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Polite Politics:
How to express yourself without dissing your friends

by Emil Post

Oxymorons | But, But, But | Give A Little

If ever there were an oxymoron, “polite politics” would seem to be it. In an age when each side of the political spectrum views the other as the embodiment of all that is evil, polite discourse is exceedingly rare (actually, in this age or any other). Depending on your political persuasion, the other party has never put forth, or passed, legislation that was anything but self-serving, politically driven, or just plain stupid.

How, then, is it possible to have a civil exchange of ideas with a friend, family member, or acquaintance of the opposite political persuasion?

First, YOU have to make the commitment to be civil. This means avoiding statements that are proclamations of personal opinion (for example: President Schmoe is an idiot). Open with this statement and whomever you are speaking with will tune you out faster than the Plastic Ono Band. Even if the conversation continues for another hour, it is, at this point, effectively over. Your pal will never hear another word you speak.

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