I normally don’t write much about politics as it is such a dumpster fire right now, but this was an experience worth sharing.
Last Friday night, my wife and I got the task of hanging political information for a friend of ours who is running for office. With Covid and social distancing, it was just hanging stuff on door knobs. No big deal, right?
Well, we approached the house of some people we knew, and sure enough, we were caught. Someone saw us from the garage and came outside to see what we were up to as it was dusk. Next thing we know, it’s dark. We’ve spent a solid 90 minutes talking with this gentleman about our candidate. The kicker, we are soildily in in the Democratic camp and he’s solidly Republican.
That’s what we thought when he first started in as well. The last thing we wanted was a confrontation about some topic. Our daughter (and to a certain extend by my wife and I) have posted some things in Facebook that people in our community find objectionable. Not that we care a whole lot. Being a Democrat in a very conservative place, you find very quickly that you either have to speak your mind or don’t speak at all. We’ve made the choice we have to speak up, period. So when the conversation started, we were a bit leery with our responses.
But as we talked about our candidate and he talked about the things he’d been doing for his, he made this comment:
As I’ve watched things go down hill, I figured this is the time to get involved. We are in a moment where we simply cannot stand back and let others do the work. We need to be doing the work too.
This is when I knew we may be in store for something a little bit different. I was right. The conversation never turned ugly. We challenged him and some of his views, he challenged us on ours, and when we finally walked away, it was with a sense of “we needed this” more so than anything else. I’ve had both of their kids in class and we are friendly at events, but I cannot ever remember talking like this. It was just good to hear an opposing view without yelling or name calling or some snide comment. We were adults, talking about abortion, gun control, Black Lives Matter, racism, and “The Swamp”, and we did it with zero meltdowns.
Now, neither of us changed the other’s mind, that much was true, but it just felt good to talk to someone. That’s what Covid has really taken away from us, that ability to sit down (or stand in the driveway) and talk. Being an introvert, I didn’t realize how much I missed listening and enjoying conversation.
October 13, 2020 at 10:56 pm
I’m so glad you shared this story! I long for the days of regular political conversations and debates! Glad to hear of just such a conversation!
October 14, 2020 at 7:30 am
I found it oddly refreshing as well. A definite change from everything going on around us! 🙂
October 13, 2020 at 11:02 pm
This conversation you had with your neighbor gives me hope. How unfortunate to rarely see adults communicating like, well… adults. Good for you for taking that conversation on. It’s definitely something important to share—a possibility for others to also have a
conversation without anyone having a total meltdown.
October 14, 2020 at 7:29 am
After watching both debates, seeing adults act like spoiled toddlers at best, it was nice to have an adult conversation. Who knows, maybe it’s a trend?? 🙂
October 14, 2020 at 2:18 am
Oh, Darin, what a great post. “We are in a moment” Indeed! I love this. I laughed when I read: #waityoucandothat because I was thinking the same thing! Iowa Nice in all its sweetness, right there. Thanks!
October 14, 2020 at 7:28 am
Iowa Nice. Ugh. I want to believe that is a thing (and based on this blog, maybe I do), but so much of that has been lost over the last couple of election cycles.
But, there’s always hope! 🙂
October 14, 2020 at 4:14 pm
This made me smile. However, I don’t think that’s possible here in WV. And before you say never say never trust me I know my hometown well. BUT as I was out for a drive tonight I saw something that made me smile. In a sea of Trump/Pence signs there were two houses on opposite sides of the hill with Biden/Harris signs in their yards. It was almost as if they were proudly and defiantly standing tall amidst the other signs. I don’t know it just made me smile. I’m glad you and your wife were able to have a respectable conversation about politics.
October 15, 2020 at 11:09 am
I think it’s marvelous that you could disagree without being disagreeable!
October 15, 2020 at 9:15 pm
We are trying, but I think this is one of those random times that everything just fit. I’m not sure we could do this with everyone! 🙂
October 17, 2020 at 4:53 am
The other view has become so extremist for all these days. It’s refreshing to hear about a civil conversation. So much of what we see and hear is alarming.