There’s a lot of assuming going on.
You might assume I am a Republican. Actually, I was a registered Independent voter when we lived in New York State twenty-five years ago. When we moved to Wisconsin, I might have registered as a Republican. Honestly, I don’t know. And, it doesn’t matter because I don’t vote along party lines.
I fall just to the left of the middle on political issues. My husband calls me a liberal Republican. Is there such a thing? I don’t know.
You might assume I voted for Donald Trump. Nope. I did not.
Instead, I voted for Joe Biden. And, I voted for Hillary Clinton. And, before that, I voted for Barack Obama. I have not voted Republican in a long time. But, people might assume that I have.
I feel wronged by this assumption.
The world would be such a better place if we stopped assuming things about one another. And, it would be even better if we didn’t act on the assumptions we’ve made. If you don’t know, ask. If you cannot ask, find out. But, do not let others lead you down their own road for it is likely paved with falsehoods. There I go again…I’m assuming. I shouldn’t do it AND, neither should you!
But it is happening. And, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the polarization assumption causes. Tired of only seeing one side of the story because of YOUR political affiliation. Do you know why I voted for those who represented a political party to which I did not belong? It was because I thought, at the time, they were the BEST available choice. Did I have to be a member of their party to vote for them? No, of course not! I read, researched, and voted for the person I thought could do the best job for the role in which they were running. I do this whether it is a presidential race or a school board race.
I wish people would start to look at issues without the polarization of politics. In a recent local election, one side was publically criticized for accepting funds from the Republican party. Two nights after I read about this, I saw that the other side had also accepted funds but from the Democratic party. Both accepted funds to campaign. Why was one side bashed for this and the other side not? I do not understand it. I have a strong sense of justice and behavior like this offends that sense.
When I ran for a temporary seat on the school board several years ago, I was told by a building administrator that they could not endorse me – it was against policy. I saw several things wrong with this. 1) I was not asking for an endorsement. The board of education was the only group that could vote on this temporary seat assignment due to a member leaving before the end of her term. I was merely informing this person of my candidacy. 2) Endorsements were notable in this recent BOE election with current board members vocally and visibly associating themselves (or distancing themselves as the case may be) with the candidates. I was disturbed by this. It was like, okay – we want to work with you but NOT YOU. I don’t think the board members should have shown their cards. I just don’t. Why was it not okay several years ago, but okay now? This confuses me.
Some might say it happened because of the contentiousness of this election cycle. Others might say it happened to protect what is right for our district, its teachers, and its students. And, still, others will point to the fact that political polarization in local elections is happening everywhere right now. So, why not here?! Personally, I think it showed bias. I’m not saying the best candidates did not win. I think they did. But, it’s easier to say than do and the truth will be borne in whether positive change is made or not.
Let’s just agree to stop assuming things about each other. I usually don’t tell people who I voted for, but I’m tired of the assumption – an assumption that I’m on the right or left. When, in fact, I’m a constant middle-of-the-road voter.
Do our educational systems need reform? Absolutely!
Do we need to unify rather than divide? Certainly!
But one of the first steps towards doing this is being honest about our actions. If you’ve been assuming things about others, please stop. It’s time to stop the divide based on political affiliation. It applies to education, economics, vaccines, masking, and more. Just stop assuming you know what others are thinking or doing. Vote and pick the candidate that is right for you, do not assume you know what someone else is thinking or doing. Because, very simply, you don’t.