The Elephant in the Room

These days it’s difficult to discuss politics, either with friends, acquaintances or strangers. An offhand comment is bound to offend someone. The polls say we don’t much like either major party candidate, but most of us have strong opinions on one or the other. If I say something derogatory about Trump, someone will defend him to the max and I may never feel the same about that person. And when others hear I’m a Clinton supporter, they may never feel the same about me. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground except the people who intensely dislike both candidates, for wildly different reasons.

Next week the Republican Convention will be underway. I usually watch the primetime speeches of both conventions, just to know what the big wigs think. And who can forget Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair? I have a friend coming up from Gilbert to watch the Democratic Convention with me. She wants to experience it with someone simpatico.

What about relationships and marriages where the two people do not share political views? Do they argue or avoid talking politics?

I say right on my profile for the POF (Plenty of Fish) dating site that I’m liberal and if you like Rush Limbaugh, don’t contact me. And yet Mr. Hotstuff is a Republican leaning toward Libertarian and we get along. We even touch on politics, but both of us are respectful and fringe our discussions with teasing and laughter.

Maybe humor that isn’t at the candidates’ expense is what’s missing from this presidential election cycle. I know the comedians are having a field day with the major party candidates, but mostly the humor is caustic. It is funny but it won’t bring us together as a country.

Both sides see dire consequences if the other one wins. I have confidence that our republic will survive, no matter which candidate wins. There are enough checks and balances written into the Constitution.



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