It's been two weeks, and I'm still furious (aka people who don't bother to listen)

My sister has finally gone over the fucking line.

I am honestly unsure whether I want to talk to her ever again.

I do not expect everyone to agree with me.

I do not expect everyone to even agree that my arguments have logic or reason behind them.

I do, however, expect anyone who wants to debate or discuss politics and current events to at least listen to my arguments.

I am sick to fucking death of my sister not listening while she’s painting me with a brush the size of goddam Texas because she knows what I’m going to say before I say it. After all, I’m not an enlightened or considerate person, like her. Therefore why bother listening to what I say before reacting emotionally to it?

Last year (2003) at Thanksgiving she started ranting about how evil Shrub is. Going on and on about how evil he is for pushing the No Child Left Behind act, how wrong it is for him to allow any logging on parks lands, and above all how she is thrilled to know that come 2004 he’ll be voted out of office. When my parents and I pointed out, calmly at first, that the push for standardized testing in the public schools is not simply a Shrub idea, and had been championed by such persons as Hillary Clinton, Patrick Moynahan, and Ted Kennedy she would go on and on about how standardized tests don’t really accurately judge how well a student is going to do in life, let alone whether they know the subject at all. Just how well the teacher has mastered teaching to the test. When my parents and I asked what was fundamentally different in the emphasis on standardized testing for NCLB compared, to, say, the Regents requirements here in NYS for a Regents diploma she simply reiterated that Shrub was evil and that NCLB wasn’t helping any. Answering out questions wasn’t important, since she knew we were just out to defend Shrub from her righteous approbation. When I tried to move to a substantive discussion about the issue of logging on Federal Parks lands, and kept trying to bring up that the burden of tons of lumber per acre in some of those forests is at an all-time high - making the situation ripe for massive wildfires, such as the one’s we’d had that summer. In fact, at least one fire had been massively destructive, in part, because certain environmental groups had blocked selective logging in the area that burned because logging is evil. And she just kept talking over those points, going on about how it was wrong to log on Federal land. Especially since the money was all going to Haliburton. (I kept my mouth shut, instead of asking if Tyson would have been better. Honest, I did.) I asked her, several times, whether she’d be willing to consider that sometimes logging is not the worst thing to be doing in a forest, if one wants to control fire hazards. Of course, she heard only the word logging (or something like that, I’m not sure.) and kept going on about how all logging on Federal parks is evil. And that Bush shouldn’t be allowed to do it. When it was gently pointed out that some of the plans for logging on Federal parks go back to the Clinton Administration, she said something to the effect of “But Bush is doing it all.” She didn’t listen, because, of course, she was right and we weren’t. So, when she started interrupting, I allowed my voice to raise when I tried to keep making my points.

At which point she got upset, because I was yelling at her for no reason.

End of that discussion.

Then, in the summer of 2004, when I was discussing the election with her, I mentioned that I wasn’t going to be voting for Shrub, but I couldn’t stomach Kerry, either. I even asked her, if she would be had a problem with me voting for a third party candidate, since NY’s electoral college vote was a foregone conclusion. She said, sure. Since, the electoral college vote didn’t matter. And then kept asking me why I supported the Republicans on this that or the other hot issue. No matter how many times I tell her I am a registered Independent, it never, ever, settles in her mind.

In fact after the 2004 Presidential election when I offered her my condolences about the election results, she’d asked me why anyone could possibly vote for Shrub. So, I begin my conversation by telling her I can’t tell her why anyone voted for Shrub, since I didn’t and couldn’t. And then I began listing the reasons that I couldn’t vote for Kerry, either. In the middle of that discussion, focusing mostly on the fact that the only policy difference between Kerry and Shrub, according to Kerry’s announced campaign that I saw, was that he was going to do everything in his power to block the Yucca Mountain Long Term Nuclear Waste Storage Facility. Nominally, because he had questions about the security of such a facility. At this point I said something to Debbie along the lines of “Once he said that, I stopped seeing any difference of principal between Kerry and Shrub, and if I wasn’t going to vote for Shrub out of my disgust with his lack of principals, I couldn’t vote for Kerry, for the same reason.”

At which point she flies off the handle, saying something along the lines of: “Why are you mocking me? You’re trying to tell me why people voted for Bush and you don’t even have the courage of your convictions to vote for him, yourself!”

Excuse me, Oh Miss High, Righteous, and DEAF, I’d told you before the election, and in the beginning of the conversation, that I didn’t vote for Shrub. You’re the one who’s so goddamned sure of what I’m thinking that you knew how I was voting even after I’d kept you informed of my plans! In fact Miss High, Righteous, and DEAF, not only didn’t I vote for the Republican candidate for president, I voted for the Democratic Senator for my state, I voted for my Democratic US Representative, and for the Democratic challenger for the State Senate seat. Granted I voted for the Republican challenger for the State Assembly seat, but that was because the NYS budget process is so fucked up that I refused to vote for any incumbent. Which I’d only mentioned several times to you before the fucking election.

