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Here I thought blood was thicker than water...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I got an email from my grandmother around the end of October with the usual chit chat, asking about our new home, etc. Then I got to the end of the email, which said this:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hope the election in a few weeks puts some new faces and goals in
Washington. The war is taking too many of our precious young lives and
Iraq will squabble whether we are there or not. But then that is just
our viewpoint. I know your dad is a dedicated Republican so we stay
away from that subject but I figure you two are independent and have
your own opinions. Right?

Well, I await a reply and then we can talk more regularly. Love you
Grandma R

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Obviously, you can see which side my grandmother leans toward. My mother was a Democrat, too, though my father always said that she was the most conservative Democrat that he's ever met.

Anyway, I replied honestly. I said that I am my father's daughter (LOL) to a point, but while I am conservative on traditional GOP issues (government, military, financial), and I am a libertarian when it comes to social issues.

I haven't heard from Grandma since that. I don't know what she expected - I guess that for some reason Earl and I both are liberal since I'm not living with Dad? She knows that I shoot competitively, so I'm really not sure where she would have gotten that notion. It really upsets me to think that she won't speak to me because we don't have the same political views. That's what the US is all about, right? Or have these last 6 years and the political schism between the far left and the far right made it so we cannot even stand to be related to someone from "the other side"?
post #2 of 15
That is really a bummer. I'm so sorry she feels that way.
I'm lucky, all my immediate family is conservative Republicans. The aunt that is a Dem still likes me though.
post #3 of 15
depending on the Democrat, you cant. My father who was a life long UAW member, still beleaves that his party is for the little man. i pefer to keep my money in bank account.

But if you notice most of the hate speech coming out of the Gov these days seems to be coming some members of democrat side, and there radical follows.
if your grandmother is anything like my father, they are true blue democrat, and cant see that the party of there youth no longer stands for them.
post #4 of 15
Maybe she's just really been busy? Or is just so shocked that she isn't sure what to talk about next?

Maybe send a neutral Thanskgiving-y sort of mail to help coax things back to normal?

And yes, America is built on pluralism - it may be a pain sometimes, but it's also a great strenght.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
It really upsets me to think that she won't speak to me because we don't have the same political views. That's what the US is all about, right? Or have these last 6 years and the political schism between the far left and the far right made it so we cannot even stand to be related to someone from "the other side"?
I've had a very similar experience with my brother. I'm very liberal and he's so conservative that I think he dreams in red. It's hard, but in the last 6 years I've had turn off my mouth and just listened to him. Even though I haven't changed my mind, I can at least know where he is coming from.

I do agree with other people, I'd try to pick a neutral location, like a family meal, and tell her that you love her dearly, but perhaps you shouldn't discuss politics in the future.
post #6 of 15
It gets a bit tense when DH's father gets talking politics. He's so into it now that hes retired he was out holding up signs on election day and knocking on doors. To me it's odd....he used to be very conservative and sometime in the last 10 years or so he's become very liberal. Well he's changed in a lot of other ways too so I guess that only makes sence. Basically I just listen and hope and pray he drops it. (DH's father is very oppinionated and looooooooooooooooooooong winded!--Back when I was in college, majoring in Interior Design, which is under Architectual Engineering, he spent a good half hour or longer explaining to me the parts and funcions of waste drain lines in a house.)
post #7 of 15
My oldest brother is a VERY liberal Democrat but, THAT isn't why I don't like him. He thinks that Bill Clinton is Jesus Christ. This particular brother drinks to excess, does drugs and is a serial philanderer (don't WHY my SIL has put up with him for 30 years). I avoid and ignore him but he and my retired Marine, WWII/Korea/Vietnam vet Pops get into some VERY spirited discussions.

Pops is taking the whole family out for Thanksgiving dinner - I am going make sure to be seated at a table with my parents.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satai View Post
Maybe she's just really been busy? Or is just so shocked that she isn't sure what to talk about next?

Maybe send a neutral Thanskgiving-y sort of mail to help coax things back to normal?

And yes, America is built on pluralism - it may be a pain sometimes, but it's also a great strenght.
That's what I was thinking.

It's really hard to know what to make of situations like that, that just skew sideways unexpectedly -- whether it's "reasonable" for either party to be surprised or not.

