Family Politics

Courtney Cordoza
Staff Writer

PC: National Cancer Institute

It is difficult to be apolitical in 2019. With the Trump Administration in office, there has been a surge of political activism. That activism then leads to debates. While these debates can be civil and educational, they can also quickly turn sour. This is especially true between family members. Discussions with those outside of your political affiliation can be like dancing on thin ice. People can become offended by something you say. A belief that may be accepted among most in a party can be highly criticized in the other. It is a thin line to walk but it is possible to do so gracefully and with respect.

Politics among family members is often discussed when they gather together like at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Sunday dinners. Multiple news headlines come out every day. These stories are sometimes centered around the current political climate and can be controversial. One family member might casually mention the day’s top stories. Another family member will chime in with their stance on the issue. If one family member disagrees, maybe they fire back with why that person is wrong. The United States is more divided than ever and it reflects that division even between families. I think it is fine for families to discuss politics amongst one another, but they should not let it ruin their relationships.

A common example of family division is between Trump supporters and his critics. To put it modestly, Donald Trump’s presidency has been a whirlwind. It has caused countless cabinet resignations and provoked right-wing extremism and media manipulation. I, myself, did not support Trump during his election. I know people who did. Some are friends and others are family. However, I did not let this end my relationships with the individuals. I still unconditionally love and support them.

Politics can be difficult to navigate. The main constraints are between Democrats and Republicans. Sure, the United States has other political parties but they are not as acknowledged as the two mentioned. This is seen when we register to vote. We label ourselves with a political affiliation, whether it be Democrat, Republican or Independent. The act of sorting ourselves into boxes can cause division. Political parties can cause friction between families. Sometimes those debating forget the point at hand and just attack the other because they chose to label themselves under the other umbrella. Not every Democrat agrees with all of their party’s beliefs. The same goes for Republicans. It is okay to identify with a party without believing in every little thing it stands for.

On the other hand, some people try to stay out of politics, especially if it involves family. I, personally, like to stay out of talking about politics among family members. Sometimes it is best to keep political debates with family to a minimum. It is good to have a healthy balance of political news. Too much of one thing can cause unwanted stress. That is not to stay one should not stay up-to-date with the news. It is still important to be informed. This is very important when it comes to election season. They can significantly shape our future. Discussing current affairs with family members can bring a person insight into candidates and how it affects our everyday lives. There is no specific formula to debating politics with family members. It all depends on the circumstances.

It is best to observe the family dynamic. It is all about knowing your audience. Some people may not want to debate politics with you. Others might encourage it. Depending on the environment, discussing current events can be an enriching experience. It helps us connect to one another and see things from a different perspective. As long as the debates do not insult the individuals, they can be helpful.

Categories: Opinions

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