Political differences can ruin relationships

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Political differences can ruin relationships

Post by Belle » Thu Mar 25, 2021 11:17 pm

Prof. Glenn Loury discusses this with John McWhorter: the good professor describes this as 'a real problem' and I agree. These podcasts are very enjoyable, BTW.


Recently Alan Dershowitz has said he was cancelled by his own family and friends over political differences and no doubt there are many thousands of others, including Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson - who have discussed this quite recently. Both have been turfed out of the 'liberal' club and are happy to see the backs of their erstwhile friends and colleagues.

For me, it's the assumption that you're of the Left which I find the most galling. Two physicians have complained to me about this of late, one saying that he won't attend many social functioins/dinner parties now because of the expectation of conformity. This absolutely terrific Gastroenterologist told me his 30-something son had recently been out with a group of people who started talking about politics and he bravely interrupted, "if you don't mind, can we avoid discussing politics; I think it's wrong to make the assumption everybody feels the same way". In fact, my Gastroenterologist sat by my bed in recovery last year, after the staff had mostly left, to continue talking about the things we have in common politically. He said, "this region is rusted-on Left and it's really getting me down; it's a pleasure being able to discuss these things with you". For me it's quality, not quantity.

If you really value the relationship you keep politics out of the equation; that's what I've had to do in 1 or 2 cases of late with long term friends. For the rest, with people who hold such foreign values to my own this means that closeness couldn't develop between us anyway. Fortunately my spouse and myself are on the same page about 90% of the time, but I have no idea how couples negotiate significant political differences - or even religious ones.

Last year we were at a dinner party; these are relatively 'new' friends and I found myself having to weigh in to dispute some of the 'apocrypha' which passes for modern political thinking. The spouse had to come to my rescue, too. It seems the dinner party participants took their news from most of the usual left wing sources in Australia with no additional reading or inquiry needed, since they were all so concordant in their views. I found them repugnant and, to a person, each regurgitated chapter and verse what had been dished out to them in those media. We all knew the lines. It's that smug, "surely you don't think....." etc. On these occasions I say to the spouse, "thinking for yourself is surplus to requirement". In summary, those friendships have been allowed to lapse. The minute people make dumb comments and observations my eyes glaze right over.

Every now and then you meet somebody who has so much going for them that you're able to skirt political differences, usually with humour. But I have permanently cut off extreme Green Left family members for their odious views. Hand on heart compassionista who spend their spare time shutting down developments which deprive people of employment.

How do people handle those differences in politics and thought? It's impossible to avoid the topics in this day and age.

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