During the 2016 presidential race, many families are finding their viewpoints incompatible with those of even their closest relatives. So rather than spend their time constantly arguing, they have agreed to just avoid discussing politics all together.
Jenn Stanley, 29, and her father, Peter, have experienced a strain on their relationship for years. Political discussions regularly leave them angry and frustrated with each other. Jenn, a self-described liberal who turns to yoga to clear her head, writes about feminist issues for various publications and produces a podcast about women’s rights. Peter, who relaxes by shooting his guns, works in construction and began voting Republican in 1980 during the Reagan revolution.
Whenever they are together and the news comes on the television, they argue.
When Jenn was younger, she considered Peter to be her best friend. She played softball—which she hated—because Peter liked baseball; he coached her team because he thought she wanted to play. But as she got older and left for college, their views grew further apart, making it difficult for them to talk about many of the things that are most important to each of them.
They came to StoryCorps to try to put their differences aside, and listen to each other’s points of view.
Originally aired November 4, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.