Politics should not be taboo

This election year it is an important time to talk about politics with your friends and family

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People should have in-depth conversations about politics with one another to broaden their perceptions and beliefs on important matters.

For the past 17 years of my life, I thought my entire family had the same beliefs as me. I figured that my grandparents were progressive like me, that my aunts and uncles wanted to see the same change I do, and that my parents and I valued the same things. After an eye-opening conversation about politics I had with my family over the summer, I realized my perfect-image of them was far from the truth. While I learned things that made me lose respect for some of them, the conversation needed to be had.

It has always been a social standard to not talk about politics at the dinner table. People are scared to ruin relationships and disagree with their friends and family, but politics should never be avoided, especially this year. People should be talking about who they vote for, and be happy to have that conversation. Sharing your political views with people you are close to it starts valuable conversations. The value in the conversation might be that you are finding middle ground and just simply educating yourself on the other side, or the value might be that you no longer respect the other person. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing about politics, in fact, you should surround yourself with people of differing views to keep yourself educated. Families and friends need to have difficult conversations where they hear opposing views and accept one another’s opinions. 

These conversations should not just revolve around policies people support, but also candidates they are voting for. Where there can be a middle ground on general politics, with the candidates this year it’s black and white. This year you are not just voting for the president, you are voting for racism, homophobia, sexism, etc, or are voting against it. Hearing close family and friends say that they are voting against you and other communities that make up America can rightfully cause you to lose respect for them.

Families and friends need to have difficult conversations where they hear opposing views and accept one another’s opinions. ”

— Anonymous Staffer

One evening over the summer, shortly after the death of George Floyd, my family was eating dinner and the Black Lives Matter protests were brought up. I sat there silently waiting to hear what my grandparents and aunt would say about it all because I had never heard them talk about that subject before. My curiosity turned into horror when I heard them say offhanded racist comments and talk about how overdramatic everyone was being about the situation. They were also going on a tangent about the presidential candidates and saying things that were simply untrue that they heard from biased news. While there was really no conversation happening, just my family saying radical things and pushing aside any rebuttal, I’m glad we talked about it because it changed my view of my family.

There is nothing wrong with losing respect for someone after hearing their beliefs. I still love my family and am civil with them, but I do not respect them or agree with them. While these conversations can be hard and are not for everybody, people need to stop thinking politics are taboo and speak up for what they believe in to help expand their beliefs. 

*Since the staffer talked about their family holding racist ideologies they have decided for this opinion to be uploaded anonymously.

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