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Has This Election Divided Your Family?

Do you live in a politically split household? Or has your extended family been torn down the middle by this election? Share your experience in the comments.

Facebook has become a war zone for me this election. With a large extended family dotted across the county, I've been getting updates from all over the place about one person's support for Obama, another's love of Romney, and everything in between. Friends and family want to make clear their views on abortion and gay rights at the click of a "like" button. I'm being pestered about Prop 30 and Prop 37, badgered about the economy and inundated with Romney and Obama memes.

It's enough to cause a family feud. I agree that it probably shouldn't be — after all, it's just social media. But it's still sometimes hard to believe your loved ones could take such a different political perspective from you, considering that they share the same bloodline and perhaps a very similar upbringing.

My family seems to have been split in two ways: firstly, there are those on the "conservative" side of things and there are those on the "liberal" side of things. But the second split has been between those who are willing to argue about it, and those who aren't. For those who have argued, there may never be full resolution, and the scars will remain long after the ballots are counted. For those who chose not to argue, there may be a new sense of distrust toward the family members who have shown that their true political colors are of a very different hue.

I tried to stick to the rule of speaking only when spoken to — unless I deemed the need to be dire, which I did, on three occasions —and letting it go if I feel that the other person is not receiving my opinions with an open mind and an honest curiosity to understand both sides of the debate. But it has been hard, and I'll be thankful when election season is over so that the wounds can start to heal, aided by the warm, loving glow of the holiday season ahead. 

How has your family been affected by this election? Share your trials and triumphs in the comments below.

