[Discussion] Political Confusion and Discussion

How come when I badmouth a politician, people say I'm the idiot, or personally insult me or my family?

I've gotten it from every partisan slant about everything. Then they ask me what would I do. I dunno, I wouldn't do anything, isnt that what ELECTED officials are for? I drive a truck, I try to keep my family clothes, fed, and safe. I'm not the best at it, but I keep trying. I fail, I try again.

My extended family are leftist who hate Republicans, or right wingers who hate Democrats, and me standing on the middle of the see-saw because my thoughts are deemed offensive, different, or what have you. I can't be in the middle, I have to choose sides? I don't get it. It's enough to make a nearly 50 year old dude cry when the cat sits on my lap purring.

Fight me, I won't swing back.

I don't know if this is appropriate for this part of the forums, or any part of the forums, so admins feel free to delete/remove/cough this post.

Politics and family don't mix.
Man I don't know how to use this part of the forums.

Hi Max,

This is a tough one. I’m in a weird position as a conservative who has moved left over the past 5 years. Some members of my family are very conservative, and I also have right wing Army friends to whom I owe my life. I may not agree with most of their views, but they’re still like family to me.

I also have Seattle friends and neighbors who are very progressive to the point where I’m seen as their one “crazy right wing friend.”

And it’s been an exhausting week trying to explain to my conservative dad why calling COVID the “Chinese virus” is wrong while also getting on a liberal niece over posting “boomer remover” jokes.

Here are my thoughts for what it’s worth balancing it all:

1. Your politics - extremism excepted - do not define your personality. If you like hanging with someone with very different views because you both love baseball or strategy games, that’s acceptable. If you’re stuck with family who don’t share your views, try to find that common ground in another interest.

2. Political views aren’t the end and be all of morality either. Some of my older relatives don’t get it when it comes to refugees or LGBT rights. But at the same time they do a tremendous amount of outreach and volunteer work, even putting themselves at risk to make sure school kids get fed during the outbreak. IMHO their good qualities outweigh the bad.

Likewise, I have several progressive acquaintances who spend all day online showing how woke they are despite never lifting a finger to help others. In fact, they are deeply miserable and selfish people in real life. But on Twitter they get lots of love and affection for virtue signaling.

3. You have a right to your views and shouldn’t have to defend yourself. As a child I was told that it’s impolite to overshare about sex, politics or religion. That’s a social convention I really want to bring back.

4. COVID should teach us all that we are in this together. Plagues don’t care about your voting record, and our relationship as humans and Americans should matter far more than our political party.

5. No politician really cares as much about you as your own family and friends. Furthermore, no politician should be seen as the chosen one who cannot be criticized. And criticizing a politician shouldn’t be seen as a personal attack by voters on the other side.

Valuable questions, Max. Excellent response, Zappa.

I try to focus on the good that people do. I look past virtue signalling and tokenism in search of actual contribution. I lean towards common ground. We don't need to discuss everything at every available moment. We need not so swiftly enforce an ultimatum. Humility. Respect. Through those we can accomplish much together, maybe even get along, and then possibly progress to what was once thought an impasse.

It's difficult, though. There are lines in the sand. There are break points. Extremism can be unmanageable, and unpalatable.