Friday, November 14, 2014

Let's Get Political


So, who wants to get political? I can see everyone running for the doors right now! Everyone avoids speaking of politics, religion, or anything else that tends to give rise to anger at normally jovial family dinners. 

I'm sure my political orientation is no secret to most people. I am a very liberal person. 

Wait! Don't automatically unfollow my blog, my dear conservative friends! After all, I have many conservative friends, and the vast majority of my family is conservative. I guess I'm just the oddball ;)

I am writing this because I don't understand why politics separate people so much. It seems as if two people could have everything in the world in common, but if they are of different political persuasions they automatically become mortal enemies. 

That's so insane to me. Several of my blogging friends are conservative, and I love their blogs every bit as much as my liberal friend's blogs. I think friendships should trump political differences. But the problem is, they too often do not. 

Why do we take it so personal when someone is of a different political persuasion than us? Why do we automatically feel the need to try to change someone's mind when their political orientation doesn't fall in line with ours? 

I think the problem arises due to the fact that we always believe we are right. I mean let's face it, when do we ever want to admit that we are wrong? That goes for liberals and conservatives both. So when someone is of a different political persuasion than us, we automatically think "I am right, they are wrong". 

But where does that type of thinking really get us? Why can't we just simply say "I have my beliefs, you have your beliefs, so let's just leave it at that, shake hands, and have a beer together". Or if beer is not your thing, maybe a martini (shaken, not stirred). 

Seems as if this approach would save a lot of friendships :) 

Why do you think we get so easily offended when it comes to our politics? Are you able to have close friendships with people whose political opinions differ from yours?

122 comments:

  1. I guess it's because it encompasses so many beliefs, views, and morals. And it depends how far one direction a person is. Polar opposites might be challenged to be friends as there won't be any common ground.

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  2. i can tell you that i try never to say a word with my husband in the room about politics.. he gets furious and shouts and carries on because he is right and i am wrong... we see opposite on almost all politics.. as for outside the home and on blogs or public media i keep my opinions to my self

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  3. Hi Keith - we all see things through our own lens on the world ... but I'd rather people made up their minds and promoted values that will benefit us all - not just 'their own' or to better their path ...

    I do get cross when people jump ship - as we're getting here ... without the new real values being spelt out - or for that matter known ... but really the first para applies ...

    Why on earth can't we work for the common good and spread peace ... cheers Hilary

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  4. political discussions have been known to cause many a fight and tears. That's why I stay out of that arena!

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  5. I am able to have friendships with conservatives. However, politics are NEVER discussed with my conservative friends. Unfortunately, for liberals such as myself, the reason I get so angry is because my political opinions are tied so darn closely with issues that are very, very important to me. Issues such as marriage equality, protecting the only planet we have, destroying this infuriating system that is widening the gap between the top 1% and the devastatingly poor. The reason this topic is taboo and is normally avoided is because people do feel so passionately. It doesn't surprise me that other people feel just as strongly about the issues that are close to their own hearts. They are entitled to that, just as I am. Me, being an extremely stubborn person, realizes that no one is going to change MY opinions and I don't want conservatives to even try. Therefore, I afford others the same courtesy and hope they extend the same to me. This is the reason why the topic of politics is something I do not tread on with the majority of people.

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  6. YOU ARE FABULOUS!
    Great post . . .let's shake hands on that . . .

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  7. People have forgotten how to discuss issues. I enjoy political conversations, and the worst conversations are with my conservative friends. I enjoy the friendly give and take with my liberal friends where we both gain a little understanding of the others position. Discuss not argue and political conversations can be enlightened (I've been sitting on such a post for until election fervor dies down.) Unless you are dealing with idiots, both sides have legitimate points. Part of the problem is we paint with the broad brush.
    Taxes good! Taxes bad! When the discussion should be what level of taxes are good and when do they get bad.
    Discussion generally requires face to face, back and forth via email or comments usually gets dicey.

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  8. As I have aged, I have mellowed in many ways and one is that I don't get upset with quite as upset with politics. I have to deal with people of all political strips and have friends on both side. Although many think I am fairly liberal, most are surprised because from one issue to another, I will swing left to right and back to the left...

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  9. I agree with Alex. I think it has to do with the values and morals involved. When it's just disagreeing over a movie, nothing is at stake. But when politics come into play, whole belief systems and the kind of world we want to live in comes into play.

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  10. I never ask about another persons political affiliations...or their religion....if it comes up in conversation it is just an interesting thing about that person...it has no bearing on if I want to be their friend or not.

