Why do some people want to drag politics into Everything?

In our recent customer newsletter, we featured “green” books in celebration of Earth Day.  And, of course, we got some feedback from customers.  Without further ado, presenting evidence that People are Weird:

Why are you sending out “green” books for Earth Day, but no Atlas
Shrugged (by Ayn Rand) for tax day?  If this reflects the official
political view of your business, then please avoid politics
altogether, and don’t send me such e-mails.

We therefore offer our deferential apologies to Ayn Rand for forgetting to recognize Tax Day.  Believe it or not, even though we care about the environment, we don’t like Tax Day either.  Hope that doesn’t utterly confuse this person’s worldview.

As you probably know, Biblio is pretty actively involved in social and environmentally responsible causes – whether its supporting alternative energy research through carbon offsets, or building libraries in South America.  And, we get enormous amounts of feedback from our customers and partners.  99.9% of it is wonderfully positive and supportive.  Every blue moon, though, we get an e-mail like the above and it kind of makes us say “Wha?”

Its really bizarre to us that someone can take environmental responsibility, sustainable energy or the fact that we provide books and libraries to poor communites in South America and misinterpret those things as “political stances.”  But, believe it or not, some people occasionally do.

Here’s an e-mail we received referring to the fact that we’ve built 7 libraries in rural Bolivia since 2004:

Who the hell is interested in Bolivia? Hooooooooboy! Some left-wing liberal thing no doubt!

Granted, there are different political views on how government should be involved in these issues, but that doesn’t make the issues themselves political.   Put it another way:  just because there are different political views on how the government should be involved in education, does that mean we should avoid caring about educating our children as to remain “apolitical”?

So, when I hear weird feedback like the above, accusing us of dragging politics into things we say, I actually get a chuckle, because its the inverse: they are the ones bent on dragging things we say into politics.  We really don’t care how you vote, and we’d like to think you don’t care how we vote.  In fact, to be personally honest – I want to see a balance of power in our political system, and dominance by neither party.

But we would like to think that things like sustainable alternative energy, access to clean drinking water, education, literacy and libraries should be things we all do care about, and wish people wouldn’t try to diminish their importance by dragging them into the Muck that is American Politics.

One thought on “Why do some people want to drag politics into Everything?”

  1. Anirvan says:

    Who says this stuff isn’t political? To me, it’s “political” in the same way that universal adult suffrage, heliocentrism, or debunking the Master race theory are “political.” Just because we seem to have reached a broad social consensus, doesn’t mean that there’s still not a few committed resisters out there.

    (And thank goodness for them — it’s nice to be occasionally reminded that things we take for granted were sometimes quite contested, and it makes lobbying for ideas we care about today seem like something maybe worth fighting for.)

    If something as boring and feelgood as wanting to expand literacy around the world is a “political” act, I’m proud to choose sides (and support businesses that do so as well).

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