Social Question

jaytkay's avatar

Do you socialize with your political enemies?

Asked by jaytkay (23380 points ) November 18th, 2012

Maybe this is a good Thanksgiving holiday thread :-)

I typically am immersed among Obama-voting folks like myself.

But at a big celebration dinner last night, I noticed that family, school, and business connections often make us mingle and make nice (It worked, a great time was had by all). And politics can seem unimportant when you are talking about family, school, and business.

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28 Answers

bookish1's avatar

In recent weeks I’ve gotten down with two people who are Republicans and/or Tea Partiers. I don’t think I’ll be seeing them again, for reasons unrelated to their politics, however.

jaytkay's avatar

“gotten down”

Dirty sex with Republicans?

zenvelo's avatar

There are a couple of people at work I get along with who voted Republican, and we’re able to amiably joust. But the irrational Tea Party types I avoid because we can’t discuss anything political, because their premise is faulty.

But I am not a politician, and I don’t have political “enemies”.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have no problem being with people who have different political views from mine. I am not really aware of most people’s politics. My father in law had the opposite view of mine, but we disagreed about nearly everything.

Symbeline's avatar

I poison them all with a blowpipe.

Unbroken's avatar

Huh, people are just people. That song comes to mind.

How are we supposed to expect poiliticians to reach across the aisle and achieve things when we can’t, is the political divide that big?

There are people I avoid talking politics with not because of their ideas, but how they express them and how disrespectful they are… on both sides.

But yeah, I think everyone has a bit different politics then I do, I usually enjoy their insight as long as its not aped from media. Mimers repeating the news and commentary.

Buttonstc's avatar

I really don’t have any political enemies.

I have various friends all along the political spectrum and it’s not really a contentious topic for us. We have discussions and many times agree to disagree. No harm no foul and life goes on.

I really can’t imagine having an “enemy” solely due to their political beliefs.

But I just watched an interesting interview with Olympia Snowe of Vermont who will not be running for re-election because she feels so strongly that the current climate of political hostility in Wash. is so pervasive that nothing gets done so feels she can be more effective elsewhere.

Bob Shieffer asked the interesting Q of :” When did compromise become a dirty word?”

In the past that’s precisely how important legislation got passed. Each side gave in a little and met somewhere in the middle.

Nowadays that’s considered traiterous to the party’s interests and this applies equally on both sides of the aisle. And then gridlock ensues and nothing meaningful gets done.

marinelife's avatar

I do. I have some relatives and some friends who are politically opposite me. I just don’t talk politics with them.

flutherother's avatar

Of course. People you disagree with don’t have to be enemies. If they want to convince me of their extreme views I might try to avoid them but this is more down to their personality.

Kardamom's avatar

Yeah, my next door neighbor is an uber-conservative, Rush lover, but I really enjoy his company. We just don’t talk about politics. On small sub-sect of my family is Tea-baggers. They came out for a family re-union this summer. Again, we avoided the topic of politics and we all had a marvelous time. Mostly we talked about food and kids.

Judi's avatar

I live where the Bible belt snaps and stings at the end so I wouldn’t have any friends if I didn’t.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Judi

Cute analogy. Funny :)

Dr_C's avatar

I have no political enemies. I’ve dispensed with them all.

Fly's avatar

In general, I tend to associate myself with people who are moderate or liberal just because our personalities tend to be alike. I do, however, socialize with several conservatives as well. It can be hard for me, at times, to think of them the same way when I learn of their political leanings; but the key, as many people have said, is to not talk about politics.

At school, I have befriended two people in particular who are conservative, and I have learned that we just can’t talk about politics. My best friend since childhood who had been moderate and leaning liberal after talking about politics with me and dating an illegal immigrant and saw what they go through to become citizens, has very recently decided that she is a republican. This is upsetting to me not because she is a republican, per say, but because she seems to only be a republican because her father is a conservative extremist, because she is very impressionable and Romney “won” the first debate, and because her boyfriend broke up with her and she has now lost all sympathy for illegal immigrants.

