College Probz: How To Respectfully Talk About Politics

Well, it is that time of the year again. Pumpkin spiced lattes are being served at Starbucks, the weather is perfect for you to bust out those booties and TV channels are consumed of 2016 presidential election coverage. Yes, I’m talking about politics my friends. Everyone’s favorite subject to discuss. Conversations consisting of politics tend to be the most frequent between the months of August and November. These conversations can sometimes be dangerous territory between close friends, family members, significant others or co-workers.

I am a firm supporter of having political conversations and being a part of the movement that encourages people to vote. However, talking politics can be tricky because, in the end, feelings can get hurt and political views can be offended. If you would like to participate in the conversation of this exciting election year, here are a few tips on how to avoid those awkward moments.

1.  Do your Research

Before you go into a whirlwind conversation about Hillary Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s policies regarding immigration, make sure you have your facts straight. There’s nothing worse than talking about something you have no knowledge of and trying to sound scholarly.

2.  Don’t Be a Talking Head

Conversations regarding politics almost always result in arguments because people want to prove they are right. People become so involved in the conversation that an aggressive side comes out. Be careful of saying that certain policies would definitely work over others. You can have your opinions and agree with a candidate, but everyone is entitled to their opinions of which policies will be most effective, so don’t be that person who states opinions as facts.

3. Don’t Be a Cheerleader

There’s a difference between having pride in the candidate that you have chosen to vote for, and just being a cheerleader. These are the kind of people who won’t consider any other candidate’s policies or views because the candidate that they chose is the “best.” It can be dangerous to believe that one candidate can do no wrong. When your go-to talking point is “I’m With Her” or “Make America Great Again,” the focus of the conversation is taken away from the issues.

4. Be All Ears

If you are set on a candidate, that’s great! However, it is important to be courteous and respectful when someone else is talking about their choice. You never know! If you listen to all sides of the story, you might hear something that may surprise you or even change your mind.

5. Have Fun, and Go Vote!

After all the conversations, discussions and (hopefully very few) quarrels on the upcoming political election, in the end, it all comes down to voting. Enjoy the election season and let your voice be heard.

Happy political conversing!

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