Let’s Talk About It

Lindsay I., Editor

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Talking about the election can be a valuable and useful way to clarify your own views on the topic, as well as a way to become more understanding of others’ opinions. However, sometimes people avoid the subject, worried they will offend or upset others. While there is, of course, an appropriate time and place for such political discussion, it should not be shied away from.

Here are some ideas about how to have a good conversation about the 2016 presidential election.

1. Respect others’ opinions. You might not agree on all issues – or any issues – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a productive conversation with people who supported a different candidate than you did. And if people really don’t want to share their opinions, respect that, too.
2. Don’t limit your conversations to people you agree with. Often it is equally – if not more – valuable to have a discussion with people you disagree with. This can help you understand where others are coming from. You might also be prompted to consider your own views in a different light.
3. Try not to get too emotional. This goes especially for conversations where you disagree; it’s probably not a good idea to jeopardize relationships you’ve had for years because of an argument about Clinton or Trump. If you’re with someone who agrees with you, however, this point is less relevant. After all, sometimes you just need to pour out your feelings about how devastated or thrilled you are about the results of November 8th.
4. Be mindful that some people may be frightened about the future. What’s more, some of those fears may not be unfounded – the number of hate crimes against African-Americans, Muslims, LGBTQ+ individuals, and immigrants has skyrocketed in the wake of the election. Regardless of your political beliefs, this sort of hate is not acceptable in any sort of conversation. (source: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/hate-on-the-rise-after-trumps-election)

Even though it’s a difficult subject, the election can foster all sorts of political discussion, though we must remain open-minded to others’ opinions. As for those politicians we’re discussing? Perhaps they could benefit from some conversation, too.

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