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Discussing Politics


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I have many strong opinions, and one of them is that I refuse to discuss politics. The reason is simple. It's the quickest way that I know of to ruin a budding relationship. I hold some definite conservative ideas AND some definite liberal ideas. Sooner rather than later, I disagree with someone I'm coming to care about, and the relationship is over before it even has a decent chance to get started. Best solution, I think, is to avoid politics like the plague. What do you all think??

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I like your reply Sam. There is an old maxim about not discussing religion or politics, neither of which seems to deter many posters herein (including me). However, face to face, I tend to listen more than pontificate which may surprise some. :)

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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I have many friends who like politics and have different opinions than mine. We enjoy some discussions, some we leave alone. I'd hate to have a blanket rule against any political discussion. After all, these guys are my friends.

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There is a time and a place, and a manner, for every discussion.

 

Unfortunately, for some the topic of politics is considered an opportunity for the aggression to come out. I have good friends who are radically and aggressively my political opposites, unabashed and brash about it, and so angry about it I actually felt unsafe the last time I was a guest in their home. It was a *very* long weekend. I've turned down all subsequent invitations to their home.

 

I have other friends with the same leaning with whom I frequently have congenial discussions where we simply agree to disagree.

 

There is a place and a time, but not every place and not all the time. :)

 

(FWIW, Hooboy originally created the politics forum here because he hated the cat fights and spitting and wanted to give them a time and place but not have to read them himself.)

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The older I get, the less I tend to talk about political issues. Unfortunately, many of my friends and relatives have become radicalized, both to the extreme right and to the extreme left. As a consequence, it is never a productive conversation, and often never even civil, so if it starts, I simply walk away, or tell them that is not a topic I wish to discuss. This is in marked contrast to the situation even just a few years ago when I had friends on both sides of the spectrum with whom I could have great conversations on political matters. I find that most conversations these days are aggressive, and are simply restatements of what the current "sound bite" is on the talk shows. Not much true discussion or discourse, and one of the things that really bothers me is that so many of the arguments on both sides of the fence don't have even the basic facts right. So, I tend to talk about other things and leave politics out of the convesastion. We can even talk about religious matters easier than political ones. It is a sad day in America right now.

DD

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The older I get, the less I tend to talk about political issues. Unfortunately, many of my friends and relatives have become radicalized, both to the extreme right and to the extreme left. As a consequence, it is never a productive conversation, and often never even civil, so if it starts, I simply walk away, or tell them that is not a topic I wish to discuss. This is in marked contrast to the situation even just a few years ago when I had friends on both sides of the spectrum with whom I could have great conversations on political matters. I find that most conversations these days are aggressive, and are simply restatements of what the current "sound bite" is on the talk shows. Not much true discussion or discourse, and one of the things that really bothers me is that so many of the arguments on both sides of the fence don't have even the basic facts right. So, I tend to talk about other things and leave politics out of the convesastion. We can even talk about religious matters easier than political ones. It is a sad day in America right now.

DD

 

Thank you, DD. You said it better than I did.

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I have several friends with whom I disagree politically. There is one friend however, who saw fit to bring up politics at a dinner in which he knew each of the people and no one else had met. There were five people at the dinner. The the other three all held opinions very close to that of my friend and almost opposite to my own. He was aware of the political bias of the table and despite my efforts to change the direction of the conversation to something less divisive, he persisted in bringing a political spin to each turn. After about 45 minutes, i feigned illness and left. I let my friend know of my discomfort with his efforts and though we remain in touch, i believe irreparable damage has been done to our relationship.

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I think it comes down to "discussing" verses "disgreeing".

 

I love a lively discussion about politics or religion or any other major issue....but if the purpose is to convert the other person or people to their way of thinking, than it becomes bothersome and annoying and sometimes people get heated.

 

I have a cousin and he and I are on totaly, polar opposites of the political fence....we discuss, we laugh about our disagreements and yet we always know we still love each other and respect each other.

 

When I was recently in DC on business there was a small group of people with the Obama picture with a Hitler mustache and a huge sign saying "Impeach Obama". I stopped and started asking them some simple questions such as "what impeachable offense, according to the constitution did he commit?". They had no clue what I was talking about and their voices got louder and louder while mine became quiet and peaceful.

 

To me it all comes down to civility and the ability to discuss, differ and yet respect each other's opinions.

 

We all have assholes....but that doesn't mean you have to be one!

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Shoreboy and DiverDan and several others have eloquently made almost all of the points which were "floating" through my mind as I thought about the original thread.

Sad that the host of the dinner party did not see that he made a guest uncomfortable, sad that the shouters cannot see they are causing headaches for innocent bystanders, sad that there are so many who have to shout their opinions rather than politiely listen first and then respond logically and quietly, if at all. Sometimes letting ranters exhaust themselves and then smiling and walking away is more effective than any words.

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I have appreciated so many of the responses here. Growing up, my parents had a dictate that we could NEVER discuss either politics or religion at the dining room table. My father was a conservative "Barry Goldwater" type of Republican, my mother was a "Roosevelt-Kennedy-esque" Democrat. They came from dissimilar backgrounds but in religion were the same (Catholic). They raised as in their faith (and pretty much we are all still church-goers as adults), and politically left us to "find our way", which we did. Amazingly being the one inthe family who went from one extreme to the other politically and then back to a center-rightist European stand today, I have appreciated one thing, that with family the political discussions never ever became heated or shouting matches.

 

I pretty much know where most of my close friends stand politically. Same goes for work colleagues. Because of that I diplomatically stear away from controversial topics in the office 100% of the time, and among friends about 90% of the time, and again, never a heated moment.

