NOV 27, 2018

A third option?

Heading into Thanksgiving, I heard two perspectives over and over.

One went something like “confront 👏your 👏racist 👏uncle 👏or 👏you’re 👏the 👏problem.” It was — surprise — mostly on Twitter.

The other was a call for putting politics aside and enjoying the time spent with friends and family. An ask to dial down the partisanship and remember that we all often have a lot in common. Bill Maher went on a rant about this on Real Time.

I see merits in both and I feel like we’re retreating to the extremes again. It is one or the other. Why can’t we do both? It made me think of this book.

It is hard to influence people and get them to change their opinion on something. Especially when it comes to politics in our current environment.

Angrily confronting an older relative who probably changed your diaper isn’t going to lessen divides. It is going to deepen them. Ignoring it all together isn’t a solution either.

So I guess—try to find another approach. Read the book. Give it some thought. Maybe bond with your uncle over a beer while watching football and send him a thoughtful email right after that explains why you see some things differently?

I don’t know the answer but I know we can do better than the proposed extremes.