Some of my family is also conservative, and you really don’t have much of a choice when it comes to family. I love my family, but I can’t talk about politics with my grandfather, for example, who has completely dismissed my opinions and told me on several occasions that I’m only liberal because I’m young.

josie's avatar

I did not vote for President Obama. I think he is a loser.
Having said that, one of my best friends did vote for him. My girlfriend’s sister voted for him. In fact, quite a few people I know voted for him. All I can say about them is that they are all working, they pay taxes and none of them believe they will ever get a penny from social security. So the truth is, I have plenty in common with them in spite of their politics.There ya go.

cookieman's avatar

I generally don’t discuss politics in real life. If you stick to the same rule, we can be pals regardless of your political affiliation. Same goes for religion.

creative1's avatar

I have no political enemies since I don’t let whom I am voting for decide who I am friends with

GracieT's avatar

Unfortunately many of my friends are conservative. As a progressive, I disagree with them, but we’ve all agreed that we won’t talk about it.

Sunny2's avatar

I have a close friend who is an ardent Republican. When politics come up, I suggest we not talk about it. I hate to argue or to be preached to. I walk out the door if necessary.

Paradox25's avatar

It depends on how seriously they take their politics. Most people that I resonate with the best are open minded, and at least somewhat liberal. I also tend to get along with apathetic people (relating to politics) as well. I can’t say I have any right wing or authoritarian friends or even acquaintences. There is just something about right wing authoritarian folks that just either turns me off, or that always leads to me getting into fights with them. I don’t have any conservative family members that are alive anymore so that’s a nonissue to me.

Argonon's avatar

I try to avoid any political discussion.
My dad is one of those hardcore republicans and he hates people like me, but we get along real well and I never bring up politics and I change the subject when he begins to go into his little political rants. I do the same with my little friends.

Jaxk's avatar

Most of my friends are conservative, not all but most. The more liberal friends I have will occasionally try to impart thier wisdom on me but it’s pretty easy to tie them in knots. I have one friend that said he would vote for Obama in 2008 because Obama would be the great uniter. I always love to zing him with that one.I don’t shy away from political discussions but try not to start the discussion (not always successfully). The truth is I have fairly heated discussions with conservatives just as often as I do with liberals. It’s just that liberals are more fun.

josie's avatar

Something about this question bothered me and I just realized what it was.
It is your choice of the word “enemy”. Especially in the same breath with the word family.
So what word would you pick to describe somebody who was shooting at you and trying to kill you?

jaytkay's avatar

@josie Yes, enemy was not a good word choice. It doesn’t go along with the rest of my description or my feelings about the matter.

Opposite might be better, except that implies only two possible orientations.

Jaxk's avatar

@josie – A Democrat.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I guess I don’t really have many “political enemies.” If I’m friends with a person, I’m friends with them, unless they seriously cross a line. I have several delightful friends who like Obama. They know that I don’t like him, so we either discuss it in a very friendly fashion, or we don’t discuss it at all.

GracieT's avatar

Thia was an actual sentence from an email that a member of my church sent out to the rest of us. I don’t know if I was just “on the list,” or it was on purpose, but wow- “I guess we can all cash in our retirement accounts and live off it and when it’s gone let Obama take care of us like he does the lazy people and the illegals.” Further on in the same email she stated that her boyfriend asked them if they “just walked out of the jungle!”
The longer that I’m a part of this group, the more I’m becoming disgusted by some of the people that are a part of it.

Judi's avatar

@GracieT, I know exactly how you feel. I finally had to change churches, although I had attended the same church for 25+ years and had raised my children there. I finally found a Church where I felt like I was not ostracized for being a democrat. I am still sad and miss many elements of my former church. PM me if you would like to know the denomination of my new Church.

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