Differing Opinions... It's okay!!

So I kind of got into a fight with my best friend this morning. She sent me some glurge hailing the praises of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix. “Oh he makes prisoners live in tents in the desert in 110 degree temperatures! He makes them eat rotten bolonga for meals, no cable tv, no movies not rated G! He’s the best blah blah blah.” She’s a conservative Republican and we don’t agree on alot of political issues.
I sent her back an email disagreeing with her opinion, and letting her know that good ol’ Sheriff Joe just got sued for having cameras in the women’s showers. I then told her “I would expect a well-off, white, Midwestern, conservative Republican to feel the way you do, but I love you anyway.” Then I went to work.
Just get home, and there’s like 5 emails from her going *OFF * about how she believes murderers should be murdered, rapists raped, convicts dressing in burlap, basically saying that criminals should be treated as bad as possible yet still be kept alive. And how she was VERY insulted for calling her a well-off, white, Midwestern, conservative Republican.
Why oh why do people go into moral convulsions and become rabid when you express a difference of opinion? Does she really in her heart believe that she is right and I am wrong and that’s with enough effort, she’ll change my mind? Change a big part of who I am?
Why does she still see fit to send me her hateful glurge when she KNOWS I’m a bleeding-heart liberal Democrat who believes in prisoner’s rights, social programs, compassion for all, and am against the death penalty?
It’s not only with her that I see the intolerance of others’ opinions- I have a couple of other friends like that, and the Dope has their share of this.
Is there an answer to this quandry?

I disagree…you Communist! :smiley:

Wear a t-shirt around her that says, “I belive in the Bill of Rights.”

Yeah, well, I didn’t say it would work all the time.

With your username, what do you expect? Just try to stop being such a trublmakr.

Cameras or no cameras in the bathrooms. The tent thing in 110-degree weather is appropriate. It’s my opinion, but I’m not mad or anything. Even If I am a well off white midwesterner.

It’s easy to piss people off unintentionally in an e-mail. Probably you both took things a little more seriously than they were intended; it’s likely you can work it out in person.
My mom sends me a lot of religious glurge even though she knows how I feel about it. I once asked her why, and she said maybe one day she’d send me the right thing at the right time, and presto! I’d be a Christian. I said, “Okay, Mom. Knock yourself out.” I delete them with a warm feeling that my mama loves me, instead of getting annoyed like I used to. :slight_smile:

I just woke up and found 3 more emails from her, praising rape and torture for prisoners. In America!!
I’m starting to wonder if we can remain as close as we’ve been for 20 years… how can people think like this?? And how can she condemn me for not thinking the exact same way???

We’re going to have to have a serious talk.

Well, you could start sending her your communist-liberal-pinko glurge. :smiley:

If she’s a good friend, tell her you’ll agree to disagree and not discuss politics any more.

It’s rude and petty - but it worked for me.
Some woman I barely know put me on her forwards list - one horrid glurge back about how GWB was ruining America, and I haven’t heard from her since. I almost feel guilty.

If she is one of the religious conservatives, who believes that their views are morally justified, tell her to go back and read the Bible. That old “eye-for-an-eye” crap was cast aside in favor of forgiveness, love, prayer, and understanding.
Then tell her that you forgive her and will always love her.

With someone who spews their opinion but takes offense at yours, it’s best to just tell them to leave you out of their distribution list. If your friendship is truly important to her, you should be able to get her to understand that politics is a subject to be avoided.

I have friends and relatives whose political opinions vary wildly from mine. Some of them I can have discussions with, some I can’t. Thing is, we all generally know whether or not politics will lead to a discussion or an argument, and treat the subject with an appropriate amount of caution. It’s a skill your friend would do well to cultivate if she doesn’t want to drive you away.

This is the part that boggles my mind:

What’s insulting about being well-off, white, Midwestern, conservative, or Republican? :confused: The rest of the tirade I understand, sort of, as people tend to get defensive and pissy if they perceive themselves or their opinions as being under attack.

Remember, while you’re wondering how thinking people can possibly hold her opinions, she’s thinking the exact same thing about you.

