Today’s political climate has become so polarized that you may struggle to express your moderate opinions to members of any political party. When you know that you’re about to have a discussion about politics, use the following tips to keep your cool and have an intelligent conversation.
Get the Facts Straight
You cannot have a real conversation with someone if your knowledge is not based on facts. Find a moderates unbiased news source and educate yourself about the topic in question. Do not rely on websites that are obviously polarized or that do not have reliable sources. Be wary of sources that favor inflammatory headlines and only cover one side of every story. Keep in mind that the other person may not share your standards for picking news sources, causing further debate.
Focus on the Issue at Hand
Political issues are closely tied up with your core values and beliefs, so it’s easy to become angry when arguing about them. However, even if you feel yourself getting heated, stick to the issue at hand rather than dragging in other problems. For example, if you and a friend are debating gun control, do not introduce climate change to the discussion. Furthermore, avoid bringing in personal baggage, particularly if the events in question happened a long time ago.
Maintain Your Perspective
Before you get too angry, ask yourself how critical this conversation is. While the issues that you debate are of utmost importance, winning an argument with one person is less so. Don’t get caught up in the infuriating details of personal arguments and lose sight of your long-term political goals.
It’s never been harder to hold moderate political views than it is today. To increase the chances that other people will respect you during a political argument, make sure to stick to the facts, stay focused and remember your greater purpose.