I am fortunate enough to live in a state where many, if not most, of my political views are reflected by our legislators. Living in western Washington State, and previously living in Portland, Oregon, means that I have gotten used to the political landscape being more blue than red, and that suits me. While I may disagree on some policies, overall I feel generally safe here. Many of the people I spend time with share a similar view.
Unfortunately, this does have the side effect of making people complacent. There's an inherent smugness when issues like SB5 in Texas comes up, because well, that's Texas - they're [fill in the stereotype here], of course they're going to do something like that. And that's it.
Last night, I was following the filibuster online while we had some friends over for our usual Tuesday night routine of watching TV. Now and then I would mention something I thought was interesting, but I didn't think I was forcing conversation to revolve around what I was looking at. When it looked like the bill had passed, I mentioned this, and one of my friends simply shrugged and said, "So don't move to Texas." Another asked, "It is only in Texas, right?" When I confirmed, she nodded and went back to the show.
These are good people. And yet, this kind of complacency worries me. It seems like such a common viewpoint around here, and I feel like we might not be prepared should something similar come down the line for us. The general thought seems to be, "But that couldn't happen here! We're so much smarter/better than those people in those conservative states, we would never do anything like that!" And that thought scares the pants off me.
Finally, the attitude of "It doesn't affect me directly, so why should I care?" also starts making me question why these issues bother me so much. I don't live in Texas, and frankly, abortion is not something that is likely to be a concern for me one way or the other. I'm angry that people still have to fight this hard to be heard by their elected officials. I'm elated that there are people willing to put in the effort to fight the fight, but I'm angry that the fight still needs to be fought. But right now, I'm angry that I have to defend my "right" to be angry.