Subtitle: Why I avoid talking about politics with my sister(s)
While I was in Vermont, my sister moved back to the LA area. Today, I was watching an old episode of American Dreams, where JJ comes home from Vietnam after being MIA for quite some time. My sister was watching too, which means I got to hear political commentary from her. I’m not really sure why she thinks she knows everything – she doesn’t read newspapers, she doesn’t watch the news, she doesn’t even vote normally – but she knows everything. (Insert eye roll here.)
Anyway, she said, “Don’t you think it’s sad that soldiers have to watch their friends die and stuff like that?” and I of course said, “Yes, I do.”
She followed up with, “So then how can you promote situations where you know that’s going to have to happen?”
First, I clarified that while yes, I do support the war in Iraq, and I do believe it was and is necessary and right for us to be there, I don’t promote war. Then I added, “Although it would be nice if we could live in a world where war was never necessary, that is not the world we live in. It is sad that people die in war, but they’re dying for a cause and I’m thankful that we have selfless people in our country who are willing to give their lives for that.”
She didn’t like that. Her response: “I understand some wars are necessary, but it’s not like this is WW2.”
(What does that mean exactly?)
“That was something you could be proud of, not a war about oil that a stupid president launched because he needed to do something about 9/11 and couldn’t find the right country.”
(Oh wait, maybe I do know where she learns about current events.)
“And now mom says that you’re going to join the Army. What if you get sent to Iraq?”
Well, I imagine that I’ll be doing whatever the Army wants me to do there, and reading letters from home and eating vacuum sealed cookies.
“I wouldn’t write you letters. I don’t support the war.”
Not the troops either apparently. For the first time in my life, I was actually ashamed of my sister. But if that’s her attitude, I wouldn’t want her letters anyway. Someone else will send me letters if I end up over there.
“It’s just like Vietnam or the Cold War. Do you even know why we started the Cold War?”
Apparently she’s forgotten that I basically minored in Soviet History. She started on a long political rant after that, but I stopped listening because it annoyed me and it’s pointless to try to discuss things with her, because you can’t reason with someone whose beliefs are dictated by what’s popular to believe.
This is not the same sister who was arguing with me about Canada, as a side note. I come from a family of politically misinformed children. Most days, I have trouble believing that we’re related.