Are You Politically Correct?

Q:     In this election year everyone is posting and talking about politics. I am surprised at the number of people who flaunt and argue their positions on social media and at social gatherings. It makes me uncomfortable and I thought it was taboo to talk about politics. Have the rules on discussing politics changed?

Dear Politically Puzzled:

The rules have not changed, but social convention has. There are a myriad of articles that discuss how social etiquette adapts to changing norms of society. Although it does appear that “society” finds it permissible to openly discuss and even flaunt our political affiliations, Mimi thinks this is one deserving of the a hit to the “pause” button, literally and figuratively. The rules on discussing politics are firm. There remains no etiquette book or consultant that says “discuss politics as you would the weather or in polite social context”. Leave it to the sanctity of the voting booth! Unless you are at a political event or being interviewed for a political site or article, DO NOT discuss politics at the dinner table, social events or work! Not at holidays, weddings or when meeting anyone for the first time.  NO. NO. NO. NEVER.

-Mimi no-snitching

Mademoiselle agrees with Mimi, but tends to understand that the younger set is a little more liberal. So, although I too, am in the NO category, if you do decide to engage in political conversation, I would offer that if someone else brings it up, be polite, stick to the facts of general knowledge politics (candidate stance or headlines) and quickly change the subject. If you are asked your opinion, state it and move on, agree to disagree. If others get heated and want you to join in, use Mimi’s magic one word response – “Indeed”. I read somewhere that the best political conversation is one where the participants can ask each other questions to learn more. So, if you are with what you consider “like-minded” friends, by all means discuss and learn. But, recognize the “mine-field” you are entering and if you feel like there is a path, take it, but do so at your own risk.



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