Discussion

{DISCUSSION} Politics & Book Blogging

Is it acceptable to be a political book blogger?

As I am sure most of the world knows, a lot of changes have been occurring in the United States (my country.) Some of them are new. Some of them are aggravated issues that have been happening for decades. And others are only finally being dusted off and brought into the light. As a result, I honestly can’t imagine a single person living in the United States being ‘apolitical.’ Even if, by some chance, none of the changes affect you, you must know of someone who is or will be affected. So, I have to ask:

“How can I be silent when I already have a platform and readers?”

“Is it not my obligation as a citizen to stand up and voice my opinion?”

These questions have been rattling around in my head for a couple months. I have asked other bloggers. I have asked readers. I even threw up a poll on Twitter to see how people might react to a blog, so devout to books, suddenly starts discussing completely different, completely serious, completely real-life matters. The reaction?

Based on this, I’m not really sure what to do. A high number of voters believed it was acceptable to post politics on a book blog or the book blogger’s social media, but an even larger number of voters said it would depend. Depend on what, though? Well… that answer was very vague, as well.

“As long as you don’t overdo it.”

“Don’t mind a social cause from time to time.”

From time to time. As long as I don’t overdo it. These are very abstract concepts with no defined clauses. What is ‘overdoing it?’ Standing up for what I believe in? Supporting those who don’t have a platform to reach people? And what is a social cause? Isn’t the right to live our lives free of the constant overbearing prejudice of the government a social cause? But… that’s happening all the time. It never ends. So, how can it just be a social cause from time to time?

So far, I have not posted political things. I have not because I do not know what I want to do. I am not up-to-date on politics. I barely understand the language, making me one of the least qualified people to even begin to support others. However, something nags at me in the back of my mind. It’s a phrase I say to my friends and family who will listen and rant along with me regarding politics.

“We are all human beings. Why is itย soย hard for people to treat each other as such?”

It reminds me of all the phrases we were (or at least I was) taught as children to remember and live by.

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

And yet somewhere between being children and becoming independent adults, something changes. Those guidelines disappear. We start attacking others. We belittle them to make ourselves feel bigger, more important. We take away their livelihoods, their rights, and for what? Money? Prejudice? What can a country divided by religion, skin color, sexual orientation, self-identification really do? How efficient and amazing can we really be?

I don’t want to sit here and rant at you guys. (Though, I could go on for days about the absurdity of human beings attacking other human beings for no other reason than being different.) But I really feel it’s necessary, especially given the state of current affairs in my country (and around the world) that we remove the age-old taboo of not discussing politics and religion. Only by removing the concept that some things are bad (because they were considered so by our parents or grandparents), can we open our minds to the wonders around us. Open our ears to what others have to say. And open our hearts to the otherย humans whom we come into contact with each and every day.

But enough from me.
What do you think about politics?
Should book bloggers use their platforms to discuss politics?
Leave your thoughts below!


And check out my discussion from last week:
Scientists in Fiction

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27 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Politics & Book Blogging”

  1. i think it depends on the platform. for instance, i try not to make posts about politics on my blog, but o twitter i’m political 24/7. that being said, politics has a lot to do with your sociological background and therefore will always affect your view of things, including things like messages and themes in books. for example as a mixed race black girl, its hard not to see how “political” jk rowling was getting when she wrote about “purebloods” and “mudbloods”–i know exactly what she was talking about, even if it was (admittedly thinly) veiled. many people consider simple sociological discussions “political” nowadays, which is a sad reflection of the state that the US is currently in. my human rights shouldn’t be a political ball to toss around an arena, but thats a whoooole other topic.

    then again, i grew up and still live 15 minutes outside of washington, dc. around here it doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue, politics is conversation everywhere! whereas in the rest of the country it’s generally considered incredibly rude to discuss politics, here its just normal table talk at dinner with you guests, even (sometimes especially) if they have opposing views–here we even consider politics a normal topic for small talk, lol! so i take politics with me everywhere, because its the natural thing to do for me. but now especially, it feels important to speak up. as a disabled woman of color, speaking up is even more important, because in today’s climate, my survival often depends on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. I hadn’t personally given much thought to JK Rowling’s purebloods vs mudbloods, so thank you for commenting on that. I greatly appreciate you bringing up this particular item because you’re absolutely right. Our social and economic backgrounds have huge impacts on our points of view and how we interpret things, thus it will have an impact on how we read and enjoy books as well.

      To be honest, I wish the rest of the country was more like D.C. because I think making politics a taboo topic is really the problem. No one talks about them. It’s like politics – the very thing that runs our country and dictates everyone’s lives – is of little importance and is supposed to be ushered under the rug like domestic abuse and being gay was in the 1950s. This old mentality is likely the reason America is in its current state of political affairs and also why I feel that I need to speak out and bring it to the table where others might deem it ‘inappropriate.’ Maybe my blog isn’t the best place, but then where is? This is where my voice is, shouldn’t it be all of my voice instead of just part of it?

