Part of growing up in the South is a healthy respect for politics and religion. Two topics that might be more taboo in other areas of the country, they fit together here like fish and grits. But I’ve learned over the years that there’s more to life than my way, then my belief, then my voting bent.

[Politics past from rickstilwell.wordpress.com]

Sitting here in the kitchen on 01/21/2012, South Carolina is holding a primary for the Republican candidate for President. I find that most of my Facebook feed is posting “get out the vote” and “doing my duty” status updates, while Twitter so far locally has a few folks post lots more than normal and others just enjoying the day and not voting.

What’s cool to me this afternoon is that I’m at home blogging on my CR48 Google chromebook, tweeting and facebooking with friends on my iPhone, and streaming CNN on their iPad app. I’m more connected now then I was just two years ago. If not actually more connected, I’ve at least got more viable channels to bring in information and to send out information, to learn from and to converse with.

[Current political/everything philosophical bent]

Regardless of your own political persuasion, there’s something to be said for the availability of information and of conversation channels open to just about all of us. With that in mind, THERE’S NO REASON TO NOT KNOW WHO’S RUNNING AND WHAT THEY’RE RUNNING ON. In a world that still relies way too heavily on soundbites, on network talking heads, on quips and pithy negativity to make up its mind, it’s wonderful that there is NO EXCUSE to not be a knowledgeable voter.

I don’t use all caps very often.

It behooves us as citizens to know what we believe, to know why we believe it, and to question the stories and soundbites to get after the truth. With all the information at our disposal and all the tools available, it’s easier than ever to make good choices. We might still disagree, but your ability to do the right thing by your conscience has greatly improved. And that’s always going to be a good thing.