Straight Talk Advice

Sep 23, 2004

Vote your heart; this is America

Dear Straight Talk: I’m 18, living at home, attending community college and I plan to vote for the first time in the November election. I’m writing because I have different political values from my parents and my grandparents, my whole family actually, and I feel badgered to vote how they want me to vote. I’ve given up talking about it, but it’s made me feel a little resentful. How can get my family to see that I am loyal to them in other ways but politically we are different. They see it as me not being loyal to them. It is sort of driving us apart.—Gotta vote my heart

Dear Gotta vote: Congratulations on recognizing that you can love someone at the same time you disagree with them. Many people have trouble with this dichotomy. Recognize further that you control whether or not you feel badgered and resentful. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with it internally. If you feel your views are driving you apart from people you love, silently forgive them and politely decline from engaging in political discussions with them. Here’s feedback from a teen that can relate:

Dear Ashley, 17: I completely understand your situation. My family thinks one way about the world and I think another. We’ve had a lot of arguments that go nowhere. Tell them directly that you respect their opinion but now that you are older you have your own opinions and need to stand up for them. You are the future.


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