Fandango’s Provocative Question (4 January 2322)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

Fandango Provocatively asks:

In your interpersonal relationships with acquaintances, friends, and family, are you able to separate political ideologies from the people who hold them? Why or why not?

Depends, really, how close that acquaintance is.

With a not-very-close acquaintance, if I disagreed with them, I could quite happily understand the disagreement without it becoming personal. Often, different views boil down to priorities. What’s more important, X or Y? I can usually understand their view, even if I disagree with it, so I’m not going to make it personal.

For example, something fundamental. How much should the state intervene in our lives, financially? Do we prefer societies with a healthy sprinkling of billionaires (who will maybe trickle their wealth downwards somehow), or rather a society which uses a higher tax take to subsidise food, for example, so that food banks are no longer required?

Does there come a point when you tax most of what somebody earns? (There used to be a 95% tax rate in the UK sixty years ago – famously The Beatles were caught up in it.) Take money from the individual and use it instead to benefit society as a whole? Build roads, schools etc instead? In our case, hospitals too?

That’s all a sliding scale and people will quite reasonably hold a range of views.

I think accepting disagreement becomes more difficult, the closer you come to home. I don’t mean there should be complete agreement, but certainly in step in terms of the broad “direction of travel”. Certainly if you have somebody as close as a partner, it’d be a rocky road otherwise, don’t you think? You could really do without having those arguments over the breakfast table. Or worse, knowing you can’t mention a certain subject because it’ll rock the boat? With a partner, you’d like to think that everything is on the table.

So I think at the partner level, somebody’s broad view of the world absolutely affects your view of them as a person.

19 comments

  1. When my best friend revealed that she voted for Brexit, I wondered what else I had misjudged about her. It knocked me back a bit. We’re okay now but I avoid politics with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Again, priorities. Voting for Brexit might well have meant he was not happy about the way the EU was governed. That stance seems perfectly reasonable to me – the governing council of the EU is rather like the Politbureau of the old USSR. For example, at the very top, Ursula von der Leyen was appointed, not elected. If he objected to things like that, voting for Brexit was not unreasonable.

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      • She didn’t even know about MEPs. Her gripe was too many foreigners. I take exception with that because they entered legally and contributed to our economy and the community where they lived.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not even sure of the role of MEPs.

          You’d think, there is an issue… funding a new bridge over the Seine, for example. You’d expect some debate on this, at least. Some people will say “what a good idea” while others will say it’s a waste, could be spent better elsewhere. And there will be this debate on whether EU funds should be spent on the project. And the logical people to have this debate would be MEPs, because they are representing real constituents, who might have an interest. And yet… no such debate!

          The other anomaly that struck me was about Malta. Places like Britain and France had so many MEPs per capita. I forget the numbers, but it was about the same. Which is exactly what you’d expect, because everybody is represented equally, right? Wrong. Per capita, Malta has I think it was 9x the number of MEPs compared to France or Britain. It was anomalies like that put me off the EU. It’s not even a British thing – if I were French I’d be equally up in arms.

          Immigration is a funny one because you have two extremnes. Let everyone in, and let no-one in. Those two options both seem dumb. Which implies you need some policy. Some people get in, others don’t. So I do have an amount of sympathy for anybody charged with coming up with that policy (although they don’t seem to be able to come up with anything decent). We need a vay of measuring somebody’s overall contribution, not just their financial contribution. And we have the wrong government in power for that.

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    • I think being able to empathise with the view is a biggie. Even if you don’t agree with it. But if we don’t empathise with the view, we end up thinking “how on earth could someone think that?” and we begin to meld the view together with the person.

      I have an advantage of seeing the US from afar. But just as I can be turned off by diehard GOP followeds, I’m also turned off by diehard Dems. There doesn’t seem much to choose between either. Your country is extremely polarised.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree 100% with what Mr Bump wrote (thanks for saving me the time to write it myself, Pete!) I have seen brothers who normally agree on just about everything come to blows over political differences. It was startling and quite sad. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut about a lot of things when dealing with friends/family; it’s just not worth it in the long run. We’re not going to change anything by arguing; we’ll just be left with hard feelings that may never be forgotten or forgiven. Excellent choice in music, Mr B!

    Liked by 1 person

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