But she knows I’m a Republican, dyed in the wool, and absolutely unable to listen to any criticism of my candidate, so of course she doesn’t have to listen to what I actually say.

As an aside, she’s also allowed to ask as many personally insulting questions she likes, but if I say anything that might sound condemnatory towards her, I’m tarred with being a typical Republican, attacking my opponents. Even when the statement I’d made was to point out that her question was insulting!

Then, this Christmas dinner she started ranting about how the Republicans are evil people and she doesn’t even have any friends who are Republicans. Of course, she laughed, she can’t choose family.

Gee, fucking thanks. I’m so goddam glad to know you know my every thought and opinion without even asking me. Because, of course, I’m a Republican. No matter what my voter registration might say.

Then, of course she started talking about how Republicans don’t care about rights for people who disagree with them. So, I diffidently ask her how she expects me to believe that Democrats give a damn for the rights of people who disagree with their positions, when the only Federal Law regulating protesters is on the books to keep anti-abortion opponents at least 500 feet from any clinics.

And she then says, “I should know better than to start a political conversation here, because it always turns out badly. I’m sorry I brought it up.” of course that apology was only to my mother. I didn’t deserve one, since I was crass enough to actually call her on one of her outrageous statements.

I really, truly, don’t see why I should bother talking to this wench anymore.

Reeder’s your sister?

Thank you. That got me to laugh. And wince. :stuck_out_tongue:

I here ya Otaku. My future in-laws are pretty much dyed in the wool republicans (Michael Savage listeners, none o’ that sissy Limbaugh). While at a family dinner out, the discussion turned to politics because one of the uncles can’t help but bring up any disagreements we (me and my fiancee) have with President Bush. He told us we shouldn’t be so “liberal” and told us how disappointed he was in us. :mad:

Yes, because we don’t like some of the things that the President has done we are naive, ignorant liberals who don’t know how the world really works. :rolleyes:

Sometimes I wonder why people even have ears if they aren’t going to use them.

Card-carrying liberal here:

I don’t see why you should waste any more time on her, either. She’s toxic. She’s a fanatic. She has her mind nailed shut. She’s just as bad as any fundaloonie, any rabid neocon, any death-to-America Islamist, any ELF/ALF saboteur, any person who sees only one narrow worldview and takes any rebuttal to it as an evil attack on The One Pure Truth.[sup]TM[/sup] The personal insults and taking umbrage at any reply that isn’t groveling… Ack. She’s just a nasty-ass bitch, and would be no matter what her politics.

Alas, since she’s family, you are stuck talking to her now and then. May I suggest, any time she launches into her bullshit, that your response should be an innocuous non sequitur?

“Shrub blah blah blah blah.”

“Did you notice that bare patch on the lawn? I wonder if there’s some crabgrass sneaking in.”

“But I said blah blah blah blah!”

“I’ve been thinking about getting a Keeshond puppy. They’re such a cool-looking dog, don’t you think?”

“How can you blah blah blah when blah blah blah?”

“How about those Red Sox, huh? Do you think they can do it again this year?”

The rest of your family will no doubt leap gratefully onto the diversionary topic, leaving her in her own polluted dust. Who knows? Eventually she may even give up the inflammatory monomolgues, when she realizes that you’re not going to give her any leverage for more self-righteous poop-flinging.


“monomolgues”? :smack:

“monologues” :o

:: slinks away ::

You know I thought the exact same thing.

eyes ** gobear ** suspiciously

Pure gold! :smiley:

Just don’t discuss politics with her. When the subject comes up just say “We can a nice pleasant discussion or we can talk about politics but we can’t do both.”


My father and I have trained ourselves to not talk politics. We’ll be chatting along, suddenly one of us will make a political comment, the heat rises in the other and he comments back, then you can see us both bite our tongues, sit there in dead silence for 20 seconds, then go on to the weather or how much basketball sucks these days.

My brother likes to stir the pot, the little shit. “I’d sure like to know more about Richard Nixon!” he’ll innocently chirp.

My sister and I can’t talk about politics. I visit her frequently, as she is good people, aside from her looney '60s-era-art-major-reinforced-by-Michael-Moore opinions. We know we can’t talk politics, so if our conversation starts veering towards politics, one or the other of us will say “Yeah, but we can’t go there” and moves the conversation in some other direction.

It works for us.

ETF’s suggestions remind me of a situation with my grandfather. When my mother and I went down to stay with him and my grandmother for my great-grandmother’s 95th birthday party this past October, it got… nightmarish.

(To give you an idea of his general political outlook, he not only subscribes to and reads the Limbaugh Letter, he underlines important parts and writes little notes in the margins. My mother and I occupy positions on the opposite end of the political spectrum. He knows this.)

It started on our ride home from the airport, actually. No matter how hard I tried to change the subject, he’d bring it back to something that he thought proved that liberals are all evil communist morons. But I couldn’t agree with him, and arguing with him outright would be bad for Family Harmony, so after everything he said I’d do my best to gently shift the topic to something related but less scary, while my mother fumed quietly.

