Do you discuss politics with family, friends, and acquaintances?
As the U.S. Presidential Elections draw closer, more and more political discussions are occurring in every venue. Engaging in political discussion can be a good way to broaden your knowledge and perspective on a topic that has vast consequences for our everyday lives. At the same time, political questions can lead to heated debates; many find it difficult to remain level-headed and anger, hurt feelings, and betrayal can be the result.
It is because politics can be such a contentious topic that I’ve decided to, in the future, refrain from discussing politics with friends and family whose political views are unknown or known to be starkly different from my own. In the past few months I have seen and been involved in situations where discussion of politics turned friends into enemies, reduced someone to tears, and nearly split apart a growing couple. It was no one’s wish to turn a neutral talk about the political landscape into a divisive, hurtful experience but it happened anyway.
Political discussions with those who have similar political views can be enriching and much less often has such harmful effects on the relationships between people. Other than those, personally I see fostering positive personal and formal relationships as more important than debating politics, no matter what could be gained.
Where do you stand on this topic? Do you follow the old adage that politics should not be discussed in polite company or are you open to political debate?