Holidays bring family time and political remarks

North Wind Staff

As students step away from campus and head home for the break, we’re more than ready for holidays and quality time with families.

This is peak time for traditions and dinners we’ve grown to love and enjoy.

But for a lot of us, heading home this year means going back to at least a few family members with opposing political beliefs. Just as finals loom over us, so does the dread of dealing with a relative who’s completely ready to bash who you voted for or rub into your face who won or lost the presidency.

How do we deal with this conflict in a time when the radio is playing holiday songs and we’re supposed to be spreading good cheer?

We start by not adding fuel to the fire when politics are mentioned. We all feel strongly about our beliefs, regardless of what they are. Many are still hurting from the election results, and many are happily cheering. It is frustrating to try to defend yourself and your opinions against snide remarks from the opposite side.

But, we start by not reducing ourselves to angry yelling.

It’s important to talk about things respectfully. Discussing opposing viewpoints is both a challenge and a skill to have. Many members of our families come from a wide variety of perspectives. It’s important to remember that if we only surround ourselves with like-minded people, we won’t ever expand our understanding of the world or get the full story.

If that means having to discuss opposing viewpoints respectfully with people who aren’t so good at doing so themselves, it’s worth it.

This election has separated us, and it’s crucial that we start to mend the differences. Not everyone who voted for Trump is bad and not everyone who voted for Clinton is good or vice versa. That level of extreme stereotyping and generalizing people is dangerous.

A family member voted a certain way because he or she thought it was right, and that’s their belief and perspective. If a family member voted for a candidate that you don’t support, that suddenly doesn’t make him or her not a family member.

They are still the same people that you love, and this is the time of year to enjoy being at home, even if that means discussing and defending your own beliefs if you have to.