Sunday, November 4, 2012

Discussing the Discussion

This weekend, a couple of my sisters and I had a short conversation about the Voter ID Amendment on the ballot in Minnesota.  Instantly, we were silenced by my brothers.  "I make a motion to not discuss politics!"  And someone seconded it, so I shut up.  But I'm not going to lie, I didn't do so happily.  I stewed about it for awhile, and I'm still kind of mad.

It's often said that we shouldn't discuss politics and religion.  I often say that those two subjects might be the most important subjects of all (in addition, I think a world without them is boring.  It's when I've been most deeply challenged that I've learned the most.).  And I'm sure there are situations where it's not appropriate, but among a couple sisters, who want to discuss it, five days before a national election?  Yeah.  That's appropriate.

I admit that I took their muzzling personally.  How can I not?  Out of this family of eleven, I am the only one who is political.  I am most certainly the only Democrat.  And frankly, it's not easy. One brother actually said he didn't want to stand by "the Democrat" in our family picture.  A joke?  Not funny.  Sometimes I wonder how it could be, that I'm the only one among 20 adults with these worldviews.  I genuinely think that I'm respectful when I talk about the things I care about.  Are you really so offended if I share my perspective?  Or do you just find it boring?  What do you think is going to happen if we spend half an hour talking about politics?  I think we might just have an interesting conversation.

In my house, we will discuss politics.  We might not agree, and we might have passionate debates.  But we're going to be informed, and we're going to be involved.  We're going to talk -- nothing will be offlimits.  I want my kids to not only understand the issues, but understand how to make their point, and how to discuss the merits of their argument.  Intelligent people can disagree. And they can have a conversation that includes current events, and politics, and religion.  Because at the end of the day, those are the things that matter most -- our convictions and our beliefs.  In my house, I will not be silenced, nor will anyone who wants to talk.  Come on over.


Pete said...

I've said it before...
I picked the right one.

Love you and your views.

Beth Fleischer said...

Ready for my political viewpoint: intelligent, thoughtful people DO discuss politics. If they don't discuss it, how thoughtful and intelligent could they be on the subject?

emily said...

Hugs to you. I understand 100% :)

MindiJo said...

WHAT?! I had written a long response a few days ago. Apparently, it never showed up. UGH.

Basically, the gist of it was this: First of all, Beth is *so* wrong. People have many reasons not to discuss subjects. And some people just aren't the type to discuss it. That was such a judgemental statement.

Secondly, towards the end of the election season, I think many people get weary of political discussion. It's like beating a dead horse. You know? Maybe they were just tired of it all. I know your wonderful family, and I'm guessing it wasn't anything against you and your views. They probably just wanted to spend time with each other. Without discussing anything that could become heated. And, I'm guessing it was around the time of Ellen's funeral- which makes that feeling even stronger. Don't take it to heart.

That being said, I can understand how you will be more hyper-aware and oversensitive. Simply because you are the odd man out with your political views. So, something small could make you feel hurt. I get that. However, I doubt that anybody in your family has a mean bone in their body. Your parents did such a fabulous job of raising really kind, loving kids. I remember even thinking that as a child. Always your family has been NICE. I totally understand how you may have felt hurt. And also how you thought that it was appropriate to discuss. You did the right thing by sacrificing this discussion that was so important to you. Sometimes we have to do that for the people we love.

((HUGS)) My friend. I hope it feels better now that we are on this side of the election.

Marie-Louise Kragelund said...

Leanne, I totally agree! But then again: Actually, I don't discuss politics too often, only with people I know I agree with - I just realized that! Why? I don't know, maybe because it discomforts us.

Anyways, GOOD that you raise your kids to understand politics and how to make their point!

Love, Marie-Louise