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3 Rules for Keeping Peace When Politics Divide

Ah, the time of year when political news is everywhere.

The 2012 presidential election looms, and potential candidates travel the country looking for support week after week. It’s a time for thinking about where our country has been and where it should go. It’s a time when people get together and discuss the environment, health care, and unemployment. It’s a time when couples sit down and talk warmly about their hopes for the country and fill envelopes for the party they both are fervent members of.

Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? But I’m not writing about these happily politically aligned people, because they’ll agree with each other that they have no need to read this.

I’m writing about the couples who, when they talk politics, argue, yell, post competing political statements on their lawn, and slam the door on any poor fool who happens to be distributing the ‘wrong’ campaign flyer. If this is you, keep reading. If not, keep reading anyway. You’ll eventually argue with your partner about something, right?

2 Comments to
3 Rules for Keeping Peace When Politics Divide

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  1. Thanks for this.

    I am not in relationship, but I have several friends with whom we talk politics… and these people come from different ends of specter. What makes things worse is some some of them come from somehow extreme sociopolitical background.

    One of the hardest things was when I – extremelly political Czech idealist – was talking politics with my Russian friends. They are all intelligent, but they sre Russian, eurasianism rooted deeply in their DNA, they saw their country implode in a tragic mess… I cannot simply forget that their amazing empire occupied my country and we are better off now… it is a very explosive situation and it is hard not to make it personal.

    Or try to explain why you somehow agree with the Kosovo intervention to a Serb, who lived in Belgrade in 1999 and they are still traumatized. And they know too well my country is part of NATO…

    (not talking politics with friends is not option here… because we all want the same in the end. We met on various projects that promote cooperation among nations…).

    So one important thing is to know there may be “wrong in politics” (for such extremes as authoritarian regimes, terrorism, genocide…), but there is no right. There are more paths to prosperity… Nobody wants doom and gloom and destruction of our civilization. And each ideology has valid points. This should be acknowledged.

    And sometimes we just have to agree to disagree and respect the person, even if we disagree with them.

  2. I think it is a good article and just sent it to some friends, but I would try to mask the political leanings in it a bit.

    Writing about a couple sitting down to discuss “environment, health care, and unemployment” screams liberal or, at least democrat. A more neutral example would be “health care, budget deficit, the environment, and border control.”

    Just a thought to show how we can innocently insert our own political persuasions into a conversation. Of course, I’m probably being political and making a bad assumption. :-)

    Which is perhaps a point of the article.


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