Over the last 30+ years of being of legal age (to vote) I have pretty much kept my political opinions to myself. I was taught that your votes were secret, hence the secrecy around the polling place and privacy while in the voting booth and turning in your secret ballot. So I only shared my democrat preferences with very close friends or relatives. As a self-employed person for most of my life, I never showed a preference one way or the other about politics in my business establishment because I figured that approximately one half of my customers were like me and the other half were not, and I didn't want to offend the 'other half'.
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It seems that of late (since the 2008 elections) people have become more outspoken about their political opinions...from what I see the most outspoken have been the republicans and tea party members. My neighbors, community leaders, and the businesses that I frequent don't seem to think it's a problem to publicly rant about the opposing party, or fill their yard (or business windows) with posters and signs supporting their choices and strongly opposing the other, as if 'their' choice was the only 'right' one.
None of my democrat friends, democrat neighbors, or democrat owned business that I frequented were doing this. If you drove around in my neighborhood it would appear we were 100% Republican, when in fact we are nearly a 50/50 split. My husband even succumbed to the pressure and asked me to remove the small magnetic bumper sticker that supported Barrack Obama before we left the house so no radical republican/tea partyist would scratch up my car (they were actually doing that). We democrats kept silent, we didn't boast loudly that we were voting democrat. We didn't stand on street corners shouting political propaganda at passer-byes, we didn't have huge rally's with Fox Channel celebrities making hate speeches. And we certainly didn't post signs in our businesses meant to offend one half of our customers.
But I feel a change coming on. I personally (and I'm not alone) am fed up listening to the nonsense that people are repeating as fact because they heard it on a Fox station. (I refuse to call it Fox 'News'). I am tired of keeping silent when a loud mouth racist republican insults or disrespects our President. I'm tired of shopping at businesses that make it clear they don't like democrats. I'm tired of not expressing my thoughts in mixed company because I don't want to offend someone (who has NO trouble with offending me). I am tired of being a closeted Democrat.
I am coming out of the 'Democrat' Closet! This next election season I am going to proudly share my choice in who I feel should be our next President and who should fill all of the other political positions beneath him or her. I am not going to remove my bumper sticker. I am going to host an election night party. And I am going to speak openly about my beliefs. But I am going to be a better, more respectful citizen, by doing all of this without becoming an offensive jerk like the people I have quietly tolerated for the last 6 years.
Yes, in the next election season you are going to see a whole new Chicken Lady who ain't Chicken anymore!