IMHO, anyone who thinks that rape and torture of prisoners is OK is out of their fucking minds, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. She’s a nutcase, and her multiple emails are her way of venting her nuttiness, and (again IMHO) inappropriate to send to someone who disagrees. Blow her off.

I disagree. If you can blow her off, or she you, you weren’t really friends in the first place. But if you were, try to patch it up. Friendships are too valuable to blow off because of a disagreement. I have friends who are completely opposite me on the political spectrum. These friends I spare my sharpest barbs because I value them more than the momentary satisfaction of making a point.

On the other hand, I have a cousin who is as conservative as I am liberal, but with a hide just as thick as mine. We trade barbs all the time with no harm done to the relationship. Others send their glurge to me, but I don’t reciprocate because I know they’d be offended. Just use your judgment. Spare the friendship. You can’t have too many friends.

It’s much easier to not make new friendships with people who’s opinions are very different than yours, when you’ve been pals with someone since before either of you had any real beliefs worked out yet, it gets stickier.

My closest friends and I have some differences, religion mainly, but we respectfully disagree and it’s all good. On the rare issue we argue about, I arm myself by lurking in GD and bash the ignorance right outta them. :wink:

I’m politically opposite most of my family, they know where I’m coming from, I understand their positions, I generally keep quiet unless they’re spouting stupidity in front of any of the kids. Then I’ll speak up and we’ll fight a bit, even though it’s futile, but at least the next generation isn’t being spoonfed a single point of view unchallenged, so I feel somewhat better.

I argued the Sheriff Joe issue with a few friends, just kept burying them in facts about his rule-breaking and tank-driving and the ickiest aspects like the shower cams until they either gave in or just shut up about it. I can live with that. I don’t think I could live with a major deal-breaker in a close friend, and I certainly couldn’t if they lost their sense of perspective or humor about the argument. Good luck working this one out.

I just got home from work, and 2 more emails from her re: yesterday.
Seems she was EXTREMELY offended at the well-off, white, Midwestern, conservative Republican comment. I wrote her back saying I didn’t mean it as an insult, but rather as a demographic. Because she IS all of those things. I’d never even think of insulting her. But for some reason, she equates my saying that with the treatment of her by her abusive ex-husband of many years ago. She says I bashed and belitted her and is all up in arms about it. I don’t understand.
But, I’m trying to kiss ass to the extreme to make up. I love her dearly, we’ve been the best of friends for 18 years and see eye-to-eye on everything but politics.
I ended my email advising her to either let it go or let me go- I’m not going to argue about an innocent comment that was taken the wrong way.
So, we’ll see.

You’re a better person than I am. There is no way I could be friends with someone so spastic and condescending.

Or conservative. :wink:

But she’s NOT like this, that’s part of the reason I’m so stunned by it. After 18 years of being so close, she blows about THIS??? Believe me, I’m very picky about my friends, and there’s no way we could’ve been friends this long without being very compatible.
Maybe the fact that she’s wealthy and I’m poor is starting to come between us.

That part about her ex-husband sounds like you maybe hit a button you didn’t know was there. Maybe she didn’t know, either. It seems as if it sounded wrong to her, even if you didn’t mean it that way. Is it possible to let her know you’re sorry for hitting that spot, since that seems to be more of a problem than the difference of opinion? Sounds like maybe the rest of it was over-reacting to that sore spot.

I hope you guys can work this out. Friendships are valuable.

Sheriff Arpaio is in charge of county jails, not state prisons, so he is abusing drunks, check-writers, disturbers of the peace, petty thieves, prostitutes, and other small-time types.

He also has custody of people who haven’t been tried yet, so they haven’t been found guilty of anything. “Innocent until proven guilty” means punishment is not to start until after their guilt is formally decided.

She may be conservative to the point of being pre-Constitution, as the Constitution banned cruel and unusual punishment.

She may not be a Christian, as Jesus asks us to hate the sin and love the sinner.

I guess I haven’t addressed the friendship issue, or the intolerance-of-opinions issue. People who go into rabid convulsions and blow up on side issues may be uneasy as to whether they can prevail on the facts, or prevail against humane norms.