Are political differences putting a strain on your personal relationships?

During a campaign season, neighbors, friends and family members discover political differences they didn’t know they had. Today’s Question: Are political differences putting a strain on your personal relationships?

  • Clark

    No. Both I, my wife and kids all learned “arithmetric” so we understand our current clueless community activist president

    does not understand the math of our current obligations don’t add up. When the facts don’t fit, just ignore them and continue on the economic road to disaster.

  • Kurt

    My wife, neighbors and most of my friends are alligned with the enemy. It doesn’t bother me. I regard ones political leanings as just one aspect of ones personality. I have not, however, always experienced the same tolerance for my views in return. I find that rather ironic.

  • Claire

    @ Clark

    It never bothers me that you have a viewpoint or that it’s different from mine. But I imagine there must be a great temptation to play up the idiocy of the opposition and play down the idiocy of people who otherwise agree with you. I think indulging that temptation is more satisfying for you than for us.

  • Rich

    The danger is that we start to believe we are the people we see on television or read in the comments section. Heaven forbid we become a nation of partisans more than once every couple years.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Well, look on the bright side. More people now realize that political issues are relevant to their lives and actually affect their well-being and the common good, in contrast with other things they might get het up about (spectator sports, lives of the rich and famous, fashion, etc).

  • Laura

    Absolutely, and it’s sad.

    Our family is divided, and I find myself deeply disappointed in relatives who have morphed into hard-hearted, hard-headed, bigoted, racist monsters. While I know that I can still love them, I don’t know that I will ever respect them again. I know they have a right to their own opinion, but do they have a right to ingorance and hate? How can I keep MY mouth shut when I’m around it, and should I, just to maintain the peace? It’s a struggle some days.

  • Clark


    I am a numbers guy. I really understand the out of control spending, the impact of obama’s regulation on business as I live with the impact everyday I come to work. His defeat has become personal for me as I have seen too many people lose their jobs due to his ignorance.

    I am a moderate and not a right wing fanatic. I do understand the numbers better then most. I was never a great fan of W or republican spending, but from obama, I hear no truths.

    Obama remains clueless regarding the impact of his policies to private enterprise, which as a democrat, I assume you dislike.

    Obama’s plan is simple, confiscate income where it creates wealth and send it where it consumes wealth.

    Please, please provide me one factual statistic not filled with your left wing lying propaganda.

  • John

    I wouldn’t say strain, but it is disturbing how many sheeple there are out there. Blind and dumb to the reality and in most cases simply don’t want to hear the truth. Doing your own research and not depending on the mainstream media is rare.

  • Snaab


    Just a quick glance at the Constitution will show you who controls the purse strings, and it ain’t the President. Maybe you learned arithmetic, but blaming all things bad with the economy on the Pres is clear indication you did not learn much about government.

  • GregX

    Strain is not increasing. I’ve found that previous strain equals former strain in regard to politics and relationships. I’m a fiscally observant liberal. Fiscal tidiness isn’t something I abhor. Social policies are an area where my liberal approach is a discussion igniter. But, I find that many conservatives that I have personal discussions with are disarmed by an ability to listen to their entire argument. They are often take their more restrictive moral laws and walk them through the repurcussions. In many cases – they don’t change their minds … but they certainly are less happy about the mechanics and details of the laws currently promoted – and the collateral damage from them.

  • Mark in Freeborn

    It always surprises me when I find out that friends I always thought were Democrats turn out to be Republicans, and when Republican friends turn out to be Democrats. It’s heartening to know that it’s not really easy….or fair….to label people in this thin-skinned, presumptuous way.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Pay not attention to Clark, Snaab. His objection to regulations comes from his being a bankster who is irked by limitations on his ability to parasitize the economy.

  • Wally

    Is it too bad when relationships are damaged over such differences, for, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats,” as George Wallace said.

    Politics is a game, and we are the pawns. There are more powerful players than Willard Mitt Romney and Barack Hussein Obama setting the agenda. And while the president and the parties may claim they have a plan, or policies, for change, or recovery, and as Clark began this: “the math of our current obligations don’t (sic) add up.

    We are on the road to moral and economic disaster. Don’t be a pawn, be prepared.

  • GregX

    Presidential policies and congressional pressure both have short and long term affects. Short term – the markets are giant confidence games more responsive to rumor than fact. Their metrics and data on behavior are widely viewed as open to intpretation which …. generates rumor – that they acutally run on. In the long term – policies are left in place as “stagfnant” government which no one tracks live because of the distrust/misuse of data. Only when major outcomes occur is blame/creidt retrocatively applied. Consider …

    (1) Congress sees 40 years of stable boring banking+finance and relaxes regulations. (2) Congress says if you have relaxes regs – your duty (B+F) is to facilitate low-income, inner-city home ownership. (3) Banking says … OK .. we’ll give the most exotic loan instruments ( Variable APR or 0%, no-data loans) to the least savvy consumers – and back that massive default risk with the most over-leveraged derivitive products to maintain profits as if these were gold-plated borrowers. RESULTS -40+ YEARS LATER … global economic crash

  • GregX

    Banking is the artof the corporation paying to borrow customers money, but also charging customers or merchants to when the customer uses that money.