      I dunno. It’s definitely a complicated topic, but I appreciate that you and everyone else took the time to respond. It’s great to hear other opinions on the topic. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think as long as it is done respectfully, and doesn’t overpower the main subject of your blog or account, it is acceptable. It may be interesting to tie it in to books that can relate to the message. Plus, it is your space to do what you like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Respectfully! Who you talking to, Adrienne? :p I write respectful negative reviews all the time. Hee hee! But I do understand what you’re saying. It is important to remain appropriate at all times when discussing issues. The same goes for any subject. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some of the most important books ever written have deeply entrenched political and sociological messages in them.

    That said, many do not.

    As a book blogger, I think it’s perfectly fine to voice your opinions on society and politics if it pertains to the book at hand and a message the author might have been trying to convey. You’ll most likely draw in some more spirited discussion, but there is nothing wrong with debate as long as it is civil.

    I’d caution you about posting “politics for the sake of politics”. Not because it’s wrong (if you really feel strongly, then go for it) but because it might confuse or turn off potential readership who have come to seek out your blog specifically because of quality reviews. Politics are overwhelmingly pervasive in the USA right now, and I think a lot of people use books as a temporary escape. I know I certainly do. Plus, the most successful blogs generally remain focused.

    It’s a personal decision, and I’ll keep reading and commenting either way. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man! Right? The first one that comes to mind for me is Fahrenheit 451 because I was super weirded out by how real it seemed reading it in 2016. So creepy.

      Oh. I wasn’t really thinking about politics in regards to books, but in regards to my stance on issues that are floating around in the world. And it wouldn’t for politics sake (I kind of suck at politics and hate them so I don’t go out of my way to be involved), but more like things that affect me or are very important to people I care about that I would discuss. And I would probably treat them as discussions like I do my book discussions. I have an opinion, but I am always open to listen to others’ opinions (assuming they aren’t blatantly prejudicial against a person for a non-personality-related thing.)

      As to the ‘most successful’ piece, I think that’s hogwash. The people who are most successful bloggers also spend copious amounts of time on their blog and it’s not a competition. If it were, I wouldn’t allow myself other hobbies. Blogging is for you, not for success and, in my experience, some of those most successful bloggers aren’t really the nicest people either. :/

      Thank you for your opinion. Always looking for civil honesty. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I try to leave a lot of the ‘real life’ stuff of my blog because my blog is supposed to be fiction related. And yet I always say ‘fiction should mirror reality.’ That being said, it would only make sense that I would want to discuss reality as it has a direct impact on fiction and to ignore the reality from which fiction springs is to ignore the realistic problems that directly impact more than fictron, but real lives. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is your space, do what you want with it. I tend to shy away from the political stuff because it’s so pervasive everywhere I turn. I read blogs to find the things I can’t find on Twitter, Facebook, the evening news, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know a lot of people shy away from political stuff. So much so that my generation doesn’t even have a clue what is going on in their own backyards much less the rest of the world, which is why part of me feels like it might be beneficial to some people to post political content in unlikely places. The fact that so many people are just turning a blind eye because they don’t want to read about it or hear about it or it doesn’t directly effect them is part of the problem. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Melanie I would say do what you feel is right not what you think would please others. This is your space your freedom. If you want to talk politics do it and see people’s reaction. If you don’t feel it don’t do it. I am following Kim “by Hook or by book” and she mixes books reviews and political opinion. I love her blog as she shakes people. She makes us aware of what’s happening in the US and in the world. It’s not my choice to speak politics on the blog because I don’t feel it and frankly who am I to speak about US politics? My country is so small that nobody would be interested. But as I said I love reading Kim’s posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sophie. ๐Ÿ™‚ As you have likely noticed, I like to shake people, too, just in a different way. I have often strayed away from politics and issues in the past because I know so little about it and felt underqualified to speak on any of the matters at hand, but I still have opinions. And it’s those opinions that I feel strongly for and want to support and discuss with people. I also am disappointed by the number of people in my generation who know next to nothing about politics. It’s very disconcerting and leaves me worried about the future, which is one of the reasons why I would like to get active somehow to bring awareness to people of my generation and the future generations because I don’t want a repeat of history (and we’re kind of on that track right now…)

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  6. I made a promise to myself when I started blogging to leave politics out of it 100%. I have broken that promise. I try to stay away from it, but i do have to have my say on occasion. Here is what I do – I write my opinion, hopefully based on some fact, but using my words and voice, leaving political parties out of it and not mentioning politicians by name. As far as i know, I haven’t lost any readers by saying I think we should all take a stand against racism (or other such topic). I have a friend whose non-political blog became very political and she lost half of her readers during the 2016 elections. Hers was pointing at people, not issues.