I like Satai's suggestion. I hope you can find some neutral ground.
post #9 of 15
Perhaps she feels that you're angry with her, and disappointed in the election results, and is just waiting for some grass to grow over the matter.

Don't most families argue about politics? I know mine does (though we're all in agreement about Bush and Iraq, and the former Republican family members have changed their registration to Democratic or Independent). My in-laws are very conservative, and hubby has been a Green for decades, so just about every family occasion turns into a political debate.
post #10 of 15
Political belief's is no reason to tear a family apart. Many people of different Political Parties are married. Look and Arnold and his wife Maria. My mother and father were of opposite parties, my mother a Republican and my fahter a Democrat, and to be honest I don't think either one of them chose their party bases on their true belief's, but more on what their parents were. In truth my Republican mother was a LOT MORE liberal than my Democratic father. If anything it taught me to judge the candidate and not the party.

I find it hard to believe that a Grandmother would stop speaking to her Granddaughter due to her political belief's. She may be a little dissappointed in you, but I can't for the life of me see how she could be mad at you because of it.
post #11 of 15
I third Satai's suggestion, Heidi. Your grandmother probably should have know better than to include that in her e-mail to you, but it wasn't all that inflammatory politically. I don't think she meant to make you angry, if anything it sounds to me like she is fishing for an opinion with the "we never talk about this, but"... Now that you have told her your views, the subject is probably once again "in the box" so maybe just gloss over the whole thing, e-mail her a quick "hey, sorry if I hurt your feelings, lets stay away from the subject" and ask her how she is.

My nuclear family pretty much agrees (although I'm the most extreme) but a great number of my father's extended family are conservative, but also hold some extremely close-minded, bigoted ideas about anyone different from them, and I've learned to just keep my mouth shut, comment on the food or something, and laugh about it in the car on the way home.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I guess I was just disappointed that after the "so we can talk more regularly" comment that she didn't reply. Even if it was to tell me that I'm wrong. I tried real hard to make my reply light. I know that what she said wasn't inflammatory, and I certainly didn't take offense. I've known their political standing for decades - before I even had a political standing!

Since they are in Georgia, I emailed to make sure they were OK after the big storms yesterday. She replied and thanked me for caring and a little other chit chat. I know this won't tear family ties apart, but it was just disappointing that answering a question honestly meant that she didn't want to talk with me.
post #13 of 15
My best friend and I are on opposite sides when it comes to politics. A couple days after the elections she called and asked me what I thought. As a Republican, I told her. We had this major discussion about the pressure this puts on the Democrats, etc... Then we talked about whether replacing the Donald prior to the elections would have made a difference, whether the price of gas was lowered to affect the elections, whether finding Sadam guilty was orchestrated at that specific time....

It was a long conversation. When it was done we talked about our cats and decided when we'd next get together for lunch.

It's strange. We both want exactly the same things, but differ in our opinion on how our goals can be accomplished. I believe that as long as we can have open dialogue without trying to change each other's political affiliation, we'll forever be friends. Hopefully your grandmother and you can do the same.
post #14 of 15
My dad was very upset about my political views after dragging me to lots of socialist and leftist events when I was younger, I guess he just assumed I would just believe in it all, but all making me political as a child did was have me question everything political and I found I didn't agree with it.

They sent me to stay with my aunt and uncle until he calmed down... when it comes to politics, blood is rarely thicker than water
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
It really upsets me to think that she won't speak to me because we don't have the same political views. That's what the US is all about, right? Or have these last 6 years and the political schism between the far left and the far right made it so we cannot even stand to be related to someone from "the other side"?
The sad thing is that I see that happen more and more. In the last election, my husband's sister sent out one of those chain letters to a large distribution list that was counter to my husband's political views. He did a respond all with the facts behind the points in the chain letter. My SIL, who is an extremely devout catholic and half of the people copied on the e-mail were nuns and priests, responded back in horror. She couldn't understand how her own brother could possibly think that way and why would he be so vicious to ruin relationships she had with her friends? They didn't talk to each other for about 18 months.

Yes, I do believe the political climate here is ruining both friendships and family relationships. It's sad.
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