Fleet was recently a guest contributor in The Huffington Post, with a new article entitled, Putting Politics Back On The Table This Holiday Season. Below is an excerpt from the article:
This holiday season, given the highly charged and volatile political landscape, many families intend to opt out of, or even forbid, political discussions at the dinner table. It can be difficult to have a constructive conversation or debate with members of your family when the context for such discussions has become so polarized and divisive. It becomes easy to fall into the conservative, liberal or progressive arguments, using soundbites narrowly proscribed by political parties and the media, leading to angry standoffs with the ones you love the most.
In fact, during the most recent presidential election, it was estimated that 41% of married couples voted for opposing candidates, leading to many heated arguments and in some cases, serious marital discord. In the same study, researchers discovered that 40% of Americans feel tension with their friends and families due to the election. Seven percent reported actually ending a friendship due to different political views exacerbated by the heated political climate.
Given the real dangers of marital and family discord, it may seem like a good idea to take politics off the table at family dinners and holiday gatherings. At our family’s Thanksgiving meal last year, just weeks after the election, one of my siblings began to express their political views and another of my siblings, whose home we were gathered at, immediately shifted the conversation with, “We’re not going there.”
We Need to “Go There”