November 23, 2012

Let it simmer.

I am a politics junky. No this isn't about politics (mostly), it is about me and thinking and keeping myself from doing stupid things I end up regretting later. I have seen a variety of comments that are quite similar in many ways, but the basic gist is, when something happens, and you have a reaction that is closely coupled with emotion, it is often good personal policy to sleep on it. Give it a night, or better yet, a full 24 hours or more. Let it simmer and see if you still feel the same way about it. Make sure what you are going to do is the best course of action and not just the passion of the moment.

So, how does this apply to politics? Well, being the political junky that I am, I really wanted Obama to not be re-elected. Yeah, much more that than Mitt Romney being elected. I think Obama is the worst president we have had since Woodrow Wilson. Yeah, Wilson was effective, but he was also un-American and wanted to throw out the constitution. Interestingly enough, The next worst president in my lifetime in my opinion, was not Jimmy Carter, but George W Bush. Between Obama and Bush, they have shredded our freedoms, the constitution, and our economy. So, all of this fitting in with me being a political junky, I tend to react quite strongly with happenings related to elections. I could see early on that the night was not going the republicans' way. Quite the opposite.

My reaction of course was to start thinking of rash and extreme courses of action that of course I would regret as soon as I did, but this year, I purposely tried to gear myself up for the possibility that the night would go that way. I purposely made myself go to bed once the outcome was pretty much decided, or, at least, I tried to. I am afraid my anxiety over the whole affair infected my children, but at least getting them to go to bed took me away from the over-programmed news feeds.

The next day, I made myself stay as neutral as possible, which for me is still hyperbolic, but I tried to keep my most extreme thoughts and reactions bottled up, and try to express rational, moderate thinking. I still read the news feeds, which for the most part were either democrats being poor sports, or republicans being poor sports, but occasionally were something that tried to be reconciling in nature. I have noticed a very small undercurrent in those more moderate voices. While it is true that the divide in america is very stark, and that there is a gap between the sides, what they are really fighting over, for the most part anyway, is not that hugely inseparable between the sides. (There are a few issues that I think really do provide a true irreconcilable difference between the sides, but that is another post.)

So, since this seemed to be such a big deal election, I made myself wait a couple of weeks before posting much about it. And hey, you know, all those topsy-tervy emotional knee jerk reactions and radical thoughts boiled down into some really interesting food for thought. I still don't like many of Obama's policies, but I am much more clear on what I feel and why, and what I can and can't do about it.

So, the next time you get your dander up, sleep on it. Don't do anything until you have given yourself enough time to really boil it down into some more rational course of action.