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Politics – The Great Divider

I had a nice visit with my nephew a few days ago. He told me an interesting story. He and some friends created a private online group for the sole purpose of discussing politics and current events. He’s quite passionate in his views and enjoys discussing the issues of the day.

Through that group, the young man learned a valuable lesson about human nature. Things got heated and personal. Hateful comments were made. Friendships were lost, and the group disbanded. My nephew was left wondering how things went so wrong.

Politics is a dangerous topic. It’s one of two subjects that I refuse to discuss with most people. That’s the fastest way I’ve found to get into a heated argument. Politics and religion are both things that fire up a person’s passion quick.

I was recently dragged into a conversation with a friend of a friend. I told him I didn’t want to discuss politics, but he kept pushing until I relented. Of course, he didn’t like what I had to say and aggressively argued with me. Not one to back down when I feel I’m right or being bullied, I returned verbal fire. The whole thing got out of hand. He finally stalked away mumbling something about me being stubborn.

There are those folks who can discuss politics without getting upset and those who can’t. Having a purely academic debate with someone who offers his or her opinion and then listens to my opinion can be enjoyable. Someone who holds a grudge based on such opinions is why so many people like me keep our views to ourselves.

We are all entitled to our own opinions. We’re also free to express those opinions. We just need to understand that the response we receive may not be the one we want or expect. Not everyone is going to agree with us.

It’s okay to disagree, discuss, and debate. It’s not okay to have a mad fit and say mean things to others because they don’t see things your way. That’s what third graders do. Adults are supposed to know better.

If you enjoy debating politics, this is your year. Have fun. I’ll see you at the polls, but I won’t tell you how I’m voting.

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