When I awoke this morning to what I consider good news, I logged on to Facebook to change my status message to something appropriate for an injured person who wants to express delight: “Leslie F. Miller is cheering, gently.”
This afternoon, I logged on and found an acquaintance’s status message: “[so-and-so] thinks seeing your politics in your status update yesterday is like seeing you naked — in most cases, we’d be better off if it hadn’t happened.”
First of all, that’s awfully presumptuous! Seeing me naked could have any number of positive results, not the least of them a determination to lay off the cake and beer!
Second, what’s the secret? Sure, voters have the right to privacy, but few people find it necessary or even desirable to hide their beliefs. Some post choices on their lawns or slap them on their bumpers. Others, like me, wear t-shirts in honor of our candidates. A political party affiliation is certainly no more sacred than a religious one, yet Orthodox Jews don’t hide their yarmulkes, and Christians don’t hide the crosses around their necks. Telling someone you’re a Jew is probably more dangerous, in fact, than telling someone you’re a Democrat.
Third, a Facebook status message is very much like a bumper sticker on a car, but it’s a car that you drive around a parking lot full of your friends and acquaintances. You choose who sees that sticker.
Finally, I’m proud of my vote. I made my informed decision based on my core values. That’s what people do. It’s how we pick our spouses and our friends; if we have the luxury of means, it’s how we decide where to live and where to send our children to school. And while we don’t always agree with our neighbors (close friends and family members voted for “that other guy”), we usually have other, more important things that unite us—like our love of music, our appreciation for art, our children’s friendship, and love.