“We don’t discuss politics at the dinner table.”
“Stick to non-controversial topics like weather and sports.”
“I never feel like I have anything to say about politics.”
We’re going to talk about politics this year. All of us. It’s inevitable. Social media and other news outlets will force us to do it. And that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing because politics shouldn’t be avoided as inherently polarizing, or distasteful. Politics shouldn’t be something we only discuss every four years. Politics shouldn’t be “off-limits” for “polite company.”
That’s how we ended up where we are today: polarized. Divided. Hostile. Isolated. We created an environment where political disagreement became personal disagreement. And we did it, not by talking too much about politics, but by talking too little.
I get it. I’m tired of talking politics, too. But we’re going to do it an awful lot this year. Whether we want to or not. I think I’m tired of talking politics mostly because nobody actually just talks politics anymore. Everybody has an agenda, or a rant, something they want from me, or something they want me to believe. Politics has become another religion, one with its preachers and disciples, and its own atheists and agnostics. And, just like talking religion over Thanksgiving dinner, politics has become something we gloss over as unsuitable for discussion, not because it’s impossible to discuss, but because we can’t discuss it without arguing about it!
We’re going to have to talk about politics this year, people. It’s just a fact. But what if we can actually talk through some of this mess we’re in? Just a thought.