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How do you handle talking to a parent when they are politically opposite of you?

I keep finding my conversations with my father are far more strained these days because of Trump. I love my father, but I think his age is affecting his mind. He's 85.

Should I just ignore it? Admittedly, I'm the one that goes off like a bottle rocket when Trump's name comes up, but I can't help myself. My dad starts rationalizing and I can tell right away he's regurgitating the canned talking points from Fox News or some other right wing pundits.

Suggestions? Advice?

LucifersPen 7 Feb 18

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38 comments

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7

A conservative friend and I had a code phrase when things got heated. We would say, I like soup." And the other would reply, "I like soup, too." We knew not to even try talking politics.

That’s AWESOME to remind eachother in an inside joke kind of way that you have things in common!

6

I told my conservative dad that for the sake of our relationship, I prefer to not talk about religion or politics. He agreed to honor that. If he brings it up, and from time-to-time, he does like to test me, I'll remind him of our agreement.

4

Stay away from politics. He is not going to change, and neither are you. If he starts on politics, walk away.

4

I try not to talk about it, it’s pointless and only makes people miserable

4

I say what I think....If the other person is willing to debate....is fine...if he/she becomes out of line I make an about face and I go in my merry way. The age / relationship with the other person is of no importance when he/she becomes offensive.

2

Honestly, I just avoid politics and let their religious talk go in one ear and out the other. They say things like "praise god" "keep xyz in your prayers"... Yep, sure, I will. Ok... yeah. I just respect their faith etc. because I care about not fighting with them. Over the past few months, their talk about Trump has diminished, so I think they are starting to see the light and possibly feel the embarrassment. I learned a long time ago that those closest to us are the least likely to change their opinions because of what we say. So shake your head, settle your nausia, and try to enjoy life. Afterall... its not that serious. No one makes it out alive. We are dust.

2

Tha hardest thing I found in my life is convincing the one who metters to me about thing that metter to me! I found that somebody else's child will listen to me but not my own! It is a wird chemistry with family members and you just can't win!So if they ask me about it I will comment.... if not....the only way is
Let them find out the truth on their own!

2

I found that it's pointless to broach the topic, they are so set in there ways.

2

Don't talk politics, if he brings them up steer the conversation in a different direction. If he continues to bring them up, just say "Dad, we don't and won't agree on this subject, and I would rather discuss something non-political, please.".

2

I just avoid the subject. I don’t want to strain my relationship with my oldest son who I believe voted for Drump. I just let go because there are more important things in life than pissing each off over politics.

2

OMG! I do feel your pain! Except for the fact that it is usually my 82 year old father who loses it. I called him on his birthday, chatting nicely, I mention that we bought two kayaks. He says "you can thank Trump for that." the chat turned rapidly after that, I warned him " if you keep this up, I'm going to hang up on you." He replied " I've got two more things to say..." Click! He came to visit last week and never said a word about Trump!

2

Well it can easily be a child! I have similar reaction as your self, at the very mention of trump's name! But my 55 year old daughter just may have gone off the deep end. It has gotten worse and worse. She has a very responsible position as office manager for a manufacturing company. She has always leaned toward the evangelicals, but she is getting way out there now! I have spent many an hour in the past, trying to reason with her and I doubt that I have made a dent. My son just reported that she is putting bazar things on Facebook (I don't do Facebook) and recently while assisting their Dad (we are divorced), during an operation, she just went off!! It is a helpless feeling seeing any family member steeped in...what I consider unreality! My daughter seems to have doubled down in defense of trump! It is a helpless feeling, seeing my daughter like this. I really don't have an answer and I surely love my daughter! I am even beginning to wonder if it is best that I stay away from her? If I can't be of help, then I surely don't wish to create more harm!

Sorry about that, it must be difficult.

2

When my mother brings up politics i try to listen to her without responding much. She doesn't really follow politics, but she's one of those many people that supports Trump because she thought he was that populist in shining white armor come to save the people. She only watches local news and doesn't have much to form an opinion on. She's lucky she even knows how to turn a computer on. I try to take an understanding mediator like role with her when she starts talking politics.

2

Oh man I really get this. I am very liberal and my father has gotten increasingly conservative as the years have gone by. He was also a lawyer so he can talk/bully any position. I have reached a point of managing both the amount of time and situations I spend with him. I usually try to avoid political topics with him. He is not religious nor particularly a supporter of Trump, and some issues he’s relatively liberal(gay rights), but he uses the word “liberal” like a dirty word and often misconstrues liberal positions. When things do come up, I will often try to gently suggest a different perspective than the one he gets from Fox News. But I’m not willing to get into major conflict with him about things on which he will definitely not change his opinions.

2

A very dear friend and I , discovered we have opposing views on your topic . We decided it was best NOT to discuss politics . We value the friendship more highly , than expressing our views on that particular topic , so we don't .

2

What Would you like to do? Changing his mind? At 85? First, if he trust your opinion very much, maybe he will listen to your opinion. Just maybe, if not, there is nothing to do. Can anybody do anything about your opinions?

That's a good question. Thinking about it, I guess what gets to me is his somewhat dismissive phrase for politicians' or ideas he doesn't agree with. He just blurts out, "he/she's a communist!"

I just don't remember it being that bad in the past when I was younger, but he did say that phrase too when I was younger. To be honest, I think a lot of Cuban Americans from my dad's generation say that.

@LucifersPen if you understand how this things work, you will know that humans are not rational living beings and are influence a lot by many factors that he can not control. And at this age with a long history of stubbornness, the things will get just worse.

2

Don’t talk about politics. If he brings it up, just act like you agree. Or if that doesn’t work throw in a ‘whatever’ now and then. There really isn’t much of a come back to that and it is an obvious statement that you are right and he is wrong. He won’t know what you think he is wrong about. But a little confusion at 85 never hurt anyone.

2

My mother wasn't 85, but she was a huge O'Reilly fan about a decade ago. I told her he was a disgusting idiot, and that I lost respect for her every time she reminded me she followed him. Guess who has Ruth Bader Ginsburg bumper stickers now.

2

Dad, do you always vote for Republicans?

You know I do boy.

Then I guess that means you're complicit in murdering all those little school kids. Your vote made it possible. That's not good Dad. Not good at all.

2

Just say "I refuse to talk about politics". If he still persists, just walk away and out of his presence.

2

Just don't bring up politics when you are with them. There must be a thousand family things you guys can talk about.

1

My uncle is the same way. Have you ever watched "The Brainwashing of My Dad" ? great documentary. When you have a guy who lived through WW2 and what the Russians are all about now and he defends it we've lost them to Fox News. When my uncle tried to defend white supremacists I decided just not to have those conversations with him.

1

Let him think what he wants.

1

I don't talk about because if I do well never speak again. He knows I think Trump is a vile disgusting human being. He thinks everything is getting better and the poor Trump family is being hounded by the media and democrats. He gets all of his information from Fox News and OANN. I can debate with stupidity and willful ignorance.

I no longer respect or admire my father and honestly love him less because he really isn't worthy of my love.

1

It's your father and he's 85. Change the topic. If his age is affecting his mind, it is much easier to change the topic because he will quickly forget what the two of you were talking about a minute ago.

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