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The trouble with political conversations

Natalie Starr, Contributing Writer

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I always remember the heart-warming holiday of Thanksgiving Day like no other, but this year especially, I recall quite a bit. It was not only my grandmother’s dish, a crowd favorite of scalloped potatoes, that had captivated me, but also the overt oppositions that arose during the typical family discussion of politics. It was here that I found myself questioning whether one individual should be offended by another’s political views, especially close relatives and friends.

This past year in particular, individuals seemed easily offended by the discussion of politics. Even my mother texted my aunt prior our Thanksgiving meal to say, “Let’s avoid all political talk this evening.” As the third bottle of wine was opened, a can of worms was opened – political talk. My mother was quite disappointed when the discussion began and excused herself from the table. Was she simply being overdramatic, or was she an individual of good reason, seeing that members of my family are on opposite sides of the political spectrum?

When looking at the main two candidates prior to the election of Donald Trump, there was an immense amount of controversy covered by the news and media. The population as a whole seemed to have either extreme favoritism for one of the main candidates or neither of them. What made this election so much more dramatic than those in the past was the connection between one person’s deepest of values and their political affiliation.

Who you vote for typically shows your beliefs; however, they do not make up the entire individual.

To see someone so distraught over people who support different political views is truly heart-wrenching. In today’s times, I believe it is understandable if one person holds a highly extreme stance, though it is still painful to watch couples, family members and close friends drift apart due to unshared political positions.

People grow a certain type of attachment to political figures that could be found as offensive when others inhibit different viewpoints, but I do not find it as a reason to drive a relationship apart, because there are so many other parts of life people can share interests in.

There needs to be a balance between societal relationships and politics, a balance that did not exist in this election. Even leading newspaper companies became involved by sharing their viewpoints. No matter where you scrolled, whether it be a Twitter or Facebook feed, the sight of political arguments was completely inevitable.

Political matters bring out the worst in people and unnecessary Facebook statuses beyond dramatic. Although this is quite unfortunate, I think it is important for us to reflect on our roots as we grow angry over political situations. The individual you vote for does not have to define your character or social life. Because we are all different, not everyone shares the same beliefs and values. Our differences do not have to drive us apart, because there are so many other aspects of life to share and use as a common ground.

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The trouble with political conversations