Common Ground: Holiday Political Conversations


SPRINGFIELD — It can be hard to find harmony around the holidays when the conversation turns political. 

Hopefully you got through the holiday without a lot of political fighting. But, 2018 is going to be a pretty contentious year. 

Here are some ideas for how you can find political common ground with your friends, family, and neighbors. 

Now, there’s always the avoidance strategy, but let’s assume for moment that you actually want more than surface level conversations with those closest to you.

It’s a good bet that you’ll talk about something controversial these holidays. So, you should decide now how to handle the situation. 

Our KOLR10 Common Ground Focus Group has some helpful advice, and it applies as much to finding common ground all year long as getting through those holiday moments over shared eggnog.

Royce Reding is a Republican Focus Group Member. 
“I recently read something that said it’s hard to hate someone when you know their story,” Reding says. “I really like that because I think that I’m a big believer in dialogue.” 

In other words, getting to know what makes someone view the world as they do not only helps you see their point, it can bring you closer as friends and family.

Don Patterson, another Republican Focus Group Member, says sometimes we drown each other out. 

“One of the things we don’t do today is we don’t talk to each other, we talk over each other,” Patterson explains.  

Remember, you’re talking to someone you care about, even if they’re annoying you at the moment. 

Wes Zongker, a Democrat Focus Group Member, says instead we may be missing a crucial piece to this puzzle.

“One of the things, talking is not the most important part; it’s listening,” Zongker says. 

You’re not in a professional debate at the dinner table, and there’s no prize for winning an argument in this environment. So listen, you might just learn something.

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