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  11. You are a brave soul Keith considering how seriously Americans take their politics.
    I am one who feels that politics enters every facet of our lives. We can't get away from the fact that what we eat, say, do, pray, love.....it comes down to politics.

    So for me, I find it a very difficult notion that I ought to be 'friends' with someone who has totally opposite views than. What would be the point in my view.
    I must say that with social media available today it would and is easy to have 'friends' who think differently. But in my 'real life'/day to day living, I do not seek out people in which I have nothing in common as far as important values and beliefs go.
    It's just the way it is. to have meaningful relationships with anybody entails a lot of honesty and sharing of common beliefs.

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  12. I enjoy political discussions with people with different viewpoints as well as people who share my viewpoints as long as opinions are exchanged as just that and as long as others remain respectful of my opinions as I am respectful of theirs. So many cannot do this. When discussion begins argument, time to walk away..... And with some people I just know there can be no discussion, so best to discuss the weather with them. Smiles.

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    1. Yes, Mary! Respect for another's viewpoint is as important as the material of the discussion. There are those who will argue until the cows come home, trying to "win" you over to their way of thinking, instead of appreciating someone else's ideas. I avoid talking about religion/politics with people like that...because it's just not worth it.

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  13. Most of us Brits don't take politics anywhere near as seriously - most politicians are a joke anyway - they don't deserve any serious consideration.

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  14. It is sad to see that religions and political views separate so many people. As you probably know I am very liberal and I just want to accept people the way they are and be nice to everybody (except animal abusers etc. of course). I have been judged for my views of the world but I really don't care. I mean, I just want people to live the life they want, as long as they do not hurt anybody else.

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  15. I consider myself a liberal too, but I don't look at any issue as just black and white. I think most of the problems in our country are very complex, and thinking in pure "liberal" or "conservative" mindsets will not solve any of them.

    In my family, most (but not all) of my generation is pretty liberal, while all of the older generation is conservative. The upshot: I try to stay away from Facebook at election time!

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  16. I definitely don't fit in the conservative arena! A bit of a misfit in my part of the country, too. I've experienced belittling comments when I have expressed my opinion which is different from the opinions I have just been witnessing. Such a sad state of affairs! Each day is a challenge to live following the example of Christ. That is my daily goal. Have a good Friday, Keith.

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  17. I can get along with conservative friends and family. I just hate the ones who will spark a debate just to be a jerk. My brother is very anti-Obama, and every time he sees me he'll bring something up.

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  18. I think a lot of people argue passionately about politics because it is a part of who they are. Some people even develop a sort of blind devotion to their political party.

    If both sides are willing to take a political disagreement from an intellectual, rational standpoint where they are discussing views while respecting, not insulting, each other, it can be interesting.

    I'm from a conservative background with some libertarian leanings, and I can find some points that I agree with the strongest conservatives on, and others where I can get along with the liberals. I think the key is to keep one's eyes open to flaws and good points in every persuasion.

    Finding a person who is wrong on everything is almost as hard as finding a person who is right about everything!

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  19. In a perfect world tolerance would be a two way street...reality is seldom much like that. I avoid politics now for the most part and focus on things that unite, many of my other friends do not. This is their choice and they are free to make that choice as I'm free to make mine.

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  20. Kudos Keith, my thoughts exactly.

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  21. Politics isn't a two way street. Just look at how our politicians act in Washington D.C.

    I don't have many liberal friends. I hate to hear the words ignorant, racist, and a bunch of other words that seem to be the talking points. So, I have pretty much removed myself from those liberal folks that really believe their way is the only way and then act the opposite of what they claim to believe. Conservatives are supposed to be tolerant of everything and everyone, but not liberals. They have a pass to hate people like Sarah Palin, anything Fox News and the list goes on and on. And hate they do.

    Good question. Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  22. I may be wrong here but over the years I've noticed that some people have been voting for the same political parties as their parents ali their lives. It was ingrained in them to vote for the party and not the issues. The Catholic would vote Liberal and the Protestants would vote Conservative.

    Somehow religion has been intertwined in there. I also noticed that younger people are voting more on issues rather than the party of their parents choice. They are more educated and open minded perhaps...

    I just wish that both parties would put their heads together to built the country as oppose to demolish what the other party has built. It takes a long time to built but a very short time to demolish. Our money would be better spent. It would be nice if we all compromised and all met in the middle.

    We all have the same basic needs and although our opinions are different, we need to learn to respect each others and work together.

    I have friends of different opinion than mine and that's OK. They are still my friends even though they don't see things as I see them.

