Nothing sparks an argument faster or more heated than the two evils: Democrats and Republicans. Okay really now… seriously we all know that its religion and politics, so how do you keep the family talking when they collide over one or both of these subjects? Between the nasty elections, crooked politicians, corrupt media and various scandals all playing out before your eyes and commonly discussed over the dinner table or through various and diverse emails, it’s hard not to go to blows with one or two friends or our relatives over our moral differences.

How to settle it PEACEFULLY is the question?

I did read these instructions over how to deal with the confrontation:

  • KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN

    As with any volatile subject, it’s important to keep family members talking. Acknowledge that you have some differences of opinion regarding politics, but that you will always love and respect each other.

    • DON’T GET PERSONAL

      No matter how heated a family debate might get, be sure never to get personal with negative comments. Understand that family members may identify closely with high-profile leaders of a particular political party. Stick to political ideals or specific actions, don’t attack individuals.

      • TAKE TIME TO SIT TOGETHER

        Rather than restating what you may have heard or read from a member of the media, take time to sit together and listen to differing viewpoints. This enables you to judge for yourself what is often sensationalized. Agree to watch a TV program or read an article that represents another family member’s political views. If you are a democrat, sit down with republican members of your family and watch 30 minutes of Fox News. If you are a republican, sit down with democratic members of your family and watch 30 minutes of CNN. Make rules beforehand that you will not express negative views about the program and stick to the rules.

        • WATCH A POLITICALLY NEUTRAL PROGRAM TOGETHER

          After having completed Step 3, sit down together and watch a politically neutral program such as public TVs The NewsHour with Jim Leherer. This type of a program may help defuse many of the political tensions in the household.

          • COMPARE YOUR IDEALS

            Sometimes it’s helpful for family members with differing political views to compare ideals. Try to find common ground. This will help to keep peace in a politically charged family.

            • REMEMBER THAT WE ALL LOVE AMERICA

              Take time to discuss events that have made us uniquely American. Topics might include The Bill of Rights, the Preamble to the Constitution (steer clear of Amendments at this stage), the American Civil War, our immigrant ancestry, or the esprit de corps after 9/11.

              • ACKNOWLEDGE THAT DISCUSSION IS HEALTHY

                Remember that our political system of checks and balances is built on the principle of preventing any party or individual from having too much power. Encourage your family to be proud of our political system and remind each other that non-personal, even-tempered discussion of the issues is healthy!

                By following these steps in your politically charged family, it should be easier to make and keep peace.

                Who wants to read about success? It is the early struggle which makes a good story. ~ Katherine Anne Porter

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