Q&A Friday #11: How Do You Talk Politics With Your Liberal Friends?

Question: “Here’s my question: How do you deal with friends who are unabashedly liberal? Given how… passionate they feel about some topics (Bush, Iraq), it can sometimes get a little tense.” — Jonathan (Via Email)

Answer: Here’s my advice about talking politics to your liberal friends: Don’t.

Liberals tend to get particularly emotional about political issues, they often view your disagreements with them as moral failings on your part, and like the old saying goes, “Conservatives look for converts while liberals look for heretics.” This is not a mentality that leads to fun conversations with people who have diametrically opposing political views.

Personally, I try to avoid talking politics at work or with liberal friends and usually regret it when I do. That’s not to say that there aren’t any liberals you can discuss politics with (I had a liberal roommate in college and we had a blast talking politics), but they’re the exceptions, not the rule. For every James Carville and Mary Matalin, there are probably 100 people who stopped speaking to each other over political disagreements.

So my advice would be to just change the subject, move on to something non-political, and just accept that you’re going to have to agree to disagree about your politics.

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