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  #1  
Old 09-21-2018, 07:11 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Dealing with family that supports trump.

Hmm...

My Wife and I are leaving in two days on a 4000 mile road trip to mostly visit her family. The end of the trip is in Texas for my Wifes Brothers 65th birthday party. It's going to be quite the party I'm sure. He can sleep some 20-25 people in beds and bedrooms at his 'ranch'.

Every one is gonna be a trump supporter but myself, my Wife and the birthday boys son (my nephew that I consider a good friend).

Now, I love all these folks and we always have a good time. But talk often turns to politics and they may pressure a debate that I do not want.

I'm looking for a quick answer, to shut down debate and possibly hard feelings. My Wifes family knows how we feel about trump.

I do want a response other than "We shouldn't discuss this at a party because I'm your guest and it's your birthday and we disagree."

I'm thinking another response could be "Do you feel that trump is a good representative of the values of America?" If the answer "yes". I'm just going to have to stop the conversation right there with "we disagree".
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:38 PM
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In my less than proper manner I would usually utter "fuck politics" whilst lifting glass for another sip of bourbon. It usually works, though that might depend how proper your people are.

If they ask what I propose for the broken system, a question that some times follows, I usually go with "hang em all and start over".
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:40 PM
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"Trump is the most honest and best president ever." Try not to say ANYTHING else. If pressured you could say "He is also a very stable genius".

And then go for a walk.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:46 PM
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IDK, that is gonna be one hard visit. Maybe your wife should straight up tell them before anything starts that you guys aren't there to argue politics but to celebrate a birthday milestone. And stick to it. Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:09 PM
PastTense PastTense is online now
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Switch to a different topic. For example in Texas there are probably differences of opinions comparing the University of Texas Longhorns vs the Texas A&M Aggies.

Last edited by PastTense; 09-21-2018 at 08:09 PM.
  #6  
Old 09-21-2018, 08:46 PM
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Go back to what people used to talk about at family gatherings -- the relatives who aren't there.

Who's gotten fat, who's throwing their life away, who's losing it a little now that they're getting older, that sort of thing.

Anytime the talk seems to turn to politics, "I say kill 'em all and let God sort it out," is a good all-purpose response.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:04 PM
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I'd skip the event. People who still support Trump should be forgotten.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:21 PM
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In our family, we have a situation where almost everyone is a Democrat except one particular Republican branch. At family gatherings there used to be huge arguments. So finally we made a rule: At family reunions, discussion of politics is forbidden.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:37 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Eh. I will avoid the subject. I hope they will too. Gonna be a lot of beer and opinions at some point though.

A little worry is my nephew, that is the SON of our host moved from Texas to get away from such opinions. He moved to where I live. Colorado. He may want to have a discussion about politics because he knows that at least his Aunt and Uncle (my Wife and I) is on his side. I can shut this stuff down pretty quick if I want to. Done it before. I'm very well respected. And we respect each other.

Pretty much all strata of careers will be there. As a GIS programmer, I'm about in the middle.

Another worry is my Wifes other brother that just LOVES to start political arguments. A very good guy otherwise that I can hang with.

Thanks for letting me share. Helps me think. And I think and worry to much. We'll just have fun. And I will just turn to that. No one is changing their minds at this point I don't think.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:49 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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Trump is not worth ruining a family gathering. No politician is.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:59 PM
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The word you’re looking for is, “Indeed !”

There is no declaration that cannot be answered with, “Indeed !”

Followed immediately by, “how about this weather, huh?” Stick with it, smile broadly, they’ll get the drift and leave it be, pretty quickly. By the third or fourth application they should all be grinning broadly too.

Not much room to take offence, just never engage and keep replying with, “Indeed!”

Good Luck to you and do report back, we’ll all be wondering how it went.
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:14 PM
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Indeed! And my friend always says, "As it should be."

Don't get into any battles. Enjoy the moment.

Yes, keep us deformed.
  #13  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:21 PM
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Trump is not worth ruining a family gathering. No politician is.
You're not an American, I take it. It's become damn near impossible to avoid someone bringing up Trump (both for or against) in what would seem to be the most obviously inappropriate situations. I was confronted with in inveterate Trump supporter at a funeral earlier this year who would just not shut the fuck up about his Cheeto-Colored Deity regardless of any attempt to hint, suggest, or blatantly state that a graveside is neither the time nor the place to speak of contentious politics. I've had people bring up Trump in business discussions, reference his malfeasances in social gatherings, and someone even stuck a Trump bumper sticker on the tailgate of my truck like a gaping asshole.

I don't have any advice for the o.p. except to divert the conversation or take a long walk with a deep pour of Buffalo Trace, and be prepared to turn around and go home if it just gets to the point of no return.

Stranger
  #14  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:34 PM
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Drink.
  #15  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:41 PM
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Maybe ask about family history to change the subject?

