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.