  • Jim G

    With conservative friends and family members who have known me for decades we talk openly, but guardedly. When they mention some outlandish off the wall comment they’ve heard, I try to be their sounding board, and then gently ask, “Do you really believe that’s true?”

    Sometimes just having people justify their beliefs helps them see it differently. I’ve found that as the rhetoric gets more unbelievable that’s been a good strategy. Then I tell them what I think, of course most of the time I’m right, except when I’m not.

  • James

    Less so now than during and immediately after the Bush years when that little bully and all his nasty friends polarized and provoked the nation, daily.

    Maybe it’s because I have lost all my conservative friends already and there is no one left to disagree with.

    Another theory is that it is more civil now than it was then. Obama may or may not be a great president but he is hard to hate. Romney is a well-educated, well-spoken liberal wearing an ill-fitting conservative disguise, so is also hard to hate. We are collectively looking for reasonable answers to the unemployment problem, the debt problem and the Middle East problems…just with different unproven approaches. With the exception of the health care and financial regulation bills, no polarizing legislation has passed. (And those bills are to too complex for most people to have strong opinions on.) Taxes are neither up nor down. Gun regulations are unchanged. Abortion rights are unchanged. The Marriage and Voter ID amendments are “much ado about nothing” for most of us (although they are plain nasty.)

    After a period when talking politics was certain death for some relationships, it seems better now.

  • kevins

    My wife and I agree on most everything, so no drama in our house. As for Clark, how ’bout the fact that the states which get the most back from Washington are the red ones. I live four or five miles from the ND border, and have listened for years to pols from both sides run against Washington, even though they traditionally get back more than a dollar in benefits for each dollar put in. You should hear them howl when someone suggests that one of their two federally funded air bases be closed, and they frankly expect money for flood mitigation, no questions asked. Perhaps they are actualy the clueless ones that are impacting on your business.

  • georges


    Why would there be any strain?

    Most people know exactly where friends and family stand on political issues.

    And, when they engage one another, it is for the fun of the fight.

    Indeed, it is far more entertaining to battle than to agree. People seek healthful tension. Whets the appetite for food, sex, conversation, etc.

  • Thomas

    Are political differences putting a strain on our personal relationships?

    Not as long as we can agree that among the most important strains are cannabis indica, cannabis sativa and cannabis hybrids.

    Can’t we all just get a bong?

    As one nice lady put it, “YES WE CANNABIS!”

  • Snaab

    And, when they engage one another, it is for the fun of the fight.

    Exactly, this is absolutely right.

    A close friend and I spar often and it sure is fun. I am a Liberal, who favors the soft squishy middle gray area, he is an acolyte of Ayn Rand (so right of the Tea Party), who thinks every immigrant should be sent home, and that the Pres is a Communist (not just a Socialist, but an actual Communist). The world is black and white, with no gray.

    He have great debates, and we never change minds, but his pointed comments sharpen my argument. Sometimes we yell, but most of the time, we just spar.

    It is not nearly as much fun to complain about the other side with like minded partisans. My neck just gets sore nodding in agreement

  • Jack

    Democrats, Greens, Republicans, Libertarians, Anarchists, Communists, Socialists and undecided, when we get together to toke up our only strain is to try and understand how the world’s most utlitarian plant can still be illegal in the world’s greatest nation.

  • georges

    Looks like Thomas has found his president.

  • Har Mar

    Didn’t Barack Obama say “The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our nation’s marijuana laws.” during a January 21, 2004 debate georges?

    What has he does about it?

    When will he?

  • georges

    The brewery is in the basement,

    The still is on the desk.

    The electric bong is in the Lincoln Bedroom,

    The portable is in the stretch.

    Air Force One has a World Class hookah,

    And Camp David is just for the rest.

    But when the book is written,

    It will be found I was smitten,

    By the gardens’ leaves of grass.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    This is the most divided country I have seen in my whole life. Obama promised to Hopey and CHANGE all that. Results =zero plus more are divided from each other than before. That’s what happens when a wanna be dictator says he will “fundamentally change America.” and if Congress won’t do what he wants, he will, ” Have to go around Congress and get things done.” His metors were Marxist, his father was as well, Obama appoints mostly radicals and socialists hoping to fundamentally change America to his ideals while he recoups the bounty among his cronnies.

    This is why so many today can not calmly discuss the world events. It is becasue our country is being attacked from within by our own presidnet and elected officials. The landslide of 2010 conservatives elected should have been a wake up call that America has had enough of this ” global citizenship crap and One world Order as Clinton promoted and George Soros demands with Obama nudging with hos radical Saul Alinksi Handbook for Radicals organizing. And we wonder why all the media says that Obama’s campaign today is the worst uggliest and vile campaign they have seen in decades? How is that for his Hope and Change bumper sticker nonsense?