In the end, all we are is a collection of stories, so ask about the stories. Who was in the war, how did the family come to be where they were, what did someone’s daddy do for a living... It’s more personal than the weather, and sometimes the stories are even interesting. You can even pass the stories on to your kids.
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:45 PM
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Americans seem to be unique in wanting to discuss politics at family gatherings. Why?

It really doesn't happen here in Canada (or probably elsewhere.)
  #17  
Old 09-22-2018, 01:08 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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I am very, very good at changing the subject when it comes to contentious mater. I do very much love my wife's family and we have a lot of fun.

My BIL likes to play chess. I'm very, very good if I say so myself. It's juvenile, but as we will probably never agree on politics, I would like to beat him at the 'Game of Kings'.

My Nephew has never beaten his father in chess, nor me. My nephew very much wants me to play his dad.

I've been teaching my wife chess for a year. About 6 games a week. She is geeting formidable. (no pressure, she asks to play, she wins maybe 1 of 20 games now, I give her mulligans)

As much as a do love my BIL, I would like his 'little sister' -a liberal/democrat to be able to kick his ass in a game of chess. She is getting pretty good.

And please don't think that my wifes family are some sort of trump supporting morons. They are quite refined, and at the same time very easy going. Quite educated and well spoken. That's kind of confusing.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:25 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Americans seem to be unique in wanting to discuss politics at family gatherings. Why?

It really doesn't happen here in Canada (or probably elsewhere.)
Perhaps because you don't have as much of a large cultural difference as the US does. Or perhaps it's geographic. Not that Montreal isn't different than Edmonton, but I think that the US has developed a big cultural divide between the Atlantic, the Pacific and those in between. And the Rockies where I live.

Though, I hope good will eventual come with the current fuck up of our county. The diversity of trump may make us come together as a people. But first, it's gonna tear us apart.

To all republicans. Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:28 AM
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someone even stuck a Trump bumper sticker on the tailgate of my truck like a gaping asshole.


Stranger

?
1) The person who put the sticker was like a gaping asshole?
2) Made your truck look like a gaping asshole?
3) Or the Trump in the sticker looked like a gaping asshole?

  #20  
Old 09-22-2018, 01:30 AM
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To the OP, have you not been married long? Since, presumably they had different opinions on previous administrations as well, so you should have a handle on it......
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:38 AM
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To the OP, have you not been married long? Since, presumably they had different opinions on previous administrations as well, so you should have a handle on it......
Surely, even from a distance, you can see how this situation is quite different.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:55 AM
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Maybe stop assuming that your opinion is a fact, and recognizing that your opinion is, in fact, just an opinion. And that alternate opinions are just as valid as yours. That might reduce your outrage at other people having differing opinions.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:40 AM
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Americans seem to be unique in wanting to discuss politics at family gatherings. Why?

It really doesn't happen here in Canada (or probably elsewhere.)
I'd say it's THE Basque national sport, but with a caveat: it's more of a debate, and as soon as anybody starts getting heated for real (as opposed to "people who aren't Basque are getting scared", which seriously can happen at "Basque person said 'hello'"), they are given a timeout. We even debate vigorously when all the debaters are on the same side, it's good practice for when we're not.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:50 AM
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Maybe stop assuming that your opinion is a fact, and recognizing that your opinion is, in fact, just an opinion. And that alternate opinions are just as valid as yours....
I see confusion like this from an unfamiliar Doper, and my reflex is to click Advanced Search. Here's the first hit:
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I was proud to be an American when Obama was president, even though I loathed Obama and all he stood for.

... I love my country, it's principles, its Constitution, its philosophy, and its dedication to freedom. I don't agree with Trump; he agrees with me.

God bless the USA.
I guessed right! What do I win?
  #25  
Old 09-22-2018, 09:16 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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To the OP, have you not been married long? Since, presumably they had different opinions on previous administrations as well, so you should have a handle on it......
Married Twenty One years now. And as Procrustus said, this is completely different.

We are now looking at treason, open racism and corruption. Lies every day bigger than the day before. A moron is now 'leading' the country. He is shinning a light for his supporters to follow. At least now that they have crawled out from under their rocks, they have exposed themselves to the ridicule they so richly deserve.

And no, I won't bring the above up over dinner.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:42 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Drink.
Heavily and quickly, and when you can no longer stand unassisted nor speak without slurring, then bring up Trump.
  #27  
Old 09-22-2018, 10:53 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Americans seem to be unique in wanting to discuss politics at family gatherings. Why?

It really doesn't happen here in Canada (or probably elsewhere.)
I think Trump is a proxy for a person's moral system.

Anti Trump people feel we are defending morality, democracy, equality and multiculturalism against the fascist creep.

I can't speak for pro Trump supporters, but I assume they feel Trump is a bulwark against dangerous and offensive cultural changes.

