The Ponder Effect | What are the issues that matter the most to me…and why?
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What are the issues that matter the most to me…and why?

This is the first in a 3-part series on Pondering Politics as we prepare for the state and federal elections on November 6. I know. I know. More politics. Please no. I just got home from vacation, and my mailbox is overflowing with mailers featuring superimposed faces, angry red lettering, accusations, and fear tactics. Media channels are political minefields and so, too, is my seemingly innocent stack of mail.

What I feel is this: We read about politics. We worry about politics. We rant about politics. We argue about politics. But do we adequately ponder them? By this I mean, do we really sit with ourselves and with one another and with the deluge of information shoved our way and think deeply about the issues, the candidates, the big picture, the search for truth, the future. Do we try to bring wisdom and discernment to this mess? Some of us do, but it is so hard. That’s where we come in, all of us together. The questions posed over the next few weeks and the opportunity to engage civilly around them is our attempt to help bring heightened understanding and intentionality to our vote but ultimately to our community.

So, this week, we begin with the question: What are the issues that matter the most to me…and why? What are the issues that matter to me the most on a national level? And what are the issues that matter to me the most on a state level? Why do I feel these issues are so central to the future of our country? What will they ensure for us as a people and a nation?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

6 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    October 21, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I recently had to cut myself off from Twitter entirely because, while I found it to be a quick and effective news source, every time I lost myself in it, I came away feeling angry, hopeless, frustrated and depressed. If I go to direct news sources, I may not feel uplifted, but I do feel a little less like the sky is falling. Taking in the political landscape in a more traditional fashion slows me down and helps me be a little more thoughtful about everything that’s going on. It’s so hard for me not to get the inside scoop on all the important stories (via Twitter), but it is healthier.

    Anyway … what is important to me? Most of all, it’s important to me that our leaders convey respect for, if not understanding of, all people. Understanding of all people is a stretch for even the most liberal-minded … I don’t know many Democrats who can wrap their brains around a Tea Party Republican … but in recognizing our common humanity, our common joys and heartaches and best intentions, we can find respect for one another.

    Having leaders whose rhetoric is unifying is important to me.

    Having a leaders who think critically and are willing to negotiate is important to me.

    I also care about enacting common sense gun laws, providing health care to those who need it most, finding smart solutions to complicated problems by having open, respectful, productive debate. But honestly, I feel like American politics is so far gone I’ve lost hope in open, respectful debate.

    I want my kids to know what a healthy democracy looks like.

    I also really hope and pray that we can somehow get away from politics powered by conspiracy theories. It’s totally bumming me out.

  • Anonymous

    October 22, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Important to me on a national level at women’s equality and human rights. Local are transportation and safety. I listen to news on NPR and completely avoid 24 hour news outlets altogether. I ditched Facebook because of politics. The outlets, the social media, anything with news create anxiety in me so I’m done. My wish is people from across the aisle could come together for civil discourse especially within families.

  • Anonymous

    October 23, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I’d like to see political leaders who think before they act, who also think before they speak. I’m concerned about children, keeping them safe both at home and at school. I’d like to see more education funding. I think creativity has to be nurtured for society to move forward, so more funding for the arts as well.

  • Anonymous

    October 24, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    In trying to get my head around what all the issues are and which ones are most important to me, I found a site https://www.isidewith.com that is helpful. It breaks down the issues by category and then asks specific questions and shows polls for those questions. It helps me see the big picture but also think about how I would respond to the questions. The big issues for me are education and gun control. Why? Because we have to stop killing each other, and we have to teach our children how to think and how to lead.

  • Anonymous

    October 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Climate Change. Full Stop. It’s a big, hairy, complicated issue that will take unprecedented global collaboration. It’s not a “coastal” problem or an “island” problem – it is everyone’s problem. Rivers will continue to crest, fires will rage in the west, storms will grow stronger, droughts more severe, the Southwest will become uninhabitable and whole indigenous communities will be wiped off the map in places like Alaska and the Atolls. It’s impossible to be a “single issue” mother anymore. My daughter and I march against gun violence, my kids and I volunteer with local arts and social justice organizations. I spend a good bit of time and money on women rights and reproductive issues. We talk about real issues at the dinner table. A few weeks ago my daughter said, “I’m afraid we won’t be able to solve climate change.” We owe it to ALL our children to figure this one out while we still have time to make a change – we do now – but that window is closing rapidly. I no longer look to Washington for help on this one. I look to Governors, Mayors, consumers and the private sector. This is one issue in which our leaders in Washington have completely failed us. I feel most are too old and too selfish and too tied in to special interests to remember, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” To me, this issue trumps all others.

  • Anonymous

    October 27, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I am most concerned about two issues. Government spending and immigration.
    It is hard to believe but the government used to have a balanced budget. Now our debt is so big I can’t grasp the numbers. I fear it is a house of cards that has to collapse at some point and wreck our economy.
    For me the immigration issue is simple.
    Give all those who are living in the US on a certain date citizenship. Everyone who tries to come in after that date has to go through the process to citizenship. If anyone succeeds in coming in illegally he, she or they are all sent back. No exceptions. No excuses. The process to citizenship is there for a reason. I do think we should study the process to make sure it is fair and relevant.