My girlfriend’s parents are Republicans and unfortunately we visited them the week of the GOP Convention. Their racism and ignorance of the budget issues was astounding, but their hatred of President Obama and taxes was shocking. I said some things I regret and now I’m wondering how to repair this political rift since I intend to have a very long relationship with their daughter who agrees with me by the way. I call them my outlaws because we aren’t actually married but how can I survive my Republican in-laws?
Dear Surviving Republican Out-laws,
I emphasize with you and further advise you to stay clear of discussing politics or religion. It’s the Democratic Way. “I may disagree with what you have to say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire. I even defend your right to say the above quote was not actually uttered by Voltaire, but by his biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre to sum up Voltaire’s attitude. However, the democratic principal remains.
Significant differences persist between Democrats and Republicans, specifically on abortion, taxes, defense spending and the death penalty. If you want to avoid these targets by all means, do not bring them up, or pursue them when brought up. Politically educating everyone you know is not your job. Your job is to defend to the death their right to say it and focus on the big democratic idea. Religious and political freedom from harassment and persecution is a constitutional right. Some people argue that everything is political, but consciousness trumps.
All business, educational, social, medical, and service professionals must deal in public with others who have opposing philosophical differences. Yet this is not usually a problem as people cheerfully go about their professional business lives. Treat your in-laws like they are in a professional relationship with you until they truly become your family. Until you establish that kind of familiarity or self-control, it’s kind of like fly-fishing, someone throws out the bait and someone gets caught. How will you know when the differences are no longer a threat or a danger? They will tease you unmercifully and there will be no hard feelings.
God Bless America,