One thing that has come about from working is that I am once again reminded of how it is possible for people to have completely divergent political views and still get along. Tonight, I discovered that one of my favorite coworkers, a very sweet and funny man, is a … conservative.
He was saying how he could not believe this country elected Bill Clinton over George Bush, Sr. I did not say anything because I have a firm rule about not discussing politics in the workplace — I like my coworkers, and would hope they like me, and really want to keep it that way. In my world, discussing politics (or law, for that matter) is not something to be casually bantered about while reviewing census binders.
It is a blood sport.* I tend to be passionate about my views — read the political posts in this blog and that becomes evident — and a lot of people find that passion off-putting, especially when they disagree with me. (I do, however, try to be respectful of those on the other side.)
The end result is a narrowing of my views. I am most likely to talk politics with people I know will agree with me.
I do not think this is a good thing. I am far less able to learn from people who think like I do. But on the other hand, public discourse has gotten to be so polarized, so vitriolic, and I am by nature a conflict-adverse person.
Who knows? There might be a great deal that my conservative coworker (whom I still think of as a lovely human being, even though I think he was dead wrong about the elder Bush) might agree on, and there may be ways in which talking with him could change or refine my views on things.
I wish I knew how to get past this.
* The 2008 primary season was grim, my husband being a Clinton supporter and me for Obama.