Robinson Crusoe November 03, 2012 at 04:33 PM
For me the reason Eye do not vote is that they are the same canidates. They have small differences but they never mention the war, torture, ndaa(. A US president can kidnap citizens of the US or any nation on the face of the earth and torture and indefinitely detain them or even murder them without trial.), privacy, tsa, and so on. All the talk about the economy is a logical fallacy when they refuse to mention that half our budget goes to funding war. Wouldn't ending war kind of fix the economy, almost overnight? Choosing between 2 fascists is no choice at all. A fascist state - at least according to Mussolini's definition is a corporate controlled government.
Chris J Kapsalis November 03, 2012 at 04:36 PM
No it does not. Please look into how the electoral college works. No it doesn't. Don't take my word for it. I wouldn't. But I do not think peopel understand how it works. If they sdid they would be floored. I vote for everything else. But I will not have my intellignce insulted by me thinking my one vote, or all the votes of the people matter in the least. They do not. Please look into it.
Chris J Kapsalis November 03, 2012 at 04:37 PM
So why should the general public vote may I ask?
S. Resh November 03, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Seriously over the FB drama of this election.
Captain Bebops November 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Starting November 7th we should begin a campaign to shorten the election year cycle. Many countries limit it down to a few months and some even a month. They try to wear you down with the Presidential campaign in the US going on for almost two years.
Kayleen Parks November 03, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I have been avoiding Facebook because of all the divisiveness from my family and FB friends. I respect that people are passionate about their political vision for our country and that our points of view may be vastly different. What gets to me is when nastiness is involved in expressing their points of view. Perhaps people posting comments and political cartoons that are downright mean instead of factual are doing so because they are frustrated or just because they think they are funny. Because I have people I love and respect who are on the opposite side of the political fence I am reminded that those I don't know are also likely loved and respected by their friends and family too. I think this is crucial for us all to remember. After this election we will be challenged as a country to come together again despite our differences.
Ralph Hoffmann November 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I live in a single person household (except for various women who like to visit me). This election has made me be Bipolar. Normally being Bipolar is a Mental Illness called Bipolar Depression but I've found when I take laughter as my med, it becomes Bipolar Advantage, ie. politically I can see "both sides of the coin" at once. It seems to me, although I'm too old now, that we need more elected officials who have a mental illness of Bipolar Advantage.
Joanna November 03, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Amen!!! Our House Representatives and Assemblymen/women spend all 24 months campaigning for the next election, seriously impacting the time they should be spending doing "We, the People's" business. The rest of our elected reps spend lots of their time up until the last 12-24 months - when they spend most of it - also running for their re-election. It's insane. It's not their fault, it's the fault of the system, which is seriously broken in so many way, this being one of them.
MIKE ALFORD November 03, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Your an American,you have a right to vote --- if you let other peoples ideas or politicaly correctely change your mind ---- well than you will be divided --- but think back to when our parents and our grand parents who we grew up with --- it was very clear there was right and there was wrong --- We knew that they tought us that ! --- we as a nation as Americans had the Truth we knew right from wrong if you cannot know & See what is happening Today in America --- Stand Up Think Say & Do What Is Right ------ Well than You Will Convince yourself that You are Divided ---Dont Let People of Doubt Make YOU think that you are unable To Think for Your own thoughts ! Your An American, it Doesnt Get Any Better Than That ! ----- Do Whats Right ! VOTE !
Regular Guy November 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM
To Chris J Kapsalis: Imagine that we elected presidents by popular vote and a major storm or earthquake hit a very blue state right before the election. What do you think would happen? Would that be preferable to the current system? Imagine that the vote were a virtual tie, within 0.05%. Would we see red jurisdictions competing with blue jurisdictions nationwide to see who could generate the largest number of fraudulent votes? No thanks. I'd rather keep it the way it is. The electoral college better manages disruptive events, either eliminating their partisan effect (natural disasters) or corralling their effect into a single state.
Chris J Kapsalis November 03, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Then again, why should the people vote for president? The peoples vote is not considered in decidng the President. Everything lese yes, from the Mayor to your senitor. But not the President and who they chose as a running mate. What difference does it make who the people vote for? None. Ask Gore..
Chris J Kapsalis November 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I will however drop this now. It is a 30 year old question and has me shakign my head as to why I should vote for President. No more. I will like I said vote for everything else, where my vote is very important, everyones is. Not for President. ( I also disagree with that reasoning Reg Guy, but respect your opinion. )
Dave Thomas November 03, 2012 at 06:45 PM
This Fall Fire them all! Seriously... when did the electorate get dummed down. Ralph Nader made some great comments but with a two party system he does not count so we get a clone of a clone every four years. We get a clone of a clone every four years in Martinez. They are all bought and paid for. The only exception, for Martinez, is Mike Alford. He may not write well but he has a brain and no need to pay back SENO/DUNNIVAN/KRAMER/BISIO nor will he get a piece of the action when the proposed developments go though. With no campaign money he is at a disadvantage... vote for the underdog as he can not be worse than what we have.
Cooper Hall November 03, 2012 at 07:56 PM
You are not voting for a Presidential candidate. You are voting for electors. If you remember that then it's not so frustrating.
Cooper Hall November 03, 2012 at 08:02 PM
And many people from the generation you speak of thought segregation was just fine. They also believed the state had the right to block a married couple from obtaining any form of birth control. I don't look to my grandparent's generation for moral guidance. People from that generation were sometimes operating with a broken compass.
John Thomas Sorbello November 03, 2012 at 08:33 PM
My family and I are done talking about the upcoming election, simply because it creates too much friction!! Vote for who you want to, and then let it go. No reason for all of the tension, everyone will always differ in opinions -- and that's okay!
Chris J Kapsalis November 03, 2012 at 08:50 PM
It will not make a bit of difference who we elect to decide the president in the future. I do not trust politicians we voted for to decide who is president. We the people should. They do not even have to honor their pledges or party. It is a breading ground for corruption imo. I do vote. It wont matter anyway for this election who we vote for to elect the president in 2016. None. 2012 will be history by then.
Christina (Tina) Reich November 03, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Remember to thank your poll workers and be patient with the older folks working the polls, too!
c5 November 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
