How do political differences impact your friendships?- a tale of two friends

posted 4 months ago in The Lounge
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  • Post # 16
    462 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    I have friends from all over the political spectrum. There are things I know to just not talk about with certain people. Hot button topics, most people have something they are passionate about. I respect them as people and we don’t have to agree on everything. I hate spicy food some people but siracha on everything. One of my friends and I have a box and we put certain topics in the box. Does this need to go in the box? Yes, lets put that in the box.

    She shouldn’t make rude blanket statements about Hilary/Obama supporters and you shouldn’t make rude blanket statements about Trump supporters. We are all complex individuals.

    We all view the world from our lens. There is no 100% right. A combat veteran is going to view war differently from me. Someone who has been in the position to decide wether to follow through with their pregnancy or get an abortion is going to view that issue differently than me. People who have the exact same life experiences are going to view things differently. My grandparents raised 6 kids, three on the liberal spectrum and three on the conservative. We could both go through a tramatic event, like a hostage situation and one person comes out thinking guns should be banned and the other thinking everyone should be allowed to carry so that someone else would have been armed to stop the situation.

    Although it can be fun to debate and talk about things when you are interested in understanding someone elses point of view and listening or finding a middle ground when you arnt and are viewing these things as life and death and anyone who disagrees with you is the enemy. You can’t have productive conversations.

    So you just don’t talk about it. as PP said, you let her be her and you be you. And you stop arguing over aquaman.

    At the end of the day. The relationships we have with our friends and family and fellow people are much more important. Neither her pro life view or your pro choice view is going to change the reality. So yes, write your congress people and do what you can, have your opinions and vote, but at the end of the day, you holding your views and her having hers is not going to change the world so vilifying each other for those views is pointless. If the two of you talked and both agreed on everything, in the grand scheme of the world nothing would change. So love her for who she is as she loves you for who you are.

    Post # 17
    6100 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2016

    As others have said, I don’t have any time or space in my life for people who think their religion tells them they should have any kind of control over my bodily autonomy. Especially when those people are men, have zero medical knowledge, have repeatedly said things that are shockingly ignorant about the functioning of the female body, and are largely working in states with some of the poorest education systems, the lowest quality of life for many citizens and abysmal infant/maternal health ratings.

    I’d try to remember that she isn’t evil at heart, but I already would have cut ties with her with zero qualms.

    And I think changing the terminology from “pro-life” to “forced birth extremist” is appropriate at all times for these people.

    Post # 18
    1800 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Me and my social circle are in our 30s. I have a few religious friends but 90% were the “wild” libertarian type rebel kids in school (life was simple then, right and wrong were clearer, we were on the same page…). We get together often nowadays eventho we live close because life is busy,everyone is busy, most have kids. So a lot of our interaction is on social media– people will post things  and I’m like WTF?! DO I EVEN KNOW YOU?? I have kept the same opinions but apparently these folks are changing their minds  all over the place and not giving me good reasons why, there’s no logic to “I just decided”. I feel like they’re hypocrites! What happened?! We used to have good discussions but now when I try they act like I’m attacking them or they ignore me saying I must be joking.

    So what do I do? Minimal contact. I don’t like these people anymore. And when one really pisses me off I block them. I’ve got zero tolerance for anyone who doesn’t support women’s rights,they get kicked out of my life. I’d rather have dogs as friends.

    Post # 19
    506 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2019

    I can’t deal with people who really think that just because something is not a problem for them personally, it is not a problem. Referring to where you said because she thinks she has never felt any type of oppression, then no woman has. There actually are a lot of people like that. People that can’t see past the end of their nose to see that people are raised many different ways and have many different experiences. 

    Post # 20
    400 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    The problem is that as your perspectives became more nuanced through different experiences, your values both changed. You no longer share values, and because of this it would be impossible to have more than a surface level relationship without both of you frequently getting upset. This is what people mean when they say that they’ve grown apart from people. You just value different things now. Politically, things are too high stakes nowadays not to have a side, and unfortunately your perspectives have put you on different sides. It sucks, but you’ll probably just have to have that surface-level connection or else none at all.

    Post # 21
    462 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    You can still find shared values. I don’t find shared values to only be in political things. I have to add though that my friends and I that are from opposite political spectrums when we talk we don’t discuss our differences we find our similarities. Issues today are not black and white. There is a you are with us or against us mentality but that just isnt true, if you break issues down there is most the time some common ground.

    There’s a big extreme spectrum on almost all issues.

    We like to say pro life or pro choice but in that there is a huge spectrum!

