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Politically Homeless - No Happy Ending
Real people, real letters, real problems, no solutions.
Politics these days have become so divided and divisive that it’s become the norm to view the other side of the aisle as “the enemy”. People are being told to “pick a side” and that there’s no room for middle ground. We here at Phetasy believe that there are a lot more people in the middle than politicians and the media would have us believe.
We’re collecting stories from the ever growing number of people who are finding themselves Politically Homeless and posting them here on Substack. If you have moved from conservative to liberal, or liberal to conservative, if you feel you’ve stayed in the same place and your party has swerved drastically away from you, if you had a moment that awakened you to the insanity and hypocrisy on both sides, if you keep your mouth shut anytime a political topic comes up because you’re afraid your opinion will cause you to lose friends or your job, you’re not as alone as you might think.
Our goal is to shine a light on people’s earnest, individual experiences and show them they’re not alone.
Some letters have been edited for clarity and brevity. If you’re politically homeless and would like to share your story, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions will remain anonymous.
Beyond Parody with Bridget Phetasy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Thank you for this opportunity.
As soon as I was of age to vote, I did so as a registered Democrat for the next 18 years, until I moved to Arizona. There I realized that some aspects of the approach of local Republicans worked better for that state's land, resources, and people, and so I began to appreciate Republican values. Though I've yet to vote for a Republican president, over the years I've voted for several Republicans down ballot, and I've been an unaffiliated voter for more than a decade now. I share values with both parties: the small government, fiscal conservatism, protection of core American values, and support of the individual of Republicans, and the Democrats' welcoming of all immigrants and attempt to level the playing field for all peoples. I strongly believe in the separation of church and state, which obviously is a theory more than a practice in this country.
Things didn't get personally sticky for me until about four years ago, when a niece (as a 13 year-old virgin) came out as "pansexual, gender non-binary," and I struggled to call her "they." Let me note that I am straight, and in the '90s I was such a staunch supporter of gay rights that I centered my master's thesis on the subject, motivated by my beloved younger sister's coming out as lesbian (as a 21 year-old sexually active adult). So I had no issue with my niece not being hetero, nor with her change of name. It's that I don't support multiplicity in anyone, though I will advocate for her wholeness all day long. Her mother asked me, and me alone, to be present at her birth, and though she arrived early, I held her on her fourth day of life. I was unprepared for gender dysphoria to become the political issue it has. I read cover articles on this tender young population in such magazines as The Atlantic, and I read Abigail Shrier's alarming book on the topic. The circumstances and demographic Shrier describes in her book are my niece's, down to details. My niece is an only child and the focus of her parents' lives. We became estranged, and it rippled out to my relations with my other siblings and their families.
The pandemic didn't help, as I chose not to get the shot. This became another point of contention and excuse to ostracize me from my family of origin. I was unprepared for the choice to get the shot, the choice to mask or not, the choice of people to gather or not, all becoming political issues, and ways of dividing families, seemingly forever. So I'm not only politically homeless, in terms of family I am also homeless. Politics is so entwined in our personal lives now that we've all lost freedom, and I think this is no accident. We're now positioned to lose more than we'll ever gain, short of a revolution and a miracle. There isn't a Republican or Democrat in this country who hasn't lost a cherished aspect of their life in the last decade.
I found Trump a grotesque embarrassment, and not particularly Republican. I voted for Hilary, solely because she was a woman and it was historic, and the vote itself seemed empowering. I wanted Elizabeth Warren for president. I voted for Biden with no enthusiasm whatsoever, and he, too, is a grotesque embarrassment. I am doubtful that a candidate exists who can heal and lead this country. I'm aware that such a president is a cliché, a relic of a bygone era now that politics is little more than a sideshow circus to distract us from the ongoing power grab of our land and resources. I wish there was a happy ending to my letter, but I don't see it.
Thanks again for this opportunity to share my story.
Some letters have been edited for clarity and brevity. If you'd like to share your story, email us at email@example.com. All submissions will remain anonymous.