    A great subject again Keith.
    Hugs,
    JB


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  23. I think you are right, everyone wants to be right. I really try to get along with everyone and sometimes agree to disagree.

    Betty

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  24. Politics can cause wars, as can religion. A shame, isn't it that intellectual analysis and tolerance seems to go out the window, especially with those two subjects. Canadians have the same problem. I just vote and don't advertise my beliefs or political leanings. (but I am from the west coast. . , I prefer their most lenient ideas and their love of environment)

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  25. I couldn't agree more. I think the main problem is that everyone else is so unreasonable...

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  26. Oh my I work with ultra conservative folks. They are Born Again Christians, and believe the Bible is real, and the only word to live by. Of course it's an art school, so we have some students that are gay, some that are liberal... I work with 1 lady that is Jewish, and another guy that's Atheist. The Born Again Christians try and convert the Jewish and Atheist all the time. Instead of shaking hands someone gets pissed.

    I defend the students the best I can, and wonder why ultra conservative people work at an art school. They can work where ever they want. They certainly shouldn't be surprised that people do not hold their same belief system republican/conservatives.

    I'm mixed. With politics I think so much of it revolves around money, and greed. It's hard to know who to trust. Here they are leaders. We should be able to trust them - either party. It would be great in my opinion (this will never happen) if backers would be taken out of the equation all together. I just want to hear their stance, and what they will do for the people. Just have speaches/debates on TV. No commercials. Just interrupted TV time that's on all major stations.

    We get people like John Edwards that pulls the charm, and uses backed money in a greedy way. I just think they turn greedy. That's any profession with money as a big part of it.

    I'm not really for any main party. I kind of think the majority of them bash each other, and get greedy.

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  27. I tend to swing too the right. But I don't agree with all the rights beliefs.
    I like a good debate over politics, religion, the make of car you drive....lol etc.
    I have never got a black eye or given one in these conversations. Ha! :)
    Cheri

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  28. i lean liberal, but i can usually see both sides of the aisle. i wish congress could work together.

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  29. Yes I have and someones are terribles:))
    I have my ideas of course and believe in some things but I dont fight by politcal, I understand sometimes is imposibble talk with someones, here is the same Keith is not more diffrent than USA!

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  30. I know where I stand, I love life, and wouldn't kill anything. I am certainly not a conservative.

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  31. I certainly hope so. I'm married to a conservative. We think of it as canceling one another out when we vote...or...even better, sneaking off to vote and saying we didn't. ;-)

    That said, politics and religion have ruined many a relationship and it's very sad, indeed, when someone is so closed minded (and self righteous) that they will not respect another soul's viewpoint.

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  32. I don't really know why this is so! From many, I just keep my political beliefs to myself. Because there are a LOT of Republicans around here, so I am definitely in the minority. Maybe in a way, our political beliefs define who we are. Back in the sixties, everyone called the two parties Hawks and Doves. I am a totally leftist Dove for sure.

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  33. Usually I don't know their political standing, so it is not a problem.

    HOWEVER, my husband's sister is massively liberal. Even in her late 50s, the family members find it so easy to "bait" her, and relax to enjoy the rant. Sigh.

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  34. i rarely get political on social media----a fb friend put up the funniest thing today---it went something like---"i am saving a bundle on Christmas by talking politics on facebook" :)

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  35. I think people have emotions attached to their political opinions and so they tend to engage emotionally in debates/discussions making them about more than merely presenting facts or discussing issues. You can buy me a beer Keith :)

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  36. For the life of me I do not understand it either...why can't we just live and let live and enjoy that we have differences that make life interesting. In all social matters I try very hard to not discuss religion and politics because of how it makes people act. I had no idea you were liberal wink wink

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  37. I'm as conservative as they come. In fact, when a very good friend was interviewed about me by the Feds for a secret clearance, he told them that John Wayne was left of me. But, this very same dear friend, a man whom I've known for 49 years, is also as liberal as they come. I wouldn't trade his friendship for anything. We just avoid talking politics and have no problem doing so. As you'll probably figure, I have little problem talking about silly things. By the way? This friend is left of Al Franken. I love the guy, though.

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  38. One of my sons is a Republican but I still love him.

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  39. Oh, I agree with you! We don't have to agree with each other, but we can still respect each other's views. Having said that, I have to confess to not being able to keep this viewpoint when it comes to racist and extremist views! My policy then is noll tolerance.

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  40. My partner is just now out drinking with his best friend, they love mothing more than arguing about politics, they disagree violently on many (though not all) political issues, but always listen to what the other has to say.

    I also have friends who have different political opinions to me and it's fine, we generally agree to disagree.

