Political discussions with family

Tonight, Chris, his parents, and I went to see the off-Broadway show The City of Conversation at the Lincoln Center. It’s a story about how after a certain political decision is made, a family gets broken up for 30 years because of differing political opinions and spans the period from the Carter administration to the current Obama administration. The arguments, which get quite heated, are extremely realistic – people argue their points, get spoken over, yelling ensues, and ultimately no one is really listening to the other.

After watching the show, I thought about political debates in my own family between the different generations, mainly my parents’ and mine, and I’ve realized how one-sided they are; my generation, which includes my cousins, Ed, and me – is so scared to ever argue our points because we know that our nearly tea party/right-wing radical parents, aunts, and uncles, would just talk over us, call us naive and make it seem like our opinions are just passing, and then claim we aren’t educated enough (even though we’ve out-educated them all) to understand the “real” issues. It would never be a real “conversation” – it would be a waste of breath. I’m not actually scared to argue against what they say; I’m just so exhausted by how idiotic these conversations end up that I can’t be bothered anymore. Example: the last time my aunt and I argued over gun control, she actually said, “So you want to ban guns? Why don’t you ban pencils while you’re at it because you could stab someone with it!”

Once, I had an argument with my dad about Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama, and he said near the end, “When you get to the point of making a lot more money, you won’t vote for Democrats anymore.”

A lot of the things that my parents’/aunts’/uncles’ generation get to enjoy, things like social security and pension, were created by the politicians claim to hate, and during their time of creation, were considered socialist. It’s as though they’re happy to reap the benefits of the past without realizing where these things came from and how they even came to be…. And then want to reject anything in the future that might help my generation and future ones to come. It’s just selfish and blind-sighted, and there’s no other way to put it.

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