 

However, what saddens me (and I see it here a LOT on the discussions and diatribes of the board when discussing politics and/or religion) our culture and society in the US today seems to foster the theory "he who shouts loudest wins!" There is no longer an attempt to listen, but to literally overcome your opponent with words and excessive verbiage so that the actual point of discussion is lost in this sea of words. The temperatures rise, gestures become more flamboyant, and in the end, civility, politeness and any form of exchange of ideas is pushed aside and the mud wrestling begins.

 

We often discuss the "reality shows" and their impact here -- and in this arena of religion and politics, we are in too many ways a reflection of the curent US culture of gotcha politics, sound-bites, and shouting. I mean, admit it, How many here - like me - end up either turhing the sound down or muting it during the evening news shows, or worse, have their finger on "last" and are switching between say the news and the food channel... ???

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Do you all now see the problem with escort/client relations? In the "get to know you phase" so often politics comes up, and then what? You disagree, however amicably, and where does the enjoyment of your time together go from there? Can it be anything but compromised? Here are examples of what I mean. Suppose you go to his place or he to yours and the TV is on to a particular news channel with a known political leaning or there are newspapers or magazines around with the same known political agendas? What happens to amicable chit-chat right off the bat??

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My close friends over the years have ranged from a John Birch Society Republican to a lifelong member of the Communist Party. Needless to say, they were not friends with one another. However, being somewhere in the middle, I have found it possible to get along with many people whose views I don't share but can sort of understand, as long as they don't attempt to "convert" me. What I can't deal with is people who have no sense of humor about their politics, and who denigrate anyone who doesn't agree with them 100 per cent.

 

And the last thing I want to know about an escort whom I have hired for sex is his opinion of the Ryan budget plan.

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I enjoy knowing about others views and as long as we can discuss it in a civil and respectful manner it can be very lively. For someone I meet the first time, including escorts, it is unlikely we will go down that path in our discussions anyway as there are plenty of other topics to discuss that help us get to know each other a bit and can be just as interesting/entertaining.

 

Actually, what really gets to me rather than any very strong (perhaps even obstinate) opinions, is when someone is apolitical. Apathy of most things is a big turn off to me.

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And the last thing I want to know about an escort whom I have hired for sex is his opinion of the Ryan budget plan.

 

Uh huh.....Since I typically hire for longer engagements, I enjoy conversation with escorts, on every topic......except politics....yuck! Yes, at various times, a political subject has come up during a hire, I try to steer the conversation onto more pleasant pursuits; the better escorts pick up the cues and move on; the lesser providers just keep droning away. I've even had guys to lecture me about the correctness of their beliefs and the error of my own. It is a waste of my time, and I've never gone back for a second helping of that, regardless of the bulging muscles or other sexual skills they possess. :(

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The thing that bothers me the most in discussing politics is the assumptions others make about you. I have very moderate politic views on almost every issue. So conservatives automatically assume I'm a liberal idiot who doesn't understand how things work in the "real" world, and liberals assume I'm a right wing nut job who wants to live in a theocracy. My one foray into the politics forum on this thread exemplifies the problem, as people automatically assumed I was a right winger who gets all his information from Fox News (a channel I almost never watch). I don't understand the need many feel to vilify those with whom they disagree.

 

I was sad several weeks ago when I saw Susan Collins was retiring from the Senate because she was tired of the partisan squabbling. I am equally saddened when moderate "blue dog" democrats are picked off by left wingers in primaries and when moderate Republicans lose primaries to far right wingers. All people don't have to agree, and we would be a much less intellectually vibrant and successful society if we all did. The diversity of ideas is what allows us to prosper.

 

I'll pass the soap box along to the next person in line now . . .

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I totally enjoy talking about politics, but only with people who are well informed on both sides of the issue at hand, and who know how to conduct themselves. I actually will begin a political discussion as a way of measuring someone, to see if I want to pursue a friendship. We can have opposing views and even get a little heated. A few years ago I was taken by surprise when one of my closest friends told me that he was a diehard member of the "opposition." We had similar jobs, went to the opera together, etc., so we always had lots to talk about when we met for dinner, or an evening out on the town. I don't know how we avoided politics for so many years, except that we share many of the same values. I'm very active in my party, but he isn't so involved with his, which makes any political discussion limited these days, because we both value what we have. It's a puzzel, since I really don't know if I would've built this friendship, if I had known his political persuasion at the begining. It would have been my loss.

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The older I get, the less I tend to talk about political issues. Unfortunately, many of my friends and relatives have become radicalized, both to the extreme right and to the extreme left. As a consequence, it is never a productive conversation, and often never even civil, so if it starts, I simply walk away, or tell them that is not a topic I wish to discuss. This is in marked contrast to the situation even just a few years ago when I had friends on both sides of the spectrum with whom I could have great conversations on political matters. I find that most conversations these days are aggressive, and are simply restatements of what the current "sound bite" is on the talk shows. Not much true discussion or discourse, and one of the things that really bothers me is that so many of the arguments on both sides of the fence don't have even the basic facts right. So, I tend to talk about other things and leave politics out of the convesastion. We can even talk about religious matters easier than political ones. It is a sad day in America right now.

DD

 

 

I agree DD...My family has swung to the right and most of my friends are on the left. I find most of it very tiresome. I do enjoy discussing the economy. I think that you have to approach these sort of things with a sense of humor. I now have a standing bet with a good friend of mine over the Euro. He says it will collapse, me I am not so sure. So we have given the whole situation one year. Who ever is closer to being correct at the end of that year has to buy the other one dinner. WE have chosen the restaurant, and whomever loses, it is going to cost them a "pretty penny" LOL

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