Sunday, October 25, 2015

Joyce Carol Oates Tweet

  1. Expecting students to be "open-minded" about opinions contrary to their own may be unrealistic when many/most adults are close-minded.
  2. For example, not one person of my acquaintance is going to "seriously consider" GOP candidates let alone anti-feminism.

I pulled this rather horrible attempt at a screen shot from my Twitter feed a few minutes ago.  As bad as it looks, I want to share it this morning because Joyce Carol Oates, one of my favorite authors in the world, is making a very good point here.  Ms. Oates has made some mystifying tweets in recent months that have thrown many  people for a loop, so after reading the first tweet shown above, I was afraid that she might be demonstrating a lack of self-awareness on her own part (because I know a bit about her politics and can't imagine her ever voting for a Republican).  But thankfully, she followed up nine minutes later with the second tweet.

And that got me to thinking about my own circles.  With one or two exceptions, no one that I personally know in my "real world" is going to "seriously consider" voting for a Democrat.  I do know a lot of people who would never vote for a Republican, but they are not people that I see and talk with every day and, for the most part, they live in other parts of the state or country.  The point is that we largely self-segregate ourselves among people who believe the same things we believe, people who look and think like us.  Our friends and neighbors generally support the beliefs we already have - and that makes us all lazy and unwilling to modify our beliefs. 

And that, as Ms. Oates is pointing out here, is our own fault.  Thankfully, I have friends on the internet who share articles, thoughts, and insights on the issues of the day with me.  I do the same for them...and guess what?  Most all of us have tended to move toward the middle of the political spectrum even to the point that we can honestly call ourselves moderates now.  Sadly enough, however,  because both major political parties in this country are dominated by extremists, we end up with no candidate to call our own.  But our eyes are open wide and we can, and will, make the best choice possible.

I hope Ms. Oates and her friends try to do the same instead of voting the same old way they and everyone they know alway have. I wish all of us would do that.

(May 2019 Edit:  Boy, was I wrong about Oates. She lost her mind.)

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