Avoid politics during Christmas

No, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

"Tis the season to be jolly", so it is probably not the greatest idea to talk about your political opinions.

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Now, let me be honest. I love talking about politics. The subject is something I am very passionate about. I have grown up with having political discussions/debates in family dinners all of the time. My immediate family typically agrees on general political issues, and so the discussions are rather fun. I also encourage you to have such discussions, because they are rather important. Not because talking about the issues changes anything, but it forces you to think critically about your stances on such issues. I say these things to show that I am certainly not against having political debates. However, there are proper places and times for such discussions, and I would argue that during a Christmas dinner, with family you barely remember the last time you met, is not the correct place to point fingers on partisan issues.

Understand this, Christmas has far greater importance than what is trending on the news. This is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas for that reason, it is still a very important holiday that is meant to unite others together. Celebrating Jesus should be a unifying factor during the Christmas. According to my beliefs, it is the sole reason that Christmas has any true value at all. Even though cliches such as, "Jesus is the reason for the season" are easy to understand and hold true, I think Jesus is truly the only reason for the season. So I would encourage you to keep the focus on unifying things such as the birth of Jesus, family values, or general joyful subjects. Family Christmas should be looked back on as being a positive memory, so don't attempt to spoil it for something of less meaning.

Yes, politics are important. No, they are not worth hating family members over.

Family is very important. It is very concerning that political news can divide families for years because of an unnecessary discussion that led to animosity towards each other. Again, politics is important. But, family is more important. Before engaging in controversial topics think about what you are trying to achieve. Is it a friendly conversation that isn't driven by personal agendas? Though it may be rare, that does occur. On the contrary, is it a pointless personal agenda fueled debate that seeks to put down someone else so that your opinion is validated? I believe this is often the case.

Sadly, many people are attracted to debate tactics that provoke others to anger, because this is equated to winning a debate. Being provocative does not mean you are winning a debate, and it also just leads to putting someone down. It is easy to say something controversial that angers someone and feel like you have said some truly profound thing, but that tactic is rarely beneficial. Please, remember that a Christmas family reunion is not a nationally televised debate, and it is not necessary for you to attempt to offend someone.

Though what you say may be true, their feelings of hurt from your words can equally be true.

Why would I push for avoiding political discussion altogether? Simple, politics today is in a very nasty place. To say the least, politics is a very divisive today, and probably more so than it ever has been before. Individual's political opinions make up an important part of their identity today. Debates that seem harmless at first can easily be perceived as an attack on personal identity. That is why harsh arguments can be started from virtually nothing. Even though you may be harmlessly attempting to learn or change a family member's mind, it can lead to a shouting match nightmare.

I ask you to think about what is more important to you during the Christmas season. Is it remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? Maybe it is family bonding and catching up with old friends? Perhaps it is a mix of the two. I doubt many of you look forward to having serious political discussions that lead to boosted egos and hurt family members. I love political debates and I think they have their benefits. However, I know that Christmas stands for something far greater than meaningless arguments about tax policies with your cousin. It is not worth exchanging the joy and love of Christmas season for pointless debates. So, in closing, I would like for everyone to seriously consider holding off on politics for Christmas and instead pursue the joy that potentially can be had.


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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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