Friday, December 23, 2005

Politics Under the Tree
Once again, we're in pre-holiday mode at the Daily Aneurysm. The Mrs. is off work until Tuesday and getting ready to do the rest of the Christmas baking and deliver some gifts; I get to go holiday beer-shopping later today, but I also have some actual work to do.

We'll be visiting my family on Christmas Day, and seeing some of The Mrs.' family over New Year's. At Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte has a post about seeing the family at Christmastime, and she asks the question: "Are you the errant non-conservative in your family? How do they deal with you? How do you deal with them?" With my family, it's not a problem, because we don't talk about politics much. I have never known whether my mother and father tend Republican or Democrat--Republican if I had to guess, but I believe they voted for Kerry, and I hope they took my advice in 2000 and voted for Gore. My mother is pro-choice, which surprised me when she said so, mostly because she said so. My youngest brother and his wife are highly anti-Bush, although I'm not sure whether that translates into being Democrats generally. My other brother is about as liberal as I am. My father-in-law and his wife are thoroughly Republican, although they're more the old-line country-club variety than the Fox News/Free Republic variety.

A lot of Amanda's respondents talk about their families' racism or sexism. I occasionally catch a whiff of racism from my parents, but it's never anything extreme. I chalk it up to their generation, and the likelihood that, given the time and place in which they were born, raised, and have lived, neither of them has ever had any significant associations with someone of another race. On the other side, my in-laws seem to think that the biggest problem minorities have is a failure to learn good manners. As for sexism, on my side of the family it's never been an issue. My father was liberated before most people knew the meaning of the word; my mother started working outside the home when my youngest brother went off to school. The Mrs.' family was more traditional. Her mother didn't aspire to do anything beyond raising her family, but they didn't raise The Mrs. to believe that was the only appropriate role for a woman. (Honesty compels me to report that The Mrs. was clearly not raised to be a homemaker. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

So I don't expect any raging political discussions either this weekend or next. We could probably have better and more passionate discussions about football--my sister-in-law comes from a long line of Chicago Bears fans.

At Salon, Wil Wheaton talks politics with his family--and it doesn't go well.

How do you deal with the politics of the people in your family?

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