By the end of the visit, I was about out of clever and subtle ways of changing the subject. So, when our ride back to the airport was interrupted by one of those “John Kerry eats babies!!” radio commercials and my grandfather turned it up, I turned to the Florida wildlife outside the car for a subject. ANY subject. Anything distracting, no matter how inane, please please please save us…

“Look, a pig!!”

Due to my quick thinking and a well-timed pig, I got my grandmother to tell me ALL ABOUT the local feral pigs for the duration of the next three or four commercials. Whew.

“Look, a pig!!” has become a useful phrase here at Stately Mercotan Manor.

Qadgop the Mercotan: elfbabe, why didn’t you finish the dishes last night?
elfbabe: Um… … Look, a pig!!

Sounds just like my dad and my bubbe. Or heck, my bubbe and me. Other people have nice grandmothers, who bake cookies, I have a radical socialist bubbe. Talking about politics with her is almost painful, she’s so unwilling to look at any other sides. But of course, politics is the only thing she wants to talk about. She doesn’t have anything else to do, so she watches CNN all day and loads up on things to be angry about.

Everyone in my family is a liberal. EVERYONE. My mom is a registered Democrat, my dad (and my sister, too, I think) is a registered Green. In Illinois we don’t register with a political party, but I consider myself an independent liberal.

But in my bubbe’s mind (my bubbe is my dad’s mother, btw), we’re Republicans. Especially my dad, which is so hilarious if you know him. Back in 2000, she didn’t believe me when I told her he wasn’t planning on voting for Bush, because he’s such a Republican. My dad! Who uses magnetic poetry to write haiku on the fridge about how much he loathes George Bush!

My bubbe’s mind is an interesting place. She once told me my (Jewish!) dad is an anti-Semite. It was funny on Seinfeld when Uncle Leo accused Jerry of being an anti-Semite; it’s less funny and more crazy when that happens in real life.

You have feral pigs? Cool!

That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

But back to the OP, that’s a perfect example of why I refuse to argue politics. I work with a few people who are loudly vocal about their politics, with which I tend to disagree quite strongly. But I just keep my mouth shut and smile, and as a result, I’ve managed to become quite friendly with them. Well, one of them. Maybe two. The other one’s just an ass.

Boy, do we ever! They’s some skeery critters, too! Well, except the cute little baby feral piggies.


Some people simply cannot converse. In every family or every workplace or what have you you will always find people for whom “conversation” means “I shall open my mouth and noise will spill out concerning what interests me.”

One lady in my workplace, who I will call Mildred, is like this. A seemingly nice person, but if you try to have a conversation with her you will simply receive a monologue about what she did yesterday or what she thinks about that or what she’s going to do next week or (insert her preferred topic.) No attempt to interject anything will slow her down, change her mind, or even be noticed by her. After awhile I just gave up.

My developmentally-delayed older brother was over for dinner tonight.

“You know,” he said, out of the blue… this usually indicates that he’s either going to parrot some damn thing that one of the Christian bikers he drinks with put in his head, or he’s going to make an observation about the moral superiority of Pabst Blue Ribbon. “It’s funny that the ACLU backed Sultaana Freeman, because that comes down on the side of religion and they’re the sworn enemy of Jesus.”


“Well, I’d suggest that’s a little glib. Hey, who needs a refill?”

Later on, “You know.” Oh, god. More parrot. “It’s ironic that the ACLU backed NAMBLA and said they wanted free speech but then asked for a gag order so that no one would know about it.”

… wait, that’s not what a gag order is… who’s been… UGH!

“Well, Ron, California is a land of contrasts.”

“This was Massachusetts.”


Man, this is difficult. I just want to know who thinks it’s a good idea to fill the head of a guy who can barely work a zipper with all kinds of ridiculous dogma.

It’s not that the opinions offend me. I disagree with them, but you’re entitled to what you want and I’m sure many people would find my political opinions inane. I just wish that people would leave my god-damn brother alone, stop feeding him Michael Savage and breaking it down into little Vitriol McNuggets and just let him think what he wants to think.

(Yes, I know this isn’t him thinking what he wants to think. He hasn’t the foggiest idea about any of the talking points beyond what he says. I figured that out months ago when he first started parroting.

I wish he’d go back to hanging out with the guys who only influenced him on the topics of football and pro wrestling.)

All of my family except me is devoutly mormon. All of my family except me is devoutly republican.

We can talk religion (or lack thereof) without conflict. We never discuss politics. It’s an interesting “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Thanks everyone for some sympathy, and some good suggestions. I’m not sure how many of them I’ll be able to use, but I’ll certainly give 'em a try.

[QUOTE=elfbabe"Look, a pig!!"[/QUOTE]

Am I the only one who wondered what the season is for feral pig? And whether free range pork tastes signifigantly better than farmed pork?