Politics

Has this become the most taboo subject of our generation?

Dating sites are filled with political affiliations now. If you’re this or that, swipe the other way! If your opinion is different than mine, you must be dumb or inept or perhaps both!

Being mostly a conservative in a liberal city isn’t easy. There’s a reverse form of discrimination that happens. Basically it means you may not have any conservative opinions without being looked down upon. I generally stay away from any discussion about politics because I am a minority where I live. Which is also fine, I don’t really care to discuss it anyway.

What I don’t like is someone judging me because my beliefs may be different than theirs. I have a lot of beliefs and they don’t all fall into one “name tag” of political affiliation. I am not definitively right or left as a whole. This causes a lot of judgement on both sides of the political fence. I also believe, I can have different beliefs that do not affect personal relationships – or at least that’s my opinion. I think it’s sad to watch how polarized people become when they find out you are not firmly planted on “their side”.

My tactic, therefore, is avoidance. But it doesn’t always work that way.

I was at lunch the other day with friends I’ve know for some time. There was one new friend at the table. Politics came up about the recent debates and We had some general(and amicable) discussions which we all agreed upon. Soon after I walked away and later found out one friend turned to the new friend and said “you know Madeline is a xx (not their affiliation)”. She was delivering a very negative message in an unkind way, trying generate some kind of negativity towards me. The new friend basically said “all are welcome and I love M”.

I was upset when the other friend confided this to me. Why would one friend feel the need to tell the new friend my political beliefs with a negative connotation? To make matters worse, she was wrong. But now I question if I can trust this friend of mine. I know she is pigeon-holeing me as a conservative but she’s wrong. I’ve corrected her on more than one occasion but she’s stubborn in her view. To note, this friend and I get along REALLY well other than this one discussion – so I avoid it at all costs around her. But this little dig caught me off guard.

I think there’s so much wrong with American Politics right now, but my opinion on what should or can be done is probably different than someone else’s. The thing is, it doesn’t matter much to me what your affiliation is as long as you don’t judge mine. But I see this isn’t the case for everyone and I hope it doesn’t cost me a friendship.

I questioned the friend with the comment and she told an different story. She said she was trying to steer the conversations away from negativity. This doesn’t make sense in the context of the group and I don’t believe her. But I let it drop by reminding her what she said was incorrect. She agreed she misunderstood my stance.

I like my friend so much I have considered just agreeing with her. Nodding my head to her rhetoric and telling her I feel the same, just to keep the peace. But is it really a true friendship if you have to do so?

I’m not posting to press my agenda or hear another. I’m simply sad about what my friend did because it feels like it came from a place of ill intent.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

7 thoughts on “Politics”

  1. When you say you are conservative how much so? Like on a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the most conservative possible. I grew up conservative and religious but I am neither today. Honestly I don’t even think I could date someone who was either unless they were very moderate. What I think it comes down to is a person can be very passionate and feel strongly about certain topics. Dating someone who disagrees with your stances is hard especially with such a polarizing election year we have right now. A lot of it comes down to your core beliefs and usually couples share those.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As a liberal person, I really appreciated reading “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right”, a 2016 book by sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. Hochschild, a Berkeley sociologist and self-described liberal, sought out connections and networks with Tea Party Republicans in rural Louisiana during Obama’s second term, then followed up with her new friends after Trump was elected. She used empathy as a tool to learn how her friends had developed their values and beliefs. She emerged still holding true to her own values (if not holding firmer) but demonstrates how we can disagree without disrespecting or normalizing attitudes or beliefs that we feel are contrary to ours. It’s both a remarkable piece of scholarship and personal testimony, and I recommend it to all of my friends (since 95% of them are liberal). I would love to learn if there is a similar piece of scholarship from a right-leaning thinker, although I see how certain conservative or formerly conservative writers like David Frum and David Brooks try to incorporate empathy in everything they now write. As for the interactions we have in real life, well, people are hurting right now. I try to be empathetic and remember that when someone I care about says something divisive or reactive. and then I try to hold them accountable. M, if you can tell your friend that what you heard trickle back was really hurtful, and remind her how you try hard to not make politics a wedge issue, you might get through and actively begin to heal this divide, a person at a time. Even though we aren’t friends IRL, I love that I have you in my life for many reasons, one of which is that I know we will probably disagree at the ballot box but we can still respect and find joy in each other.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I think I’m completely middle of the road. I am very socially Liberal and always have been – so a lot of the outspoken issues around gender rights, women’s rights etc I am fully aligned with. Fiscally is different for me, though I’m still not above a 5 conservative. People who know me well know that my politics do not affect my daily human interaction. I would do anything I could to help or support someone regardless of their political stance. I just wish my opinion didn’t polarize others because I don’t believe in everything they believe in. I just don’t see it as black and white though I understand many do

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  2. OMG… I am seeing people I’ve known for decades losing their minds over the current state of politics; my step-dad actually blamed Trump for my mother needing emergency surgery to repair a dissected aorta (which would – and probably should – have killed her but didn’t)! On Facebook, people are bitching about being unfriended due to political views and all manner of political ranting and raving is taking place and to the point where my newsfeed is being dominated by political shit. My son-in-law is pro-Trump – well, I always knew there was something I never liked about him – and I’m a life-long Democrat… and while I’ll listen to him going on and on about “all the good” Trump has done, I pretty much ignore it, will disagree with his assessment, or just stop talking to him should he start going off the deep end with his political views.

    There’s a reason why they say that one of the things you never discuss with anyone is politics; it can turn friends into enemies fairly quickly, divide whole families along political lines, and just set the stage for some really bad moments. I rarely make political statements about anything because I have better things to do other than getting into arguments over political points of view. What I will do and have done since I was old enough to vote is to do just that: Vote. Because at the end of the day and in this case, talk is cheap and action – going to the polls and making your selection – is the best alternative unless you’re of a mind to run for office yourself, something I tend to relay to those people I know who are rabid political animals? Don’t like what’s going on? Run for office, win, and do something about it; otherwise, keep your opinions to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of this. Exactly.

      I support anyone’s opinion – as their opinion – it doesn’t need to be mine. Everyone has a right to think they way they want.

      Someone just told a friend of mine (who is in a govt role) that Trump planted the Coronavirus in China and could he please look into that and expose it! 😂

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