Again, I can't speak for pro Trump people but for those of us who dislike Trump, it can be hard to respect the intellect or morals of his base. It feels like they'll abandon any principle a civilized person should have to support racial purity.

I try to avoid the subject when it comes up. We aren't Changing each other's minds.
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2018, 11:13 AM
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Thanksgiving 2016 we set a “no politics” rule. We had very interesting discussions about political history, so for Thanksgiving 2017 the rule was “no 21st century politics”.

But since your relatives like to play chess, you could respond to any Trump related comments with “pawn to king 4”, and take the game from there. Becuase for some games the only way to win is to not play.
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:34 AM
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Trump is not worth ruining a family gathering. No politician is.
This.
  #30  
Old 09-22-2018, 12:11 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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I know families who have been ripped apart over Trump vs AntiTrump. I think it is best to avoid the topic. Neither side is going to convince the other side that they are wrong. Maybe mention that the economy is booming, then move on to something else.
  #31  
Old 09-22-2018, 12:38 PM
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Leave Trump out of it, and gently explore the issues. I've been trying to talk to Trump supporters lately. It turns out that some of them are good people (as are your relatives).* I just spent almost a whole week with my mover while we got my house packed up and loaded. We talked about a lot of things. He was a great guy, and I learned a lot. We never mentioned Trump.





*This is a reference to Trump's comment, of course, but I've decided to build on it. I'm trying to connect with Trumpers on an individual basis. Thus far, I've learned a lot, and hopefully I've made a good impression on a few people as well. The conversations have been friendly.

(Some of them, of course, are assholes, but I haven't run into them on my quest to bridge the gap. I will I'm sure.)

Last edited by Sunny Daze; 09-22-2018 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 09-22-2018, 12:59 PM
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I hate how politics seem to dominate every discussion these days. Even when I'm with people who share my positions, I hate that politics have become the major topic of discussion. When I go to lunch, I want to talk about fun stuff, not political policies!

With that out of the way, this is a no-win situation for you. It's not your party, so you can't set the rules. You're way out-numbered, so you won't be able to influence the conversation enough. And most of the people there will want to talk about politics all the time, anyway. If they can't talk about politics, they won't have anything to talk about.

I would suggest to just not engage. If the discussion starts to center around politics, find a different group and hang with them. If someone asks what you think about something, say "I think it's time for me to get another drink!" and head to the kitchen.

Another option is to stop by every Democratic headquarters you pass on your drive and pick up hats, t-shirts, koozies, bumper stickers, etc. Wear everything and plaster your car with all the stickers. When politics come up, filibuster non-stop about the benefits of liberal policies. If anyone tries to interrupt, TALK LOUDER! Eventually the rest of the party guests will drift away and not bother you for the rest of your visit.
  #33  
Old 09-22-2018, 01:05 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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You're not an American, I take it. It's become damn near impossible to avoid someone bringing up Trump (both for or against) in what would seem to be the most obviously inappropriate situations.
I am an American, some of my family is pro-Trump and some virulently anti-, and no it isn't anything close to impossible.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:15 PM
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This.
Easy for you to say. It’s not your country going to hell. Over here, we’re worried A substantial number of our fellow citizens are either dangerously stupid or just deplorable.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:34 PM
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I am an American, some of my family is pro-Trump and some virulently anti-, and no it isn't anything close to impossible.

Regards,
Shodan
When I see threads like this I have to wonder if I’m living on a different planet. I can and do go through 99% of my life with out getting into political arguments or even discussions. It’s really not that hard.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:37 PM
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Easy for you to say. It’s not your country going to hell. Over here, we’re worried A substantial number of our fellow citizens are either dangerously stupid or just deplorable.
Have your forgotten about Brexit?
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:08 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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When I see threads like this I have to wonder if I’m living on a different planet. I can and do go through 99% of my life with out getting into political arguments or even discussions. It’s really not that hard.
Yep, mostly. I have no idea where the people I work with stand, but have a good guess. Mostly anti-trump.

But when your MIL asks "How do you think trump is doing? I think he's doing pretty good" And your BIL has Trump/Pence banners flying, its sort of hard to ignore.

My BIL is actually a very smart fun to be around person. A CEO of an oil equipment manufacturing company. If he still supports trump, AND asks me my opinion, I will flat out tell him what I think, let him respond and then drop it.

It's quite clear that trump supporters are either as vile as he is, or are immune to facts and logic. In the case of my wife's family, I don't want to know which one it is.
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:34 PM
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Make your excuses and don't go if you feel uncomfortable.
You are going to another person house, to celebrate an life event for them, on their invite......if you feel so strongly then its better to avoid it then be a guest who is speculating whether hos hosts are vile or just plain stupid.
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:52 PM
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Hoe long are you planning to be there? This is a toughie, but if it's not too long you could try just walking away from any political talk. More than a few days and you might have to lay down a ground rule. No politics. It's either that or honestly debate any Trump supporter, and you know how that goes.
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:16 PM
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Well wait a second partner...

