07 December 2009

"War... what is it good for..." --Not War but Edwin Starr, apparently

There are things I won't talk about. I won't ask you what size or style underwear you wear.* I won't ask you how much money you make.** I won't ask you about your sex life.***

But, right or wrong, I don't tend to hold to the old adage: "Don't talk about politics or religion." Stupid? Yeah, probably. People definitely have strong values in these areas and it can get touchy. But isn't that what makes life interesting? And, with regard to politics, we locals are in the DC area, the land of all things political. If you're not willing to talk politics, why live here?

I do try to refrain from comments like, "Only an idiot would think that political strategy has merit" because, really, I'm not about egging people on in these areas. But I am interested in trying to understand why people feel differently than I do. Heck, maybe I'll even learn something.


I totally made up that last part. I want my views reinforced. Who doesn't want to be right?

Question du jour: When you find yourself at a party, do you talk about politics?

* Although, I'll look at you sideways and say....
Men: Boxers? Really? Really???

Women: Dental floss? Really? Really???

** Although I have had friends who've volunteered this kind of information. Go figure.

*** Although I'll read about it on your blog.


Hannah said...

I live in the capital of Canada-Ottawa-and we pretty much have two hobbies here: Politics and hockey. LOL. Personally, however, I try to keep it light at parties, but if someone asks me my opinion, I give it. Probably too bluntly, but I have to be honest!

PQ said...

I avoid talking about politics...period, which is odd since I am STUDYING politics.

If people ask me questions about my religion, I'm happy to answer them but I'd never talk about it voluntarily.

the dogs' mother said...

I will talk *about* politics but very, very rarely give my opinion.

Narm said...

I just talk about myself - all the time.

People love it.

The Ghost of Edwin Starr said...

Actually, "War" was a hit song for me, not the band of the same name. They had a couple classics of their own though:



Little Ms Blogger said...

Hmmm..this post is time sensitive to me.

I was just chatting with a friend this morning about this very topic and I'm definitely don't.

My friends vary all sides of the political spectrum and each have many interesting things to offer. I enjoy hearing their points of view, respect they have an opinion, but so do I.

I'm at an age where I'm pretty defined. I don't expect people to follow my beliefs, and, if I differ, I don't want to spend a perfectly good evening having someone shove their beliefs down my throat.

Bowie Mike said...

Maybe the follow-up question is...

"Or do you find yourself not invited to parties because you always talk politics?"

I usually don't show my political cards right away in most social settings. Usually with strangers, I try to peel back the layers a little bit at a time to find safe ground to talk about. I try to get along and not be offensive. I guess I'm always on the lookout for dogmatic people. If people express a lot of opinion as fact, there's no point having a political discussion with them, but I'm happy to have discussions with people that have different opinions when they're open to the fact that other people can have different opinions. After all, how do I really know what the hell is going to work in Afghanistan or what should be done to fix the economy, but I certainly have my thoughts on the matters.

Sometimes you can take shortcuts. When my wife worked on Capitol Hill, socializing with her co-workers was easy because I pretty much knew where they already stood in general.

Mike said...

I'm going to get to go to a party?! WHEN!!!!!

KCSherri said...

I live in the sticks - in the midwest. Out here we say, "Politics? What's that?"

Our biggest topic of conversation is how much snow we're getting and when it's coming.

The most controversial we get? On how you pronounce "Missouri." Seriously. Do you say "Miss-our-eee" or "Miss-our-ah."

You can get into serious fistfights over this.

Liebchen said...

I try to not bring up either politics or religion, but I can't help engaging in the conversation if it's started. I think most adults are capable of having a rational conversation about the topics.

Though, I do seem to always meet the ones that aren't...

Kate said...

Totally depends on the crowd. I'm pretty much moderate to liberal in my views (depending on the topic), but I moved to a very conservative area where my opinions are not always very popular. I try to stay away from political conversations unless I get the feeling the person or people I'm talking to will respect my opinion whether they agree with it or not.

Liz Mays said...

I tend to avoid it because my family lives and breathes it. I just get so tired of their rhetoric!

