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All in the Family: Politics and Perspective
There is more to life.
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It gets heated around here. It’s bound to get even more heated. We’re in the middle of a contentious presidential campaign season. There are deep and fundamental fissures in the Republican Party. Some folks don’t deal with conflict well and completely tune out. Others allow politics to consume every fiber of their being. I’ll continue reporting, blogging, and voicing my opinions. It’s my job and I enjoy doing it.

But as we start the week and head toward the high-stakes Super Tuesday contest, remember: There is more to life than politics.

Repeat after me: There is more to life than politics.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve received profanity-laced e-mails from people who vow never to read this website again because of something I’ve written–or failed to write–about their candidates. Goodbye and good luck. I hope you gain some perspective and balance in your affairs. When I’m not working, I’m quilting with my daughter, taking my son to his violin lessons, playing Monopoly Jr. 10 times in a row, giggling over “Make Way for Dumb Bunnies,” enjoying friends and family, loving and living life. I’ve learned over the years to work to live, not to live to work. It took time to learn that lesson. And it required making some tough (and not so tough) personal and professional choices. Best decisions I’ve ever made.

What prompted me to share all this with you? Well, there’s a story today in the NYT about Democratic families squabbling over politics. It’s a reminder of how ridiculous things can get when you let politics define your life:

[F]or every Kennedy or Sanchez, there are countless Democratic voters who find themselves arguing with family members over which checks to send, which lawn signs to display and which onesie to put the baby in: “Hillary Cares About Me” or “My Mama’s for Obama”?

“Things have been getting real ugly around here,” said Shazia Khan, a lawyer in Washington, who supports Mr. Obama while her husband, Samir Kanani, will vote for Mrs. Clinton. On a recent trip to Argentina, they watched a Democratic debate in their hotel room, arguing so loudly that the housekeeping staff came to check on them…

…Other members of divided Democratic families are starting to mimic the behavior of the candidates they support, treating their relatives more like competitors. Susie Tompkins Buell, a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton in San Francisco, is politely avoiding her stepson, Justin Buell, who is gathering donations for Mr. Obama, and vice versa. (The two have solicited some of the same donors.) Since the start of the primary season, they have communicated only through the terse congratulations the loser delivers after each primary or caucus.

There may be very good reasons to cut off relations with friends and family. The campaign season is not one of them.


Ed Morrissey. Heh:

As Michelle says, politics are a poor reason to alienate loved ones. For Democrats in that difficult position, I’ll offer one potential solution: vote Republican. It will bring peace to the family, or at least it will convince relatives to quit talking politics in your presence.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2008 Campaign