#FPQ 197: Keep Politics Out Of It

Fandango posited this question yesterday:

I wasn’t going to answer this, but I saw something this morning that’s (more or less) on the topic that was so good, I have to share it, and I’ll actually cut-and-paste it from the original…

Remember when you were a kid and you were fighting with a sibling or classmate, and a responsible adult intervened, and both parties to the contretemps would immediately start with “HE/SHE STARTED IT!” The responsible adult’s response was usually something along the lines of “I don’t care who started it, I want you to stop it!” And “If you can’t play nice, maybe you both had better go home.” Or words to that effect.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that, particularly in the last several election cycles, this animosity between the Red Team and the Blue Team has gotten totally out of hand, and that we’ve forgotten something very important: we’re not playing the game, we’re just there as observers. It reminds me of my college days:

There are two large Catholic universities in Chicago, Loyola and DePaul. The majority of students at both were graduates of one of the over 100 Catholic high schools in the city and suburbs. So, if you went to Loyola, you had friends who went to DePaul, and vice versa. Once a year, Loyola and DePaul played each other in basketball at one of the large arenas in town. We’d all go to the game together, sit on opposite sides of the court, yell and scream and give the finger to our friends on the other side, then, when the game was over, we’d all get back together and go out for beers. We understood: it’s just a game.

The goings-on in Washington that are allegedly being undertaken for the benefit of We The People actually have little or nothing to do with us and everything to do with political gamesmanship, which the mainstream media (the legacy networks, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News) concerns itself with as though it’s the most important thing they have to report on. Sure, we can have our opinions. Sure, we can write to our Congresscritters and express our opinion on the legislation they’re considering (after which, we get a nicely-printed letter on Congressional letterhead (paid for by the taxpayers) telling us basically “I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do, and screw you if you don’t like it”). But in the end, it’s not our fight. True, we have to live with the outcome, but we really have nothing to do with it.

Anyway, getting back to whatever it was I was saying…

There was an adage a long time ago: “Religion and politics have no place in polite conversation.” The best way to deal with family and friends who have opposing viewpoints is not to focus on them (the differences, not the people). I think all of us need to learn to change the subject. Your family and your friends are your loved ones. When you’re together with them, the focus should be on each other, not on things that total strangers are doing in Washington.

Okay? Okay!

26 thoughts on “#FPQ 197: Keep Politics Out Of It

  1. Right on, John! This post is one of the most commonsensical pieces I’ve read re: politics. I don’t discuss politics or religion but I feel that politics in the US is shameful. My two cents…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know my stance in politics which goes against your beliefs but you are so right and eloquent that we should not get to the point where people destroy, pillage and kill others which happened 1 yr ago. It’s so sad that the media became entertainment rather than just give the news like Walter Cronkite, Murrow, Reasoner etc…
    I always think of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart who were the best of friends and could be building a model airplane and, maybe, say 4 words in 4 hrs but they were on opposite sides politically. Stewart was a Republican and Fonda, a Democrat. They almost got into a major fistfight one night due to their opposing views but decided their friendship was qorth more ao they just agreed to never talk politics. They shared a ace together in the early 30s. They broke into films around the same time and they both fought in the war. J
    They both could carry on and drink like bachelors do but Stewart married and happily settled down whereas Fonda was married 4 times and was considered aloof in his relationships. They stayed true friends to the end.
    Don’t be my hubby who brings up politics and religion quite at the checkout counter at the grocery store (ughh), rather talk about other things and enjoy what we have in common.

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    1. Similarly Larry The Cable Guy and Lewis Black, and there are hundreds more. Maybe even millions. I think people should do their civic duty, learn about the candidates, make their decision, and vote on Election Day, and do so with as little discussion as possible…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep, you are right. I/we just didn’t realize the extent of what was happening and how they were doing it. Now your advice may be the right advice with family and friends, and I’m lucky I didn’t have to lose any family, but being cowed into silence (look what they are doing to Jordan Peterson) isn’t the answer, either. Cuz the left has no intention of affording us the same courtesy. 🙂 Social media has been a curse in so many ways. For others, I know it’s a blessing. But in the grand scheme of things, for humanity, a very bad thing. Happy Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Right on, John! I have friends all over the political spectrum and what we really enjoy is eating yummy food and playing board games, not yelling about issues. But on social media (other than WP), it seems that yelling about political opinions is all people want to do…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I said to Lynn a minute ago, social media will be the death of us all. The problem is we’ve given up meeting people face to face and instead prefer to shout at everyone across social media. I’ve lost count of the number of people I thought were jerks until I met them face to face.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. My family agrees with me and my “friends” who don’t cancelled me long ago. Those are the old rules unfortunately. Since social media it’s all different. Unless you hide who you are. And really never in my lifetime have we had to stand up for free speech. If you are cowed into silence the left wins. Because they will never be silent. Used to be the right was quiet but if you don’t exercise basic rights we’ll lose them. But maybe we already have. I understand your sentiment but it’s one of time past. And probably what got us here to begin with. We allowed them more and more power. It’s nearly absolute. But if it works for you you are likely personally happier. I AM limiting politics because it’s just too upsetting. 😊 cheers.

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    1. I swear, social media will be the death of us all.

      Thomas Jefferson once said “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” and I’m afraid that’s what we failed to do. We’re just now getting a glimpse into what was going on while our attentions were otherwise occupied…

      Liked by 2 people

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