Anonymous said...

ahhh life in the capital...i do talk about politics, but only because i live here and im surrounded by it. i agree with other commenters that i try and talk about it, like in a news-ish way, rather than an opinionated way. if it was my profession or hobby? i would seek out debates. but as regular me? nevah.

Alex said...

I find political talk to be generally tiresome and nonproductive. So I mostly avoid it. Most of my friends are like-minded... I know a couple of Republicans and we don't talk about politics *at all*. I think we know it would probably affect our friendship if we got into it, and we don't see the point in that.

Beyond that, if someone's got fresh, direct insight to offer, I'm interested; if it's just the same talking points everyone else throws at each other, I'd rather talk about something else.

Herb said...

Being a former Midwesterner, I agree with Drama Queen: we don't discuss anything remotely controversial or for that mater interesting.

Enough snow for ya?

Tracie said...

I really try not to. Especially if I know I'm going to disagree with everything someone is saying.

Barbara said...

I would probably talk about politics only if I knew I wasn't alone in my way of thinking. And if I was, I probably would not be staying long enough to have a serious conversation about anything.

Tina said...

long free ranging discussions about philosophical points of interest in religion and politics - sure cool I'm in. Prosleteizing sermons about how I'm going to hell (or just morally and ethically bankrupt)if I don't become a republican / democrat / socialist / baptist / catholic / sufi immediately - no thanks.

Shannon said...

I don't mind political talk, as long as it stays light and a bit sarcastic. I've had to put the smack down on more than one party guest for dominating the conversation with loads of political opinions and dragging people into unwanted debates. There's a point where it's just not fun.

Reya Mellicker said...

If I mostly share the same values with others, but we have some differences, then I love to talk politics because even though I like my views re-enforced, what I like even more is to learn something I didn't already know. Nothing is more fun than having someone say something that changes my mind. I can be so rigid, it's cool to open to a new idea.

You like rabbit spotting? That's so sweet. Monkeys and rabbits. Yeah.

justjp said...

1) Boxers
2) $0 as I am unemployed
3) Not too bad actually.

lacochran said...

Hannah: I refuse to talk hockey.

PQ: Since you are studying it, seems to me you'd be exactly the one to ask.

froggy: Interesting take. Probably wise.

Narm: Of course they do.

The Ghost of Edwin Starr: My apologies. I've fixed it so you can RIP.

Little Ms. Blogger: "and I'm definitely don't." Um, okay.

Bowie Mike: I think Krispy Kreme would work in Afghanistan. It's a proven business model and have you tried the lemon filled sugar glazed? If that can't bring peace, nothing can.

Mike: Apply deodorant and we'll talk.

Drama Queen: I know how *I* pronounce it. (The other way is just stupid. *poke* *poke*)

Liebchen: Ooo, nutcases are fun, yes?

Kate: Sounds wise.

blueviolet: Do they filibuster you? And, thanks for stopping by.

lustyreader: It does consume the news, when we're not talking about Tiger or the Salahis.

Alex: Noted.

Herb of DC: :) Not yet but the weekend looks promising.

kys: Okay.

Barbara: Not willing to hang out with different-minded people?

Tina: Yeah, the prosleteizers ruin it for the rest of us.

Shannon: Agreed. Some people don't know when to quit.

Reya Mellicker: Monkeys and rabbits, definitely.

justjp: Really? REALLY??? Don't they bunch up?

Dmbosstone said...

You would think that living in a town like DC allows people to open up convo with such talk but I try to avoid it.

Cyndy said...

I don't usually share my political opinions very often and that is mostly because of the nightly dinner conversations that I had to listen to as a young "bleeding heart liberal" growing up with very opinionated and conservative parents. I'm kind of more interested in finding out why people think the way they do than I am about what they think.

Liz S said...

Last weekend, a few days after taking my grad school finals including economics, I found myself at a cocktail party, sitting on the couch discussing environmental politics with a Republican. He works at Commerce...I was trying to explain why the negative externalities of industrial pollution represent a market failure that we need to fix...welcome to DC.

Titania said...

I must confess but I can't help it, I have to talk about politics and/or religion. I must. Can't help it.

Maya said...

Generally no. I listen to J talk about politics if we are at a party.