Leave politics out of the family
Updated: October 1, 2012 11:18AM
Are political beliefs genetically based?
I ask because it seems to me that political beliefs run in a family. Siblings tend to share the same political outlook, wherever that may be on the political spectrum.
That outlook tends to be that of their parents.
Not always, I grant you. Sometimes children are revolting. Not revolting, though sometimes they are. What I mean is they rebel against their parents and their parents’ values and adopt a polar opposite political viewpoint.
But, by and large, it has been my experience that families tend to stick together, politically speaking.
Then people get married. Spouses may share political viewpoints, but the families of spouses may not.
Thus, family gatherings often are preceded by one spouse frowningly reminding the other to, “Remember, no politics!’’
This is good advice.
No amount of brilliant, incisive, cogent argument on your part will persuade an in-law to give up his commie or fascist (select the appropriate slander) ways. All that will result is shouting across the dinner table and one volcanic row when you get home and are reminded, “I thought I said no politics!’’
I bring all this up because the presidential election is simmering and soon will reach full boil. Feelings are running high — higher than in previous elections, it seems to me.
Everyone has chosen a side.
Those people who say they are undecided are lying, maybe even to themselves.
In this climate, a family political argument could get very ugly and have ramifications that last beyond the election.
WON’T CHANGE MINDS
I recommend you don’t have such arguments. People know what they think. You’re not going to change your in-laws’ minds — even though it’s clear as Windexed glass that they are wrong.
And they aren’t going to change your mind, because you are right. And who would knowingly go from right to wrong?
So, when you’re at a family gathering, stick to less controversial topics.
Oh, for instance, religion.
Or, maybe how heavy one or the other members of the family has gotten.
You know, less explosive topics than politics.