    No abortion for any reason at any time – abortion at any time in any way for any reason even after birth.- Maybe you can both agree that bith control pills are not abortion and that abortion after birth is not okay. Or something else like, women questioning their pregnancies should be presented with all of their options to be sure they make an informed decision they dont regret.

    Open boarders-closed boarder. Maybe you don’t agree on how to go about immigration but both agree that you would like health checks to insure infectious diseases and caught and treated.

    All guns illegal-Everyone can have a gun. Maybe you can both agree that preventing people with mental illnesses from legally getting guns needs to be a priority.

    Feminism- Maybe she thinks that feminism today represents abortion and man haters while you do not see that. But you can both agree that womens equality at home and in the workplace is important. There are some  extreme feminists that don’t represent all feminists and although she hasn’t experienced adversity being a woman it does exist.

    Post # 22
    566 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    elodie2019 :  Sure, we all fall on the ideological spectrum that you describe but what matters is how you vote. For example, if you are a moderate conservative who dreams of thoughtful, comprehensive immigration reform and you vote for party line, MAGA Republicans, you are enabling an administration that separates children from their parents and detains them in subhuman conditions. You may find it reprehensible but you bear responsibility.

    We all compromise when we choose candidates – I have voted for candidates whose economic policies aren’t quite in line with my own views. So where do you draw the line? For me, it’s far to the left of calling refugees “animals” and ignoring constitutionally-enshrined balances of power.

    The rest of your post doesn’t make much sense, honestly. Who are the Democrats who are opposed to medical evaluations and treatment at the border? If your views were defensible, you wouldn’t have to fictionalize arguments on the other side.

    Post # 23
    462 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    glitterati :  

    I am not fictionalizing arguments. No one is opposed to medical treatment and evaluations that is my point! I was not defending any views. I am saying no matter where you fall on the spectrum within most issues are things two people can agree on and find common ground.

    The initial post is about political differences impacting friendship and how to navigate them. With my friends that disagree we find our common ground on the issue we are discussing. And that’s generally how we end the conversation agreeing on something within the issue. Sometimes the common ground isn’t much and common sense like, plastic is killing ocean life, kids need a good education, people entering the country need a health check, things next to no one disagrees with.

    What matters is how you vote, but I have legitimately never asked any of my friends how they voted. Where we each draw the line depends on what each individual values most. Like with this posters friend, her main concern is pro-life and that for her trounces all other issues.

    Considering half my family is more conservative and the other half more liberal… I have practice at finding commonality, getting along and having meaningful relationships with people who see things differently than me. Multiple views were always presented growing up.

    Post # 24
    1308 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’ve not had this issue with friends as tbh where I live (UK) her views would be classed as fairly extreme, even the Conservative party here are left wing in that they are pro choice, they legalised same sex marriage, they believe in keeping religion and law separate etc. I can’t even think of a mainstream polictical party who share her views, other than maybe the DUP who are only popular in extremely religious areas of Ireland. 

    My uncle is socially right wing and posts a lot of anti immigrant and anti trans propaganda on Facebook, I love him because he is my uncle, however, I do find it very hard to look past his beliefs and views. He is luckily very much in the minority though, I have around 400 friends on Facebook and he is literally the only one who posts that kind of stuff. 

    I could not maintain a friendship with your friend, I know a lot of people in the US share her views, however, I personally find her to be extremely right wing and could not just agree to disagree with someone who believes feminism is unfair to men, sexism and toxic masculinity don’t exist and wants to ban abortions. I can agree to disagree on many political issues, but when someone is advocating for other people’s rights to be taken away because of their religious or right wing views that’s where I have to draw the line. 

    Post # 25
    793 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2016

    I would not be able to be friends with your friend. Human rights are not up for discussion in my book.

    Post # 26
    7849 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    Most of my friends share the same political beliefs as me so that’s not an issue. Family is another story…my family is very religious and conservative. We can occasionally manage a conversation about politics without it devolving into shouting, but that’s rare, so we try to just not talk about it now. 

    Post # 27
    2397 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I would hate to think that I am so narrow minded and full of my own righteousness that I would think that I have the only “correct” viewpoint or values; so much so that I could not be friends with someone with a different viewpoint. But that’s just me 

    Post # 28
    8820 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    I can be civil but could not be friends with someone who thinks an openly mysogenistic narcissist sex-offender nepotist and liar is an appropriate president. If you voted for someone who said he likes being rich and famous because it means he can kiss any woman he wants and grab them by the pussy, you are disgusting to me. Not sorry. You make me sick. I’ll be civil if I have to be around you, but I don’t respect you and would not voluntarily choose to be around you.

    Post # 30
    2917 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    So, you’d be friends with someone who felt entitled to take away your rights? 

    jannigirl :  

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