we always have some divisions in our family, but i am proud that we have 4 votes against props 30 and 38 which is helpful... i really wish this state would switch to where the electoral college votes are done based on the percentage of popular voting rather than a winner take all as we have now. the current system makes our state totally irrelevant in a national election since the dems have the majority in the bag...so we get no attention, and basically neither party cares about this state. i think that's a shame, regardless of your party affiliation. the powers that be have no incentive to empower the voters since it would mean that the state's electoral college votes would be up for grabs rather than be in the bag before the election even started. we deserve better.
Patrick J. McNamara November 04, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I agree it feels disempowering when we vote for electors by congressional district instead of a straight popular vote count. You have to understand why the electoral college was instituted to imagine the outrage and disenfranchisement that would take place if it were changed to a straight popular vote count. There is a clear majority of votes concentrated into about a half dozen major metropolitan areas in the country. To win a popular vote, a candidate would only need to strategize among these few big city population centers. over 90% of the land mass in the USA would be essentially unimportant and irrelevant politically if we went to a popular vote. Live in Kentucky? Who cares. Nevada? What's that? With the electoral college, any state that is not an absolute lock (like Texas, New York, California, Illinois, etc.) can become a potential swing state. Ohio, Nevada and Pennsylvania are very sought-after states right now by both parties. They would be throw-away flyover states in a popular vote system. It's nice to be a populous region like we are in a popular-vote tally. Or...maybe not. Can you imagine how much more sick to death we would be of political ads if California was in play? Spare me!
Patrick J. McNamara November 04, 2012 at 12:14 AM
There are a couple of states that do it that way. Maine I believe is one of them. It forces candidates to consider mining for a few electors within "enemy territory" so to speak. Going to a popular vote from an electoral college for president would essentially end any hope for Republicans to ever elect a president, as the urban centers where the highest concentration of votes are always go Democrat. The flyover states would be screwed. New York, Boston, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago and the like would rule over the rest of the country. Quickest way to a civil war I can think of. That's why I am for the electoral college. Yes, it adds one more layer of representatives into our representative government, but the avoidance of disenfranchisement it brings is very stabilizing and absolutely worth it. Chris, you are just dead wrong on this.
Patrick J. McNamara November 04, 2012 at 12:22 AM
A very practical strategy there Cooper.
Chris J Kapsalis November 04, 2012 at 12:55 AM
I disagree Patrick. A couple small states had the population to have made the decision in 2000 swing either way. That was a close election. If it isn't close the small states and their hand full of electoral votes don't matter anyway. CA has many more, but less than population yes. We would have 100 electoral votes if measure by population I figured. So it does give small state a little more power, in the electros vote. Not the populous, their do not matter as well. So it would be about the same either way. But even so, with the current system our votes are not part of the equation, so I still wonder why we vote for president. If you are pro electoral college, or against it, still the same thing. The popular vote means nothing. So again, why bother to vote for President? I would either do away with the popular vote or do away with the Electoral College system. Having both is an insult to my intelligence. Only one matters, and it is not our votes. And many still think their vote for president matters. It does not in the least. Look it up if you do not believe me.
c5 November 04, 2012 at 10:07 PM
patrick, interesting comment, i hadn't thought of it that way. actually i had thought of it in the opposite way..that in the big democratic states like california and ny, it would no longer be 100 pct of electoral votes going to the dems...and every state then becomes a swing state in terms of going for electoral votes...but maybe i am mistaken.
Chris J Kapsalis November 04, 2012 at 10:26 PM
I heard it said the popular vote stands sunless the electoral vote overrides it. It always does no matter what. So in fact we have absolutely no say. None. You would be better off putting a check on a fence than on a ballot come Tuesday for president. Why anyone bothers to vote for president is beyond me. Al Gore won by over 500,000 equally meaningless votes in 2000. It is as meaningful as a middle school mock election, worthless in determining who will be president. That is my point Patrick. Also I think you are wrong btw. But you are confusing your opinion with fact I think.
Regular Guy November 05, 2012 at 12:22 PM
It is a fact that one vote cannot change the outcome of an election. When an election becomes close, the courts make the decision after being pushed hard by partisans from both sides. There will never be an important election decided by one vote without shenanigans. So forget about your one vote making a difference.
Marshall Cochrane November 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
DIRTY TRICKS AGAIN IN MARTINEZ ELECTION...Last election they tried to slime Kathi McGloughlin with lies...This cycle Brandi Cizmich tried to do the same in the Gazette by creating a completely bogus story about Dylan Radke being a condemnation attorney...IT'S A LIE! A complete FABRICATION! Mr. Radke is not a condemnation attorney!
ScienceMom November 08, 2012 at 10:25 PM
After seeing a vey hateful and racist side, on Facebook, from a neighbor whom we befriended for years and suddenly witnessing nastiness yesterday omn sme by my beloved sister and a cousin, I ranted that I wouldn't spek to any of them until they apologized regardless of whom I agreed with. Have. Ever seen this before and the neon or accused me of being a milk toast mOderate for sayin everyone should work together and be Polite. But I had moved back to the south from the bay area where I feel more accepted. You guys don't care if I am a woman scientist. Back here near Memphis it is a crime to have left especially to Attend Stanford and the UC as opposed to Ole Miss or UT where the education is woefully behind at UT. Combined with violations of our civil rights I am ashamed to be southern. I'm off face bok for food and being a hermit sounds great. Hey, being middles and a woman to icologiat and microbiologist I am radioactive here. They are mostly nuts and I long to return where none of this matters. Mostly, I'm disappointed in select members of my family especially the ones who voted like me
ScienceMom November 08, 2012 at 10:28 PM
After seeing a vey hateful and racist side, on Facebook, from a neighbor whom we befriended for years and suddenly witnessing nastiness yesterday by my beloved sister and a cousin, I ranted that I wouldn't speak to any of them until they apologized regardless of whom I agreed with. I have never seen this before and was shocked that the guy next door accused me of being a milk toast mOderate for saying everyone should work together and be Polite. But I had moved back to the south from the bay area where I feel more accepted. You guys don't care if I am a woman scientist. Back here near Memphis it is a crime to have left especially to Attend Stanford and the UC as opposed to Ole Miss or UT where the education is woefully behind at UT. Combined with violations of our civil rights I am ashamed to be southern. I'm off face bok for food and being a hermit sounds great. Hey, being middles and a woman to icologiat and microbiologist I am radioactive here. They are mostly nuts and I long to return where none of this matters. Mostly, I'm disappointed in select members of my family especially the ones who voted like me
ScienceMom November 08, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I apologize I am on my iPhone it stinks regarding g typing

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