to put politics in a box sometimes and just enjoy things. I live with a very politically involved Democrat and many people ask us how that works out. It works out because while politics play a major role in both of our lives, it is not the only thing in our lives. We can talk about politics and sometimes it will get heated, but we assume good intentions from each other and don’t let politics ruin a friendship.
Churches, Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, small businesses, Parent Teacher Associations, and high school sporting events are the things that make this a great place to live, not what is going on in Washington or Salem. We can’t let politics ruin our friendship or keep us from enjoying the things that make life worth living.
We should never give up fighting for what we believe on the political stage, but we also shouldn’t let it dominate every aspect of our lives. I can talk politics all day long, but I like to be able to enjoy an NFL football game without the commentators injecting their political opinions.
So keep up the good work on the political front. It goes without saying that conservatives here in Oregon need as much help as we can get, but remember to take time for things other than politics, and don’t let politics keep you or someone else from enjoying the simple things in life, like parades.