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  41. A very apropos post so soon after the recent elections. I'm sure I've had quite a few people "unfollow" me on Facebook over the past few weeks leading up to November 4th! I do have friends (and family) of opposite political persuasions; their degree of belief tends to dictate how close I am with them. I have very strong moral convictions on certain issues, and I've found that I can't be but so close to people who hold an antithetical position on those issues. But more often than not, there is common ground to find even between two vastly different people, so my political leanings generally only affect deep friendships and not acquaintances.

    Now if the media, politicians and people in general could stop with the mud-slinging and hypocrisy, maybe it wouldn't be such a heated topic in the U.S.!

    P.S. I always find it funny when people try to label me for one side or another. I've got some oddball views that don't always put me firmly on one side, and it's amusing to see people's faces when they realize I don't "fit" into their preconceived notions!

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  42. I'll try tpo get along with anyone/everyone. But it can be difficult. If someones political beliefs cause them to have a negative assumption about my own worth or the human worth or potential of others .. it will be difficult. If they insist on supporting a policy that takes care of the few with the most yet rides the backs of the many with less to zero.. its difficult. But these days.. in the UK anyway.. the parties are not as different as we may like to believe. Corporations and banks seem to run things theses days.. government facilitates the process. So in truth.. we should all get along.. because we're all in the same boat really.

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  43. You are so right, Keith. We all think we are right, and that becomes more important than relationship.

    We got a letter to the editor from a woman who was handing out sample ballots outside the polls in my town on Election Day. She is a Democrat. A couple refused to take the ballot, which is fine. Their reason? Because they were Republicans and Christians and Democrats weren't Christians.

    Needless to say, I live in a very conservative area and I feel out of place.

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  44. I hate politics. Our relatives try to tell us how to vote. some time we feel like someone has each arm pulling different directions. We just vote how we want and don't say much about it. hee hee They'll never know, will they?

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  45. I'm always right because I've always been right. I've always been a conservative voter...here in the Land of Oz...the Liberals are the conservatives unlike up your way.

    I have friends who are of a different political persuasion to me...but we can't all be right all the time, can we? *wink* and a *smile*

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  46. such a prickly topic! i'm a progressive liberal and had a lot of friends from my workplace who obviously thought like me. my friends aren't really political and really bounce around both the political spectrums depending on the issue. Some of my family are conservative and some people I met recently, I think, are conservative but we don't talk about it because we're not that close. I think for me though it really disheartens me when there is a lot of disrespect shown. People can agree to disagree on issues and policies but sometimes it gets really ugly.. I'm baffled when conservative friends think that's funny or don't think nothing of it at all. I think if an affiliation I was a part of did something that I truly felt was wrong I would speak up. sometimes people politics to the next level and it just gets out of hand..

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  47. It is a head scratcher isn't it ... and if we could indeed do as you suggest we would certainly have world peace . Hmm so is politics the root of all evil ~hmm still scratching my head on that one lol

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  48. Politics and religion are both minefields. And I wish they weren't. How I wish it.

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  49. I do have friends of opposite views in politics & religion.

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  50. Personally, I couldn't give a flying fig (a saying from Down Under!) what political persuasion someone is. Nor do I care what colour you are, or what you do for an occupation. As long as you tread lightly on the earth and are kind to animals, that's just fine with me.

    You have a terrific weekend too! :)

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  51. Well---I lost a good blog friend one year by trying to talk to her (emails) about politics... She immediately wiped me off of her list. From that day on, I try not to get in a discussion about politics. We all have opinions ---and you are right. WHY can't we just agree to disagree? Why does it become so personal?

    I was an independent and have some conservative beliefs and some liberal beliefs. I voted for Clinton --but I also voted for Bush... I have tried to vote for the 'man/woman' and not the party...

    The saddest thing is that so many Americans don't keep up with the issues and don't really know what is happening. I personally think our country is in terrible shape and just getting worse. We are divided more now than we have ever been... Everything is now called racist or sexist --no matter how a person feels. We are AMERICANS --not one race or the other; not one sex or the other, etc...

    The best Presidents (no matter which party) we have ever had are ones who had the leadership skills to get the two parties (and Congress) to come together and compromise. Clinton did this well... And the country did much better during those years. I pray that we can get back to those great years...