Maybe they are not so bad?

Consider - you need help moving. Your conservative brother in law has a big pickup truck and is always willing to lend a hand.

Your liberal friends and relatives all drive Prius's and always seem to be griping about the world.

Who would you call if you needed help?
  #41  
Old 09-22-2018, 04:15 PM
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It's quite clear that trump supporters are either as vile as he is, or are immune to facts and logic. In the case of my wife's family, I don't want to know which one it is.
Then don't ask.

If you find yourself getting into arguments about Trump everywhere you, you might think about who is present, everywhere you go.

Regards,
Shodan
  #42  
Old 09-22-2018, 04:34 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Americans seem to be unique in wanting to discuss politics at family gatherings. Why?

It really doesn't happen here in Canada (or probably elsewhere.)
There has never been a president as divisive as Trump. I don't recall politics being discussed at parties in the US before. And there is nothing like Trump in Canada. Although since you are in Ontario, maybe Doug Ford, who seems to be almost Trumpian.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:38 PM
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Easy for you to say. It’s not your country going to hell.
If you listen to what the Left say over here, it's just the same. And there are still divisions over Thatcher.

Quote:
Over here, we’re worried
You should be worried whoever is in power. An active and interested and concerned electorate is the bastion of democracy.

Quote:
A substantial number of our fellow citizens are either dangerously stupid or just deplorable.
Some of them surely are, but most of them probably have a different perspective and a different understanding of the issues. And you will probably find that you actually agree with them on most things, just differing on certain issues.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:40 PM
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Every time someone brings up the CFSG, reply with "...in accordance with Prophecy." Do this without fail every single time. My bet will be they leave you alone about it within 10 minutes.

I also recommend that you three stay somewhere other than the "ranch." That way you can all bail the instant things get to be too much.

Then moon them when you drive away.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:46 PM
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With that many people, there will be the full range of political enthusiasm. Younger people will probably care less, for example. Others will spend the whole trip in front of a TV tuned to Fox News. Hang out with the less political people and you may not have to deal with it much at all.
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Old 09-22-2018, 05:19 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Some of them surely are, but most of them probably have a different perspective and a different understanding of the issues. And you will probably find that you actually agree with them on most things, just differing on certain issues.
Like differing on whether it is okay to elect a self-described serial sexual predator and advocate for suppressing a free press who campaigned on the promise to jail his political opponent and who even as president cannot bring himself to respectfully comfort the families of fallen soldiers or unconditionally condemn white nationalists and neo-Nazis?

This “there are two equal sides to every view” horseshit doesn’t fly when one side openly supports bigotry, repression, and assault, notwithstanding the degree of manifestly corrupt people nominated into high executive positions, the likes of which has not been seen since the infamous Harding presidency. But keep pushing that line while stiffing waitresses and whinging about the fate of “the whites” in South Africa.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 09-22-2018 at 05:19 PM.
  #47  
Old 09-22-2018, 06:53 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Then don't ask.

If you find yourself getting into arguments about Trump everywhere you, you might think about who is present, everywhere you go.

Regards,
Shodan
Stop putting words in my mouth. Where did I say or imply that I get into arguments about trump everywhere I go? Show me.

And if you would care to read this thread, I don't ask, they shove it down your throat.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:11 PM
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How easily do you get frustrated? The easier you can let stuff roll of your back, the easier it will be.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:05 PM
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Location: New York, NY, USA
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Leaffan:

Quote:
Americans seem to be unique in wanting to discuss politics at family gatherings. Why?
Perhaps it's mainly the Americans you observe on this message board. Most Americans do not make a point of discussing politics constantly, but this message board definitely attracts folks who like to get into political discussions, as well as those who find it impossible to swallow their political feelings for the sake of a peaceful gathering.

And it's definitely not uniquely American. Israelis, in my experience, seem to constantly engage in political talk.
  #50  
Old 09-22-2018, 08:52 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 12,888
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
How easily do you get frustrated? The easier you can let stuff roll of your back, the easier it will be.
Oh, I'd say I'm middlin. I'm a programmer so tracing a bug is often the most frustrating thing that most people encounter. I do well to walk away from it and often find solutions when away from my desk.

But, If I am cornered, and they insist on my opinion, well... That's where I want a simple easy answer to perhaps bow out of a debate. And my thought is to simple say "do you think that trump is a good representative of the US" It they do, fine, I have nothing else to say.

Folks, I'm not that worried about it. I handle such situations with aplomb.

Anyway, rubber hits road tomorrow. My wife just bought a 2019 Subaru Ascent. Gonna be a good road car I think.
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