MP Bulletin Extra: Red Dad, Blue Son


For any of you who’ve had politics come between you and your family this article is one I’m sure many of us can relate to. Sit down, read it through, take a deep breath and think about picking up the phone.  

My dad is conservative. I’m not. For our relationship to survive, we had to stop talking politics.

By Joe Hagan from Reader’s Digest Magazine 

Things were going great. On the last night of our family reunion two years ago, my 62-year-old father and I walked along a beach in South Carolina, glasses of wine in our hands, and soaked in the warm air, the full moon, and the gravity of the years. I’m my dad’s first child and only son, now married with three kids, a career, and a mortgage. From the surf, we could both see his grandchildren silhouetted in the glowing windows of the rented beach house. The moment for a toast had arrived.

And that’s when my dad started talking about the Tea Party.

Somewhere along the way, my dad had come to believe that trying to sell me on his conservative politics was the equivalent of bonding. His opining, however, has always had the same effect on me: My jaw clenches, my back stiffens, and the charge of political discord transforms the most beautiful moon on the East Coast into a naked lightbulb hanging in an interrogation room. Suddenly, I’m trapped with a right-wing pundit who happens to be my dad.

Read more…

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5 Comments to “MP Bulletin Extra: Red Dad, Blue Son”

  1. Reblogged this on GoodOleWoody's Blog and Website and commented:
    I was shocked to learn after my father’s death that he was a Reagan Republican. 😦

  2. Very nicely written.

    My dad, while a career Fed, was politically appointed by Reagan in the Department of Energy in the early 80s. He was a Republican of convenience. But he’s the one who shaped my view that the government has done some good in our economy. He showed me things when I visited his office in the 70s as a child, like personal computers and the government’s ARPANET network. I even recall him pointing out electric cars parked in the DOE garage in the Forestal building in the late 70s.

    • It was well done. Don’t know why I haven’t delved into that topic before… I could relate so much to the article.

      Interesting experience for you with your dad’s career. I can see how that would shape your early view of government.

  3. I’m more interested in how my family has managed to stay together as we have. My father is a “Blue Dog” Democrat, and works for the government. My mother, aunt, and younger brother are all Tea Partiers. I’m a liberal, though I have some libertarian leanings. Overall, we’re a strange mess and politics is always the topic of conversation in my home. I wonder how we’ve managed not to break apart as a family given the many different political views and ways of thinking we embody as a clan.

    • Annabel> That’s quite a mix. That might be a great topic to write about… how do you all talk politics BUT are still able to TALK to one another? My experiences were very similar with the father and son here in this piece. My Dad and I just have to agree to not talk politics. But I do send him my opensalon editor’s pics 🙂

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