    My prayer is that all of us will 'quit' talking which party we are ---and work together to make our country the best it can be.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  52. The only way I have found to be friends with people who have different political opinions than me is to not talk about it often. Every now and then it is a healthy discussion but not always. Politics, like religion, is so personal, you cant and shouldn't impose it on others, but we can't help it, can we :-)

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  53. unfortunately politics affects our daily lives and livelihood and our country's well being and that's why folks get so worked up about it, laws are passed which affect people's struggle just to keep afloat, the sad thing is no matter conservative or liberal, I think most if not all politicians should be out of office as they have little or no loyalty or work ethic of working for the people but only for their own rich contributors, lobbyists, their ideals or egos when their job is to work for the good of the people and the good of the country and within the framework of the existing laws and constitution.

    Religions can also affect our lives, too much evil has and is done in the name of God(s)

    I consider myself an independent because I'd much rather examine each issue with fresh eyes and not be persuaded to sway myself by other's opinions of what is the correct way to go or think

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  54. I have a friend who was a politician for the equivalent of your Republican Party, but we don't discuss politics. But conservative politicians and at times voters come across as less caring to me. They are usually successful and because they are, they see no reason why everyone else can't be, taking no account of humans being very different and not everyone has been so fortunately equipped for life as they have been. Of the many blogs I read, most are not conservative type voters and I doubt I would read or connect with them if they were. The people I connect with are kind, caring, intelligent and generally want a better society and environment for everyone.

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  55. We should all be able to discuss everything. From religion to politics passing Football.
    I think I would like to live on ancient times where philosophers, and not only, gathered to discuss, disagree without the biles we witness when we try to.
    I'm ok with friends and family. Being the oddball I guess they think (again!) "here she goes" ;) and let me ramble but discussion, really discussing, no one wants. And it's bad. Not because they miss the oportunity of learning what's (MY) right ahahahahah (kidding) but because suddenly there are so many don't-discuss items that we loose the touch of speaking, arguing, even patching.
    See why I'm so happy with virtual world? WE didn't loose the habit and touch.
    Answering (finnaly!) your questions:
    1 - Ego, really. Since we "can't" discuss we want all our way and not be bothered ;)
    2 - Yes. And not agreeing with them or them with me. Sometimes I'm to blame on the state things are. Other times they are ahahahah but we deal with it and wait our (party) turn.
    Wishing you a lovely and happy weekend,
    Teresa

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  56. It's bit different over here Keith (well anywhere I lived and that's been a few completely different areas of Oz) quite often unless the conversation was specific, I wouldn't know what political persuasion a person or friend was. I have noted though a lot of Aussies these days are swinging voters. In many circles (by no means all) political discussions in social settings are an unspoken no-no. Perhaps once, it may have gotten lively and that's why. But, I've never known of friendships to be split or tense because of political beliefs. What an interesting subject!

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  57. In most areas I am quite liberal, but there are a couple issues where I am very conservative... this tends to confuse people. Is she or isn't she?
    Being friends with people who have dissimilar beliefs, having political discussions with them; these things have never been a problem for me BUT I also give fair warning: Don't ask my honest opinion if that's not what you really want to hear!
    Why does it become a problem? Because most people still have an 'us' and 'them' worldview rather than an 'I' and 'Thou'.

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  58. If you let something like that get in the way or a friendship, you shouldn't be friends anyway.

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  59. Not only do I have close friends whose political views are the complete opposite of mine, but I've been married to one of them for more than 45 years. Although I disagree with a lot of the right wing rhetoric they sometimes spew, I refuse to be drawn into an argument with them. Nothing I say is going to change their minds, so I simply accept that our beliefs aren't the same and let it go at that.

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  60. Politics kind of defines who you are as a person. What you want on a large scale says a lot about you. I think that's why we can be so offended when our political opinions clash. Not to mention deep down we all think we're right. I could probably be friends with someone who had differing political opinions. We'd just have to make sure not to talk politics.

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  61. It is odd that we take it so personally, and get upset when someone isn't in our political party or have our political views. We are given different brains for a reason...to be different. It's dumb to judge someone or hate someone just because they are conservative or liberal. I have friends in every political party and I don't mind their views. I usually just talk politics to my close family though, because I know how uppity people can get.

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  62. It's easier to get people on your side if you appeal to their emotions and desire to win, which is what politics has devolved to lately. I honestly think the best way to approach things is by questioning everything and never assuming anyone is right.

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  63. Yes, I am conservative and have liberal friends. When we discuss politics we never let it get out of hand. If we see that it is, everyone backs off because the friendship is more important. I'd suggest just refraining from political discussions if you know you are from different parties.

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  64. In politics there's winning involved. Any strategy that brings about a win and power is OK.

