Best Left Unsaid

Claire - Bartlett, Illinois
Entered on October 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: citizenship
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In recent years, I’ve learned that politics should absolutely never, ever be talked about or mentioned to anyone in my family. It’s happened on several occasions where I would make the mistake of mentioning something political, or challenging someone else’s statement. Each time I wish I’d just kept my mouth shut. Slowly, these events have shaped my belief that politics is in no way a family matter.

The entire political spectrum is bound to be represented somewhere within my family, and thus there’s the potential for many heated arguments. There’s my conservative (but never call him a Republican) dad, my liberal feminist mom, my whisky-drinking racist grandfather that swears he’s voting for Obama, and in everyone else there’s a mix of conservatism, liberalism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, communism, monarchism and all other political ideologies.

The reason I now refuse to debate politics with my family is simply because politics cannot be debated. Politics can be fought over and killed over, but the subject is never openly discussed—from the moment it’s brought up, everyone clings to his or her opinions and will try to clobber any opposing ideas to protect his or her own. It’s not worth it.

I don’t find my, or anyone else’s, political opinions important enough to strain my relationship with my family. It’s not necessary to get angry over which presidential candidate sucks less. Politics is filled with corruption, lying, stealing and murder in the first place, and causes enough conflict as it is. It doesn’t have to affect my family though, and that’s something I have control over. Whether someone wants to vote for McCain or Obama isn’t worth getting into an argument. It goes without saying that I value my family over the government.

Fighting about politics with my family isn’t going to change who gets elected or how the country is run, nor is it going to get rid of the corruption and lies, but it does have the ability to divide a family. I hate politics, but I don’t hate my family, yet—and I believe in never mixing the two in order to keep it that way.