Rules are meant to be broken. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe?
Politics is a topic which, if you enjoy making friends, should be avoided. This rule is universal. Now this isn’t to say that every rule should be followed without question, but there is great reason for this rule. You might be equally as passionate as your acquaintances are, and you never really know who your rivals are. In the work environment, for example, you can’t possibly keep track of everyone else’s political beliefs. And if you’re an introvert, or you just plain suck at getting your voice out into the open, then your personal image can be misconstrued. Yet political discourse frequently occurs everywhere. Why?
Perhaps the answer, put simply, has to do with humanities fascination with being naughty. Gossip, sex, music, and a variety of other harmless things have reaped benefits due to their stigmas. Truly sinister things, possibly because of laws, or possibly because of collective global morals, are slowly withering away under similar circumstances. Politics uniquely sits in its own cultural position, much like sex, and stirs up emotions. Talking about sex usually, creates discomfort in groups. Politics usually sparks passionate arguments and anger within groups.
With anger and argumentation comes judgement. And while judgement for subjective beliefs may be unfair, its existence is palpable in arguments. Furthermore, civil arguments rarely happen, yet people still thirst for rabid political discourse. Could be at a party, could be in the offices, or it even could be at the next family gathering. No matter where you go someone is going to talk politics. Judgements, regardless of whether you say them aloud, are decisions we all make. Unfortunately, with passion and politics, you get to skip many steps in the judgement process. Empathy is one of those steps.
Empathy’s death comes with the loss of critical thinking. Want to generalize, and the desire to argue one’s beliefs with closed ears always leads to the loss of critical thinking. Certainly, many people exist who follow politics and aren’t loud and boisterous. Additionally, many people who hold political ideologies are open-minded. Unfortunately, neither of those people are typically vocal. And since much of politicking lies in propaganda, you can always be certain that the most objective people rarely make the news and hardly create soundbites.
Everyone wants to be a little naughty. Since most people aren’t hedonists and can’t have sex all the time, talking about politics is a much more practical indulgence . No matter what you do, someone’s going to get hurt once politics enters a conversation. Our desire to break rules is understandable, but what about using empathy rather than anger? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a civil conversation about politics? Who wants some loud person yelling “facts” at you ? No one wants that, not even other loudmouths. One day we will have our civil arguments. For now, it’s more fun to sit back and watch the loud versus the loud.