Repeat after me: Don’t discuss politics with friends.
I have far too many left-leaning friends with whom I have extremely strong differences of opinion to engage in political debate with them. They tend to all come at me at once, so that I feel like I’m being ganged up on by them and their (from my perspective) ill-informed views.
It’s not conducive to legitimate discussion, and I always wind up offended and frustrated, which usually results in me storming off in a huff.
Here are a few examples of ways good friends can force me to withdraw from a political discussion in sheer exasperation:
- Repeatedly call our leaders lunatics or idiots without backing it up with any kind of logical argument. Me, if I don’t like someone, I just say that. Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t make them an idiot or a lunatic.
- Insist that someone’s motives are entirely driven by greed, malice, or sadism, despite a total lack of evidence that such is the case. If you honestly think that, you’d better have a reason for it, otherwise shut the hell up. Just because you don’t understand why someone does something doesn’t mean their motives are impure.
- Argue that our country shouldn’t defend its interests, no matter where in the world those interests lie. Isolationism doesn’t work, and never has.
I think it’s a low form of debate to use such arguments as 1-3, and I think people that don’t think we should defend our interests around the world are just stupid. I’m fine with arguing degrees to which things should be done, but to flat-out argue against it is insane.