My Visiting Teachers came over the other day and one of them expressed concern over a difficulty in her family. Her parents are staunch Republican and her husband's parents are staunch Democrats. As we are facing possibly the most important election we've seen in our lifetimes, the debates rage not only on television, but in homes and between family members, and this sister is feeling torn. No matter how she votes, one side of the family will be angry with her.
As a side note, we're encouraged not to discuss politics when we visit teach, and I agree with that counsel. She brought up the election only as being the catalyst of a family argument, not for the purposes of discussing politics.
It's important that we vote our conscience this next Tuesday. Each registered voter in the nation will have the opportunity to walk into that poll booth and choose a candidate. We should understand the issues and discuss them with those around us. However, if those discussions are disrupting family relationships, it's time to pull back a little bit.
Arguing with Great-uncle Bertrand about his choice for president is not going to change his mind about who to vote for. But it will damage your relationship if you don't approach him with love and respect. I might disagree with the politics of certain of my family members, and they might disagree with mine. And while these election is hugely important and we all hope it goes our way, nearly half of us are going to be disappointed. Regardless of who wins the election, Bertrand is still your uncle.
I'm not trying to dissuade you from sharing your political beliefs. Far from it -- I think we all should calmly and respectfully share our reasons for voting the way we do. But let's keep in mind the simple truth that our family belongs to us, and we are tied to them for much longer than the term of president. Whoever comes to power in January will have, at most, eight years in office. Our families are forever. Let's not damage eternal relationships with careless words. Let's make sure to keep our conversations polite and respectful, even if we feel the need to disagree.