  • Linda in Plymouth

    Please if you will excuse my English writing grammar and spelling in the posting below. I have only 10 year of being in America and spoke much less English as a child. I saw what happen when a country has no freedoms, when elected leaders take too much of their powers and ignore what is right. Obama was not a Constitutional Professor, he taught a few classes and was not liked so much by his own students..he should still know what our Republic is and what our freedoms are for. They are not for him alone to dictates. When the American Communists and National Socialists leave the Democrat party, then I will feel better for the DFL.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Linda, whatever country you grew up in, you apparently learned well the lesson that you can’t trust government propaganda. What you apparently still need to learn about America, though, is that you have to be just as skeptical of the opposition as you are of the ones in power. With freedom of speech, the critics of the government lie as often as the government does. It looks like you’re believing some of the exaggerations and outright lies of those who want to undermine Obama’s leadership.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    To Mr. Steve and his comment,

    I see well, I also see that in every speech since 2004 even the President never mentions we live in a Republic. He only says the word “Democracy” Not all democracy is good, and not all them ends well. Hitler was elected by a democracy vote and so was Muslim Brotherhood and Hugo Chavez. Does America forget what a Republic is for and what that means?

  • Steve the Cynic

    And do you know what non sequitur means?

  • C. David Kearsley

    With all due respect to Amy Dickinson, and others of similar sentiment, politics is, at the end of the day, personal. I regard those who are diametrically opposed to me politically (I am a Liberal, college-educated, African-American veteran) as espousing views and policies that, if enacted, would operate at cross-purposes to my interests, and the interests of most of those whom I hold dear. They are not my friends.

    And by the way, to those who insist upon deriding the President’s past experience as a community activist and organizer, I would simply submit the following:

    America is a community…not a company.

  • jockamo

    America is a community… say……but, everyone who disagrees with you is your enemy… say…..and must be crushed.

    A community, to you, must be like those Irish towns that are half Catholic and half Protestant.

    Not a very friendly community.

    Tolerance, to you, must be like those places in the world where the government is tolerant of everyones views, as long as everyones views are the same as the governments.

    Barack Obama was paid big money by the Taxpayers of this country to go around the ‘hoods of Chicago and entice African Americans to register to vote. He didn’t go to places frequented by European Americans, for fear he would register people who might vote Republican. He only wanted to register people who would vote for the Democrat Party. This behavior, funded by the Government, is illegal. But, he did it anyway. Happily. Cheating the system.

    Which brings up the question:

    Who in their right mind would want people that are ill-informed, un-motivated, and dis-interested to vote in public elections?

    The answer is, of course, the Democrat Party, who knows it can buy votes with public funds so that they keep themselves wealthy by gorging at the public trough.

    To encourage people who have no interest in voting to vote is the height of insanity. Unless you benefit monetarily by such activity. Then, of course, it is good business.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Jockamo/georges, there’s a big difference between “not my friends” (Mr. Kearsley’s words) and “enemy” who “must be crushed” (your misinterpretation of his words). But then, someone foolish enough to believe the racist stereotypes reflected in the rest of your post can’t be expected to understand such fine distinctions.

  • jockamo

    We are constantly bombarded by the major media outlets with stories that proclaim not enough people vote in this country, and we should do whatever we can to get more people to vote. The implacation clearly being that more people voting means, somehow, that our political system, our country, will be better for it. That it is a positive thing if more citizens vote.

    But is it?

    When we put this shaky dogma under the magnifying glass of critical analysis, we find that it is merely a common cognitive distortion that has fooled the populace into thinking the opposite of the actual truth.

    In fact, the truth rises over another horizon. We would be better off if less people vote, not more.

    Left alone, free of government interference, those who desire to vote, will vote. Those who would rather do something else that day, will not vote. That is as it should be.

    When we distort the free will process, we invariably lower the quality of the vote, and therefore lower the quality of the officals we hire, thereby lowering the quality of our government, our country.

    The Democrat Party is willing to lower the quality of our country for their own profit. Lining their pockets with ill-gotten dollars from the public treasury is all they want. Nothing else matters to them.

    We need to raise our standards, increase our quality, to an optimal level.

    The first step: Raise the voting age to 25 years old. Why? Because scientific studies, in agreement with age old general observation, show that humans reach maturity of rational thought at the age of 24-25.

    And, of course, we want voters to have the ability to think rationally. It is the least we expect. Therefore, it should be the least we will accept.

    Second, we end all early voting, absentee voting, etc. All voting to be done on Election Day….not before, not after.

    There are more improvements, but I will leave the others for another time.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Remember that, folks. There are those hold you and your opinions in contempt and so don’t want you to vote and are not above trying to make it harder for you to do so. Don’t let them win by default.

  • Doug

    The US leaves mixed messages all the time. Leave Syria alone. Doing something will cause more unintendend consequences then doing nothing.


    Yup, wouldn’t be a debate about the wisdom of military aggression without an empty-headed invocation of the Nazis. Assad is just the latest Hitler-of-the-week.

  • C. David Kearsley

    I’m not sure how one can reasonably compare President Obama’s treatment of the current situation in Syria with Neville Chamberlain’s behavior in the wake of the Munich Conference, given that the President is currently in the process of trying to rally both domestic and international support for a military strike on Syria.

    Such a comparison is, in a word: asinine.