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  65. Haha. Well, if we didn't think we were right, we'd join the other party, wouldn't we. :-) I love discussing politics. What I don't like is when people can't discuss without starting to throw in personal attacks (obviously because their argument is sinking), and then they get mad. Our son in law is very liberal and we're both conservative. We have great discussions, almost never agreeing, or I should say agreeing on very little. E.g. I don't think there should be such a huge and ever-growing burden on the taxpayer to fund things with little accountability. In spite of our differences, we love each other and always enjoy each other's company. But I DO think the discussions need to be held. How else could we possibly progress??

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  66. I was liberal back in my 20s. Then I shifted to conservative. Now, I think that the game is rigged by the International Bankers. For the most part, it really doesn't matter what party is President, which party controls the Senate or House. All of the politicians are going to do what the people holding the money strings want them to do. It will just be PRESENTED differently depending upon who is delivering the news (but the outcome remains the same). Knowing this... makes it ever so much easier to overlook people's ideas on liberalism vs. conservatism.

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  67. Yes I do but probably because we don't go there. They won't change me, I won't change them but for a ton of other reasons, I find them to be delightful people to be around. One belief should not define us.

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  68. Great Blog Keith.
    I think people have had hurtful experiences where they didn't feel listened to in the past and they don't want to repeat them.
    I appreciate the diversity of opinions and views of liberals and conservatives and both major political parties. My husband is on the complete opposite end of the political spectrum from me and we have had many difficult and emotional discussions about politics. I have learned that I can love him no matter how similar or different he is to me. I have learned more about myself in these discussions than I could have hoped for at the time. (just don't tell him, haha!) I appreciate you opening the door on what has become easier not to touch. We can work together instead of judging and fighting each other and our resources multiply. Happy Weekend Keith. Hugs!

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  69. Excellent questions and thoughts. I often wondered that but many become passionate about their beliefs and if we disagree they feel their values and morals are being questioned. It is all intertwined in some strange bewildering way. When a person then questions why you believe other than they do and you try to state why, they just can't understand and continue pressing and then ..blammo. Henry Fonda and James Stewart were great friends and they only argued once-over politics. Fonda was a Democrat and Stewart was a Republican. After, they realized to keep the friendship they could never speak about politics again...and they never did.

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  70. I have one friend, all the way from 3rd grade, who is of a very different political persuasion than moi. He (affectionately) calls me a hippie.

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  71. Must have got engrained in people's brain or something. What has either side really done lately? Nadda, squabble and give themselves raises that is it. All a bunch of liars and basically legalized con men. I've seen people fight over what party like they owned it. They fight over their party more than they do for their kid or job or whatever. Next to religion its the only other thing people really seem to fight over like they are never ever just can't be wrong. Ad no matter who runs, even if they are a sleezeball, ooh they are so great because they are my party, pfffffft is all I can say. People need to open their damn eyes and not be blinded but some belief that doesn't hold true anymore. Believe and corporate greed and kickbacks and then you may get somewhere lol

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  72. People say it's a dirty politics but in reàlity it's dirty players. I stronģly feel friendships should trump political differences.

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  73. I'm running for the door!
    (bleeding heart liberal here, lol)

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  74. I just keep my opinions to myself. In this and others matters too... :-) Friendships are more important than such things... :-)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  75. I would rather have a diet vanilla coke together. ;) Differences in politics can definitely raise a ruckus sometimes. Especially on Facebook... eek.

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  76. I flippantly call myself a moderate anarchist, and one of my oldest friends is conservative. It's kind of funny given he came from a household of Democrats and my family is generally Republican. Of course, this is the same friend who is born again, and yet I call myself a heretical Tibetan Buddhist. We're friends and we talk for intellectual conversation. As friends, more than once, we have had to agree to disagree.

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  77. I think people get upset for one of two reasons: either they cannot control their anger or they take it too personally. I have great friends, and several do not have the same political views as mine. I am able to discuss it calmly and encourage others to do the same.

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  78. I have a wide variety of friends and acquaintances with different beliefs and different political views. I am a very liberal person, and I know very conservative people. And we get along just fine because we agree to disagree. I don't care what people believe, or what politics they follow as long as they don't hurt anyone or force their agenda on others. I love your philosophy on this; I follow the same one. Accept differences, and live and let live.

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  79. If we didn't love our country, none of this would matter. I think everyone thinks their guy has all the answers. The thing is, neither side has all the answers.

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  80. This is one question I keep pondering. I have no idea. In India, Politics is a biiiiiiiiiiiiig deal. So many parties!