    So, what I believe is that you can write about controversial issues and issues that have been highly politicized, but leave names and politics out of it. In ways writing about social issues is an obligation of being a writer, but being a political writer isn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it is important to stick to the issues as well and I am not here to pass judgment on anyone, but I do think that it can be acceptable to call someone out (if there are facts) to back it up. Because if a person in power (such as a politician, or even an author) does or says something that is inappropriate or prejudicial, I believe they should be called out on their behavior because that should not be tolerated. However, there is no reason to attack someone. There is a very fine line here and too many people cross it.

      That being said, I usually don’t pay much attention to people so much as issues because that’s where the real problem is. If an issue still exists, people will glom onto it. Once the issue stops existing or loses power, people don’t care anymore and most people can do very little to exacerbate issues.

      As to actual politics, I know very little. I personally don’t believe parties should exist because they have very little actual importance and more of a just another flag or brand people can attach to. And the current political parties have changed so much from what they originally stood for so the fact that your grandfather was of a certain party doesn’t mean you have to be because the party has changed. More importantly, people will vote for/promote a party and not the issues. It’s just like high school presidential elections: Who is the most popular? Or, in this case, which party is the most popular? It really is a shame.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t care if someone (say a book blogger) I follow starts spouting political posts but if I only follow them for their book-related content then they can’t be surprised or upset if I ignore their political posts. Or perhaps that’s ALL they seem to post anymore so I decide to unfollow them to declutter my feed. (The same goes for if I start posting political opinions, I’m not surprised or bothered if my bookish followers ignore them because that’s not what they came for and that’s fine).
    But overall it’s your account and you can do whatever you want with it, just don’t be surprised if a sudden focal-shift in your twitter leads to a decrease in activity or response from followers (then again maybe you’ll get an increase, who knows?).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course not, Angela. It would completely understandable if a person chose not to read my political posts because they have that same freedom with any of my posts. Maybe they only read certain reviews or certain discussions. The same would apply for politics. Just because I post something doesn’t mean all my readers are going to look at it and comment (more often than not they don’t. Hee hee!) And it would also be important, as you say, to remember what your blog is truly about. If you want to change themes, do so, but make it very clear that you’re changing because otherwise you’ll lose more readers in the long run.

      To be quite honest, if someone didn’t want to listen to my political views and chose to unfollow me because of it, that is their right and I’m not sure I would want to interact with them anyway (assuming I’m not spouting constantly.) We have the freedom to think what we want and I can’t make someone agree with me and my views. I would actually rather they unfollow me than go on a personal tirade and start attacking me or my readers because an unfollow, at the end of the day, means very little in the grand scheme of things.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t mind seeing politics on blogs, but I can see how some people use blogs to escape real world issues. I do share a lot of political posts on my twitter though. I’m sure it’s made some book people unfollow me, but I think it’s important to share information and stay informed. Especially when it’s something that I find interesting or important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you. It is important to share information and stay informed and it’s important for the people who only turn away and try to escape the real world because those people aren’t helping the issue, they are making it worse. Just because something doesn’t directly affect you doesn’t mean it isn’t causing issues. That, I think, is one of the main reasons I would want to start posting some political things, to force my generation in particular to be aware whether they want to be or not. Being apolitical or unaware is going to lead to a government and political situation that they don’t want and can stop before it goes too far. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who wants to post about these things. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, I think it’s so much easier nowadays to stay up to date that there’s almost no reason to not be aware of what’s going on. And not everyone has time for the news or can stand the incessant commericals, but there are online articles, social media posts, podcasts, radio. Tons of ways out there to stay informed and I know lots of bloggers who already do this kind of thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I think posting about it, is part of being active in the matters, you know?

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Whenever I post a political opinion, I tag it at the opening of my post. I try not to talk about it on my blog because so much of my life outside of the blogging world deals with what is happening not only in the US but all over the world because of my work with the Harry Potter Alliance.
    Politics are hard to escape, especially now with the climate in the United States. We have this outlet to write about our feelings and thoughts and why not use that outlet to let out some of the pressure that builds. As book bloggers, we are writing opinions about things all the time. I think as long as we know the primary focus of our blogs which for most of us, is books, I think the occasional off-topic post or politically charged post is fine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it is only appropriate and respectful to mention that a political post will be such at the beginning because, as you said, we are book bloggers. Most of our content should be regarding that. But our lives (and our blogs) are directly impacted by politics, unfortunately to say. So I feel like it’s only a matter of time before something political arrives on someone’s blog, especially if it directly impacts them. But it should also be when it impacts other people. If I can open just one person’s eyes with a political post, I have done something and really, we just need more eyes open nowadays because it’s all too easy for people to turn away and pretend like nothing bad is happening. I guess that’s what worries me the most. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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