Just about everyone knows the old rule that politics is not a suitable issue to discuss with family, friends or business associates. Then what else do people talk about? Each other. The lady down the block with all the cats? If people aren’t willing to have political discussions at the dinner or business table, then they’re missing the point of politics. Politics should be discussed everywhere, by everyone. The less people speak and exchange ideas and knowledge, the less we all know. Politics can create grudges but it can also connect people. According to a November 2017 poll by NPR, 58% of those polled dreaded the idea of politics at Thanksgiving dinner. That is up 5% from their 2016 poll. American’s must learn the art of debate.
Political discussion enables us to understand each other, drop biases and think in a “national” way, not a me or local
way. Americans are deeply divided on the role of media’s presentation of politics. According to Pew Research, they are polarized by party. Families tend to have a few independent voters, republican and democrats. Though most families do vote party line. Dinners and events could be a great way for families to see through each other’s eyes on politics. All family members choose different lines of work and possibly different gender status. Why not share views to come to a common knowledge of one another? That common knowledge may be what creates a deeper bond and understanding.
Local politics extends from neighborhoods and areas where families live in clusters. If all politics are local, then your family is deciding everyone’s future. Local politics brings change that eventually leads to national changes from US
Congressional members to the President and cabinet members. Discuss what you need from your family to
make life better.
Great Topics to Discuss
Gun Rights A family member living in Little Rock, Arkansas will have a different view on gun violence than their cousin from Greenbrier. Why? Greenbrier is rated one of the safest places to live in Arkansas. Safety is not necessarily due to gun toting neighbors. It’s a social contract between neighbors to maintain safety. On the other hand, Little Rock has been plagued with violence. In November 2017 there had already been 42 gun violence deaths. That’s a rise of 35% since 2016. Family members can discuss their concerns on gun violence.
Racism According to research 1 in 6 Americans is married to someone other than their own race. It’s always odd to call someone a race, as far as we all know, human is our race. It will be called ethnicity from here. Instead of ignoring the “Black”, “White” or “Brown” person married to your relative, sit down and discuss life. You’ll find out why they feel a certain way about policy. Most likely because it effects them and your family differently. “Your family” as in these people are your family. Hear them out.
Taxes This is always a good one. Christmas will be filled with family members screaming about the increase or decrease in taxes. The 1%ers, rich people and the decline of the Middle Class. Taxes are different for each family member. America’s capitalist wheel is oiled by small business, 27.9 million of these businesses keep food on everyone’s table. Listen to why your aunts small business may need different taxes compared to why your $35,000 a year job isn’t enough money. Find out what the differences are before blurting your’e being ripped off with taxes. The tax burden is different. We all put more or less into the wheel. No hating on relatives over taxes.
Future of America Families across America are hoping for the good ol’ days. Specifically, the 50′s. Sure the 50′s were a great time when 1 in 3 jobs was union. That’s definitely a better wage and benefit system than today. But the 50′s weren’t great for everyone. Women were 2nd class-some may argue that we haven’t reached much of a higher platitude. Racism was rife with lynchings, civil rights fights in the streets and separation of every service. How would you feel if you were told you couldn’t eat somewhere or use a washroom because of your color? America is great now. Most Americans still go home to dinner on the table, watch their kids sports games and enjoy a movie (much easier and cheaper since Netflix and other streaming services). It’s not yesterday we need, but a clear, compatible and relevant plan for tomorrow.
Push party lines aside to discuss with family what they think it should be.
Oh by the way, Happiest Holidays to you and your family!!!