The challenge of family spats over politics is common enough to warrant an appearance in “Dear Prudence,” a manners and morality advice column at Slate.com
“My family members are staunch Democrats and love to badmouth Republicans every time the conversation turns to politics. This is heartbreaking, because I myself am a secret Republican. My mom already knows that I’m in love with a Republican, and she won’t stop condemning him behind his back for his beliefs, calling him names like ‘right-wing whack job’ and ‘little lord Republiroy,’ ” wrote one teenager last week.
“Dear Republican,” came the reply from columnist Emily Yoffe. “Start with your mother and tell her you thought one essential precept of the Democratic Party’s principles is that all people deserve to be treated with respect, whatever their race, creed, or stature. Explain that if your family thinks its political views give them a claim to moral superiority, they undercut it every time one of them ridicules your boyfriend for his beliefs. Let her know her insults aren’t changing your feelings for him — or your own beliefs — they’re only causing a breach between the two of you.”