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How can I(23m) have calm rational political discussions with my younger brother(19m)

My brother and I both get very emotional and heated during any “political” view or opinion. I have a problem with staying rational and not ignoring and not listening to his points or whatever and I feel that he does the same towards me. I’d like advice on how to help myself understand or listen or be able to state my view or point in a way that is articulate and makes sense. I don’t want to change his opinion or convince him that he is wrong.

I like to consider myself a left wing moderate. My brother on the other hand is right wing. He and I agree on a lot of stuff like both of us being pro choice, the right to bear arms, and that gay marriage is a good thing. However, with these riots and protests it is just getting worse. He listens to a bunch of right wing youtubers and always says that these guys aren’t biased and only tell facts and not opinions.

I don’t think that defunding the police is the right thing but re-allocating funds is better. He thinks since its called “defunding” that I don’t want any police and want havoc. He thinks that this BLM is totally out of line because there aren’t any laws that make it harder for black people.

There is a lot more to it but I am on mobile and kind of heated after a huge fight with him right now so I can’t type it all out.

We were both raised in Texas if that adds any context.

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14 Comments

  1. Go to amazon and get the article by jonathon Haidt titled. “Why do they vote that way?” It is free on kindle. It may help you recognize that you have more in common with your brother than you imagine.

  2. Personal relationships are more important than arguing politics. I’d avoid talking about it if it’s going to damage it.

    People think their political beliefs are so important but are you just reading, thinking, and talking about it or making meaningful change in the world? If you’re just thinking and talking about it with other people who think and talk about it nothing is getting done.

  3. Write it down, rather than jumping to respond.

    There is a lot of shit being thrown on both sides and I’m not gonna make anything here political.

    If you find yourself not thinking and just saying in an argument you’ve lost, because the other person can trip you up. If you want to have the discussion, while talking with him write it down, write down the questions you think of while he’s talking. It helps because it allocates your brain from “I need to respond quickly” to “I need to know what is important to find out”

  4. You need to set some ground rules for ANY debates or even discussions on political topics. If they cannot be agreed upon or accepted, then it is not discussed on any level. Second, if you go into a debate with him, before any real discussion is made, flat out ask what it would take to change his mind. Go from there. If it is state that nothing will, there is no debate – it is then just arguing. Third, apply all the same to yourself. Even if he does not ask what it would take to change your mind, tell him bluntly what would. And do not be afraid to call out anyone on attacks of character over the argument/topic.

    My father is textbook narcissistic… This is how we (my family) must deal with him and discussions.

    Last… Do not rise to any bait. And do not offer bait.

    Good luck.

  5. First I’d come to an understanding of t real truth and not the paradigm that’s but forth by the social manipulators because to me it sounds as though you are both wrong arguing about something you cannot change. So if he is getting heated in a debate I simply wouldnt bring it up. And if it is brought up in turn you say the political parties are used to create division among the public for divide and conquer and never would I assume my own brother would fall for the political influence to attack his own flesh and blood. Maybe you should ask yourself what’s more important. Morals ethic and family And see how these translate to the wider world and see if the message put forth to the public erodes this. Which I think you’ll find it will.

  6. Teach him the art of shutting the fuck up. Just because he has an opinion, doesn’t mean he needs to voice it all the time.

    Next time he goes off, ignore him.

  7. Arguing is pointless. You cant change other people mind most of the time. Discussion is for inteligent people who can see both side negative/positive aspects and who can admit if their wrong.

  8. Tell him you’re sick of talking politics with him because it just leads to heated and over emotional fights. Tell him you respect his views and his right to watch the content he likes, but you respectfully think differently. Talking about current events is largely a shit show to begin with since even masks are politics now. Do you guys ever talk theory, like John Locke or Marx or anything? Higher order discussion is usually (usually) more civil. I remember being very passionate about random things when I was 19 too. It’s just a thing.

    Otherwise I would just toss him a beer and figure out something more fun to talk about.

  9. > He listens to a bunch of right wing youtubers and always says that these guys aren’t biased and only tell facts and not opinions.

    Oh god, he’s one of *those* kinds of people. Much as it might hurt to say, your brother might be a lost cause. What matters when it comes to stuff like this isn’t facts or logic at all, it’s about finding somewhere to belong. Your brother just happened to find it in neckbeard youtubers. This’ll make calm political discussions impossible because, to you, you’re just discussing facts and shit but, to him, he’s is keeping a newfound identity and sense of community. Facts be damned!

    What matters now is if you can give him a new sense of identity and community with you. Do you matter to him? Changing his mind, if it’s what you want, won’t come down to facts and shit. It’s going to come down to if your brother values you as a person and if you mean anything to him.

  10. Unfortunately, it sounds like he’s fallen for Ben Shaprio pretty hard. Unfortunately I’ve noticed that his following is pretty bloody cult like and hard to break into. If he’s only watching analysts like Shapiro he is going to always have poor/intentionally bad takes and understanding on complex global issues.

    There isn’t much you can do. He’s probably fallen for the Murdoch/right wing propaganda model pretty bloody hard which is nearly impossible to get someone out of.

    I’ve learnt as a far left ‘extremist’ for lack of a better term there really isn’t much that can be done with political discussions. Others will rarely even want to try to understand my position and I have a hard time empathising with much of the moderates (or even much of the left).

    You are stuck honestly, old mate needs to realise how dogshit most political commentators are and form his own opinions rather than parroting that of the status quo. Personally i’d just try to avoid it as much as I could to minimise the chance of burning bridges.

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