When family and politics collide!!! (or some other overly-dramatic title)

I love my Aunt Brenda to bits.  I have to make that perfectly clear.

But naturally, not everyone within a family is going to agree on absolutely everything, and through Facebook I recently learned that my relative was a supporter of Donald J Trump in the upcoming US presidential election, which makes the ideological distance between us infinitely wider than the geographical one (she lives a lot closer to Dublin, California than Dublin, Ireland).

This, also naturally, put me in a quandary.  It is extremely tempting for those on the “Left”* to, at best, question the decision-making of Trump voters and at worst, blatantly make fun of it.  In fact it’s more than tempting….we do it a lot.

So what do we do when it’s a member of your own family?  And not the stereotypical “grumpy uncle that you only see at Thanksgiving” either…someone you actually respect?

Here’s my opinion on debate…first, they are very important things to have.  Second, we have to make sure they actually are debates, for if we find ourselves surrounded by people with whom we agree all the time, they’re not so much debates as mutual back-slapping parties.  And finally, when we are engaging with someone from the “other side”, it is important to find a balance between “remaining respectful” and “challenging what we feel to be misrepresentations put forward by our opponents”.

Which brings me to this Facebook post shared by my Aunt this morning, following a discussion on Fox News which in turn followed Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic National Convention…

Best said by Bruce Buchanan**:

“Maybe she should have changed husbands after the third or forth affair. Yes she is impressive as a leader, all that dodging sniper fire leading others to safety. And what an organizer, even took on her own private server to organize all that pesky Top-Secret and Classified e-mail she was getting.

This country is so lucky to have her, so we that are really in the know, can have a good laugh at supporters spinning and covering for her.”

And here is my comment…

“Maybe she should have changed husbands after the third or forth affair. ” – What number marriage is Donald Trump on now? And what are his former wives saying about him?

“…all that dodging sniper fire leading others to safety.” – How much sniper fire did Donald Trump dodge when he served his country? None…he just dodged the military altogether and has no experience in a public office that deals with the armed forces either.

“And what an organizer, even took on her own private server….” – Not as good an organizer as Donald Trump – he only bankrupted his business six times. Oh, and where are those tax returns by the way?

Hillary has been running for President for well over a decade now, and considering all the dirt-digging the Republicans must have done in that time, all they have come up with is “Bill was unfaithful, Benghazi and emails”, none of which turned out to be actual federal crimes.

But hey, if Fox News & co keep mentioning them between now and November, maybe enough people will think they ARE crimes to make it look like they “trump” anything done or said by her opponent.

Originally I was disappointed to learn that a family member was on the opposite side of a very important issue.  But now I’m glad of it.  Not that I think I can change her mind, but at least that I can try and understand it, and as you can see by this post, share it.  JLP

* The reason I use inverted commas for the word “Left” is because while I am aware that “Left v Right” is by far the most common way of describing the modern political spectrum, I HATE it – in fact that distinction is pretty much the raison d’etre for this blog.  Since the ”Right” effectively represents less than 1% of the people I don’t see why they should get as much as half the intellectual space in the debate. I find concepts like “Anti-Establishment v Establishment” to be a better fit but I concede that’s a whole lotta letters!

** Not easy to find out who this guy is…you’d think his name would be all over the internet seeing how Fox News are willing to give him a national microphone.  The best description I can dig up is “a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin”

© JL Pagano 2016

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