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  81. Nope, as long as they aren't constantly shoving their belief down my throat, we can be friends. It's ok to have differences, but at the end of the day, I am not going to argue with someone over what our government officials do. It's not like us fighting about it among ourselves is going to change the way things are ran anyway.

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  82. I agree with you but can see both sides of this question. Sometimes, as in the Quebec Referendum of 1995 (I was there), a vote one way or the other had the potential to change life quite dramatically. With some, a calm discussion was possible, but for others, emotions ran too high to discuss differences rationally. It was a tense time. I imagine this happens to an even greater degree in some of the conflicts world wide.

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  83. Politics is related to governance, and encompasses morals and virtues, so deeply that it gets rooted into our systems and beliefs.

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  84. I like to think I am tolerant of other political views but all too frequently it seems others are not tolerant of mine! The recent Scottish Referendum was incredibly confrontational for example. A wise speaker said the two sides had one thing in common, they both thought the other side was wrong. It sometimes makes you despair of Democracy.

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  85. I tried your method with a family member, and that person disowned me. I showed up on the doorstep two years later, and that person acted as if nothing had happened. What a waste of time over a difference of opinion.

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  86. It's all entertainment. All politicians belong to the same school when they are reaching for the high ranks. Perhaps a stary-eyed patriot wll grab voter attention but there are no Mr. Smith's in Washington anymore.

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  87. i truly think i am one in a million ... why i think my blog works but i think a lot of people don't like me for my open-ness & my belief that we can all agree to disagree. i appreciate it all. i think if you talk about it ... give the people all sides of the issues ... they should at least listen ... why not? it does not mean you have to agree.

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  88. I never talk about politics -- avoid people who do -- and am very LUCKY that I have close friends and family that never discuss it either :) Plus the Un-Friend button on FB is ALWAYS a nice thing -- especially between mid-October until 2 days after election day *wink* :)

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  89. such wise words here, Keith. The world would have no wars if people didn't need to be right and try to convert everyone else to their beliefs.

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  90. I have zero problem with anyone else's political beliefs, so long as they don't harm anyone (and in most circumstances they do not).

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  91. I think people writing about politics are very less in blogs. I ever face any debate on politics in blog, though I am interested in politics. I ever belong to any party and I criticize and also welcome good deeds whoever does to people in need.

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  92. This post has really opened my eyes, Keith.
    I can honestly say, with hand on heart, that I have never ever bothered one iota what political beliefs a person has.
    The only time it does bother me, is if I am with someone who is attempting to push their views onto me.
    I am a strictly live and let live person so, hey, when it comes to politics...let's all just agree to differ when necessary and get on with living together in harmony! :)

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  93. I don't like to talk or read people's opinions about politics. Even if I share the thoughts, that's just one subject I prefer to keep private and between myself and the poll ballot. I don't know why I am that way..I think it is because of how hateful and mean some people get during the elections and even now spilling over to a daily thing..like on social media.

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  94. Golden words, Keith! Many people want to change someone's mind and they firmly believe that are always right. I'm not fond of politics, and try to admit everyone opinion.

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  95. I just read this morning that Capitalism is the exploitation of man...by man.
    Socialism is just the opposite.

    A lot of the disdain on political views comes from the media....bickering and fighting in Congress....having nothing to do with serving the people by working for them....but trying to save the PARTY instead of what people need...giving us all negative images. And it shouldn't be that way...man, BY man...no matter conservative or liberal...we as a people should work together as should Congress.

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  96. I think it's because people have a need to be right and they also have a need to make others see things their way and agree with them because they think they are right even when there are two or three ways of looking a situation where several answers could be the right ones.

    I'm liberal but not completely. I have my thoughts on certain things and I don't vote with my particular party just because that's what they believe.

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  97. My ideologies influence my choice of political inclination. I firmly believe in political debates since it helps to form informed opinions...and opinions change, revolution happens...It is all part and parcel of the political journey whose true aim is mass upliftment in all aspects.

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  98. Interesting timing for this post (for me), Keith. As you may know, I am also very liberal. Two types of men I cannot date: idiots and Republicans. Well, guess what George is? He's no idiot but he's Republican. I am sharing this with you here, not on my blog. He's helping me re-think this political divisiveness thing by NOT showing any rage about political issues. In fact, thus far, we agree in certain big arenas and it's a non-issue - though I didn't think it would be. Needless to say, I appreciate your post. It's all about human kindness. On the other hand, there are crazy, evil people in every sect of the populace.

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  99. It's really quite refreshing not to have to think about American politics over here. But then again I get guilty feelings about not caring. Quite the dilemma, right?

