On family politics

For Christmas, I told my mom I wanted “All the Devils Are Here.” She wants the George Bush biography. I drank a bottle of wine trying to keep quiet so I don’t spoil thanksgiving by bitching about politics. I may have let a comment slip along the lines of, “you want to learn the inner-workings of bush’s mind? buy a blank spiral notebook” and I’m pretty sure I called him a war criminal. My mom doesn’t understand why or how anyone could see him this way. I know I should have just shut up and let her ask for her damn book, but I feel over the past few years democrats have been far too passive and allowed the less-enlightened masses to believe whatever garbage sarah palin and the other idiots spew on fox news and reality tv.

I’ve already broken her heart by telling her I don’t want children and plan to move even further away than I have. Should I just bite my tongue and get more drunk?

I hate the holidays…

You had me right up until that last line. Why ya’ gotta hate?

Fuck, dude. You think you’ve got it Republican during the holidays? My folks have neighbors who could get George’s piece of shit book personally signed for your mom, and if I asked nicely, probably in her choice of crayon. Fox News is on twenty-four seven up in this bitch, and I still manage to have an absolute blast with my family.

You wanna know my secret? It’s easy. I know better than to feel responsible for the political opinions of my parents. They think differently than me, and I’m okay with it. I refuse to pit my family in a struggle of enlightenment versus ignorance.

They are who they are, and I love them unconditionally. I accept them unconditionally, because no matter what, they will always be my family.

Opinions come and go, and just because your mom has some shitty ones, you shouldn’t let it get in the way of the time you spend together.

I know it’s hard. Shit can drive you crazy sometimes, but you really have to see past the knee-jerk politics and recognize that the source of your response is purely emotional and entirely negative.

You are defending a position that you think is rational and right. Nope. If that were the case, you could do it calmly, without booze. It’s not that you’re wrong, and it’s not that on some level you’ve used reason, but whatever rationality your argument may have is subjugated by very heated emotion.

Next time you start bitching, take a step back and feel yourself reacting. Notice how it’s not coming from your rational mind. There’s inevitably a lot more going on, and whatever underlying anger you’re feeling is tied up in the fact that you’re dealing with family.

That’s the shit you gotta let go. It’s wasted emotion. It’s unprocessed negativity that you’re misdirecting into a regurgitated political sound bite. Fuck that shit. It serves no purpose other than to create more negativity.

This isn’t about you being right or wrong, either. Who gives a fuck? This is about you being in control of your own emotional state. You’re not. Instead, you’re getting hammered and mouthing off.

Listen, when it’s really important, you gotta do what you gotta do. Over the years, I’ve reversed my family’s position on gay marriage. I’ve talked them into being pro-choice. I’ve even managed to convince my mom that Sarah Palin is duplicitous and unqualified.

Where it counts and when it counts, I take the time to elevate the conversation above knee-jerk political talking-point bullshit and really change their minds, but you know what? Those conversations aren’t political. They’re philosophical, and I still know damn well that they’ll never vote anything other than Republican.

Also, that shit takes concerted effort and energy, so unless I’m willing to go the extra mile, I have a strict personal rule not to talk sex, religion, or politics around my family. I urge you to do the same. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you gotta let that shit go.

Quit feeling responsible for your mom’s opinions. Just enjoy her company.


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