Take a Break From Political Criticism But Keep Sharing Your Rational Voice

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I've never met or even heard of anyone who didn't experience politics-related fatigue at times. After some time, it just becomes too much. We get sick of hearing about it, thinking about, talking about it, or writing about it. We take a break from all things political and seriously consider taking a much longer one. Perhaps we even consider walking away entirely. There's only so much outrage one can take. But here's the thing: if your approach to politics is even mildly rational, the world needs you not to give up. We need you not to disengage, not to stop caring, and not to stop speaking your mind.

I know it often sucks. I know it feels like banging your head against a wall. I know you probably feel like you are surrounded by idiots much of the time. I can relate to all of that. The problem is that the world desperately needs rational voices. There are far too many irrational ones eager to fill the void you are considering creating by bowing out. Although most of them are just annoying, some can cause real harm. No, I'm not trying to guilt you into staying. You sticking around isn't going to banish these voices to wherever they might deserve to be banished. But your voice still matters, and the rest of us are better with it than without it.

Using whatever platform you have, even if it is offline and does not extend beyond your daily contacts, helps. Others who come in contact with you will hear at least one rational perspective. You aren't going to change every mind, but you can show others what reason looks like. And yes, people can and do forget. If you value at least some of what a political party stands for, perhaps you can help to steer it away from making some of the more disastrous mistakes. I know it often feels like we are powerless because those who could listen to us aren't. But if you pause to consider the example of "wokeness" for a moment, you may recognize that some people with platforms far larger than ours have started to criticize at least some aspects of it. I'm not sure this would have happened without the rest of us doing so first.

Ideas, good or bad, have to come from somewhere. They do not spontaneously spring into being or magically gain influence. And bad ideas do not usually go away on their own, at least not quickly enough (e.g., religion). If a bad idea has become too influential and has been causing problems, what do we do about it? I'd argue that refusing to speak out against it probably isn't our best course of action. Instead, we need to share our concerns so that others may consider them.

The challenge for many of us, when it comes to "wokeness," religion, political tribalism, or anything else we may wish to change, is to accept that our response does not have to be all or none. We could go all-in and devote every waking minute to the struggle. If we did that, we'd quickly burn ourselves out. We could also do nothing and refuse to speak our minds. If we did that, we might have a hard time living with ourselves. The good news is that these are not our only options. There is a vast middle ground between the two where we can contribute to the discussion without becoming obsessed with it.

If you are thinking about taking a break, you should do so. You should step away from the political arena periodically. Giving yourself regular breaks is a healthy thing to do and is not something that should provoke guilt or require defensive reactions. But I do hope you will consider coming back after your break to share your rational voice. The rest of us still need it.

H/T to Infidel753 for inspiring this post.