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Dear Debbie: Political disagreements should not end friendships

Two+of+Muqit%E2%80%99s+friends+argue+over+who+is+right.+Muqit%E2%80%99s+friends+shouldn%E2%80%99t+talk+about+politics+any+more.+
Two of Muqit’s friends argue over who is right. Muqit’s friends shouldn’t talk about politics any more.

Two of Muqit’s friends argue over who is right. Muqit’s friends shouldn’t talk about politics any more.

Muqit Asif Khan

Muqit Asif Khan

Two of Muqit’s friends argue over who is right. Muqit’s friends shouldn’t talk about politics any more.

Rachel Goodman, Opinion Editor

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Dear Debbie: Do you have any advice on how to deal with people who have problematic political opinions? Recent events brought up opinions from friends and family that I never thought they had and are frankly opinions so vile that I might break friendships for or cut contact over. I haven’t done anything yet, I just silently sit there and nod playing dumb most of the time. Any help is appreciated!

– Political Proponent

 

Political Proponent: For the purposes of my advice, I am going to assume that the people with whom you disagree with are not in any way advocating discrimination or violence.

I think this problem is something that a lot of people experience, especially after election time. When America is so polarized it is easy to label anyone who thinks differently than us as “problematic” and see them as the complete antithesis of our own beliefs.

   I believe that when we allow ourselves to understand, or at least attempt to understand the perspective of others, we can accept their beliefs without feeling disdain for them. Unless your friends and family that you clash with politically hate America and want to see it come to an end, chances are what you want is not so different.

Democrats and Republicans both want what is best for America. You, nor your friends and family, (I’m assuming) sit in on congressional meetings, so everything that you have opinions about comes from the media. How a story is portrayed depends upon the political affiliation of said media source. Consider that before you demonize the other side of the political spectrum.

The fact that someone thinks differently than you is not a sufficient reason to abandon your friendship or kinship with them. If you cut off everyone that you disagree with politically, you will spend far too much time being angry over things you can not change.

Unless you are a member of Congress or are some other official, political agendas should not be on the forefront of your interactions with others. If you disagree with someone passionately about something, chances are no matter how much you argue with them in the Facebook comments, you are not going to change their mind.

This difference in opinion is what makes America a wonderful country. We are allowed to disagree with each other and trash talk those in power (to an extent) without fear of retribution. If we are allowed to disagree we are allowed to grow; we are allowed to change.

Politics and religion are something I personally feel should not be discussed unless it’s absolutely necessary. I suggest not bringing up politics around friends and family when you know it is going to start an argument. If they are the ones that bring it up around you, politely ask them if you can talk about something else.

If you still feel that you want to cut contact with them after you remove your distaste for their political views, then that is ultimately your decision. But personally, I see no reason for you to base your friendships on politics.

Questions for Debbie? Email her at [email protected].

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Dear Debbie: Political disagreements should not end friendships