The New Divided Family

I’ve had several conversations about the following subject but the most recent was with a friend I ran into this week at the supermarket. The woman mentioned this blog and how it brought a balance to her life. While I’ve never seen myself as being balanced I do understand what she was referring to. In her family the husband is a loyal follower of Fox News and while on the road, devotee of conservative talk radio (not to imply there is such a thing as liberal talk radio).

She and her children tend to be more liberal and on occasion these differences of political ideology have caused tense moments at family gatherings. So, to maintain the peace family defers to the father’s ideology and chooses not to challenge him.

In her personal life she rarely gets to hear the side that differs from what her husband subscribes to. That’s where CGS comes in. Couple of times a week she logs onto this blog and gets to see what I and the other writers and participants are thinking.

I call families like hers, the new divided family. While there’s nothing new about divisions within families it usually isn’t politics to blame. More often it is about who your daughter is dating, how low your son wears his jeans, or what was wrong with the old car you just replaced with a shiny new toy in the driveway.

Maybe I’m wrong though since politics have never been much of an issue within my extended family. Within our family we are mostly like-minded about the serious issues of politics and religion and I’ve always been somewhat amazed about how well our family gets along. On more than one occasion we’ve taken week-long vacations involving as many as twenty-five people and I can’t recall anyone wanting to murder another by week’s end.

Part of the answer lies in just simply not talking about such things while together. One of my brothers in-law usually acts as the recreational program director and always comes equipped with a long list of activities to keep us busy. By the time we get through the day we’re just too damned tired to even talk about trivial things, let along politics.

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