Traveling through Politics
Well, it may not be a four-lettered word, but many times the word “politics” is seen as one. Who ever thought that traveling would bring along experiences with politics. And yet of course it can. Some people go searching for it in their travels and it’s why they travel. Others, more so like myself, end up coming across it in our travels. In my case, not only have I come across it, I feel that it’s something that it is about time I paid much more attention to, not only in my everyday life back in the US, but in my travels and throughout the world as well.
This is at the forefront of my mind today as I sit in Oviedo, Spain and contemplate the overload of opinions and sentiments that I have taken in today from three completely different perspectives. I love meeting the locals of any area that I visit and since I’m in this amazing town of Northern Spain for a whole month, I also want to get involved and learn more about the everyday life of the people here. And yes, I do have even more personal reasons since my grandfather’s family was from this part of Spain, so a lot of history and much sentiment on my part.
I am certainly no politician and do not want to be one, so I’m not going to make a stance here on my own personal opinion or the agendas of particular parties. Simply put, I’m feeling passionate about the facts and there are some shocking facts that are bursting at the seams to be recognized. This and I like to pose questions that make us squirm and uncomfortable…it’s good for the curious mind.
The views here that I’m hearing from people range from…
…people in Spain do NOT WANT to work. They want to collect unemployment from the government and don’t believe in capitalism. There are many who say one has to be careful with what they say, otherwise you can be “turned in”. I had never heard that before…yet it’s being said. Many think that people who are wealthy and successful in Spain are only able to achieve this through bribery with a corrupt government and that communism and socialism is taking over for the detriment of the country. Anger, hatred – there is so much of this in the people of Spain and it is everywhere here. Others say that another civil war looms darkly in the near future for this country…
Much of the world is not aware of what has gone on in Spain in its recent political history. I know this is the case with many other countries in the world, however I’m going to only speak of Spain since that is the country that I have first-hand knowledge and experience of. How many of you are aware of what took place in the Spanish Civil War? Or for that matter, even know it took place? This is a “Pandora’s Box” that back in 2006 started to be opened – and slowly it continues to be pried open, shaken, and all but completely dumped out as it is now fought over in a tug of war between differing parties in Spain.
What good can any of us do for our present and our future, when we ignore or are oblivious of the past?
There is a past to Spain that is unknown, yet absolutely haunting. I see it terrorizing this amazingly beautiful country and its people still to this day. The rest of the world looks at Europe and thinks of whatever their favorite news channel has informed them of…Greece’s economy has collapsed, Spain has the highest unemployment rate, and Germany may be the only one to bail everyone out. Yet do we go any deeper than that? Do we wonder and take time to learn if there is something devastating and shocking about the country’s past…say, a holocaust that went unseen and was not stopped? Yes, we know of World War II, but what does the world know of the Spanish Civil War? What has the world heard of Spain’s dictator and his alliances with Hitler, his partnership with Mussolini? Chances are you’ve heard of Ernest Hemingway…yet do you know what his writings are still crying out to tell us about Spain even now, years after he is gone?
What will it hurt us to learn about the history of our country and those of other countries so that we can learn from each other and from our past in the hopes of a different and better future?
I’m not promoting one side or another. I most definitely am not saying here anything of support for one party or another. What I am saying is this. When are all of us going to stop looking at Government as a person? Since when is government looked to as our moral guide and responsible for the character we ourselves as human should attain to and live out?
I thought governments were supposed to represent the people, not “win” majorities for their party, their agendas only. How did I come to these conclusions and questions? From seeing what’s going on in my own country…the US as a world power is not demonstrating “equal representation of the people” anymore and hasn’t been for some time now. Yet I find consolation in this – maybe it’s more about my expectations of government and I know that those expectations cannot be for a perfect government, because people are not perfect. Now these are my opinions and ones I raise as a challenge to anyone still waiting around for governments to be something they were never meant to be and never will be. Writing about politics along with my travel writings may not be to everyone’s liking, and that is fine…yet I value traveling as such an education and I’ll be the first to admit that I need to allow my traveling to educate me more in this area of life.
*The pictures and views here written are objectively provided as facts and do not reflect the personal political stance and views of the writer.