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  100. Agreed. I think the thing to avoid is getting preachy about your beliefs.. whether political or religious. That only serves to push right/wrong. And sometimes we just have to look the other way.

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  101. If only more people understood that politics were never intended to divide us.

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  102. I am a political junkie and have a few people who like to have a joust about certain beliefs. But when the rubber hits the road, politics really do divide us. That's why people avoid talking about it if they value friendships. I see that many bloggers avoid the topic like the plague and I can understand that.

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  103. I don't have the same political views as everyone in my family, nor my friends. I try not to let views get in the way of relationships, but it definitely happens a lot- guess because of the passion we all feel about the things we believe in. :)
    ~Jess

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  104. Since I'm an independent. I vote based on the candidate. Lately, it's been for the lesser of two evils. I agree that politics shouldn't come between friends.

    Julie

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  105. It DOES get personal. I can't stand listening to the rude comments meant to tear down...

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  106. I wish more people saw it this way Keith... people just need to have their own beliefs, share them and understand everyone has their own too...

    I don't discuss politics for the reasons you give, I wish we could just respect each others opinions and go from there... Great post :)

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  107. I am pretty open-minded except when it comes to discussions about the environment. And true conservatives are actually some of the folks at the forefront of preservation and conservation. So, it is not the political party but the small-minded people that are part of the conservative lean that have no concept of science and human actions and their repercussions.

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  108. To me falling out over poitics is an excuse for other hidden motives. Did you know that he word "liberal", if applied in a France, actually means a conservative? As in someone who believes in the freedom of the individual to do as she or he pleases. Funny, isn't it? I consider myself a humanist. Progressive, left-leaning, liberal, but above all, humanist.

    Greetings from London.

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  109. Ooh politics. You're feeling brave! Mostly my approach is live and let live, and it's OK to have differences of opinion. But if I hear anyone say that the end justifies the means it usually means we're incomptible.

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  110. Politics and religion seem to be as personal as family. Fierce defense is warranted. 😊

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  111. Aren't people like this with everything? I know people who hate others because they don't like the same type of movies or wear the 'wrong' boots.

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  112. I think it's often taken as an offense when others don't see things the way we see them. This leads to one feeling the other is "pushing" their beliefs on them. When in reality, most often they are not. Agreeing to disagree is best, although it really gets tricky in the political arena. It's better to see people as people, and not a threat to our beliefs. Now if only the world would allow that to be so. :)

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  113. I think it's sad when politics come between friends. Compromise and working together is what is needed, now more than ever.

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  114. I think because many of these beliefs are core beliefs and when someone differs from us, we feel attacked.

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  115. I don't like when people try to push their beliefs on me. I'll respect you if you respect me. When I know someone is of different political views than me, I tend not to discuss politics. We can be perfectly good friends without it.

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  116. I tend to be tolerant when it comes to people having different beliefs politically or religously.. I find common ground and that's what I work from in any friendship. I have atheist friends--I'm FAR from that belief system but it's only one part of them. I think you can believe whatever you want so long as you recognize that I have the same right to do so. I'll discuss difference and try to understand--I usually can see where they're coming from--if the conversation turns combative we agree to disagree and move on. So long as you don't beat me over the head with your beliefs, we're cool. :-)

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  117. Keith,

    American politics is almost easy to understand, even with its divisions, especially when you move to consider the vast gap between the communities in Northern Ireland. Such a small country ( Population:1.84 million), yet the anger and hatred which divides its citizens, STILL, is dreadful.
    Allienated by religious intolerances, political differences and historical affiliations to various flags and emblems...Yet, there is much in common with each neighbour, but too blind to see, or acknowledge it!!
    I see it all from afar these days, and happier for being in that other place.

    Eileen

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  118. I think it is because people just think their party is always right so they get angry when you put their party down. What I don't understand is how can someone stand by a Governor like ours who has done nothing but keep us at the bottom when it comes to education and care for special needs. All because they won't break ranks with their party even as the state sinks. Oh and yes I do still have good friendships with some of them. Others I have had to let go because they just got to negative for me.

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  119. Keith,
    I am a free spirit, so where do I fit in haha? You are no oddball - just different than most of your family, and that makes you very unique in your own way.

    ~Sheri

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  120. That's an ongoing joke in my house - We're right and THEY'RE wrong! We are very opinionated and hate to think we could ever possibly be wrong. :) It is sad that politics divide but at the same time I understand it. I think it's the extremes that make it hard. My personal issue is I often see conservative folk believing in less than equal rights for all. Women's reproductive rights, gay rights, migrants ... If you can't respect all people then I can't get down with your politics.

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