41 answers

Political Views Gone Too Far??

So this morning I was checking my Facebook page, came across my stepson's (2 yrs out of college) post which I thought was too harsh. It's actually his friend's view & he shared the post meaning he agrees. The post said "Although I try to keep friends around even when our views are opposite, this is one issue where I don't need your friendship if you oppose my very being". & he continues to tell his "friends" to please de-friend him if their political views are different from his!

Would YOU post something like that? Would you seriously drop a friendship or family ties if your political views are different? While I understand the taking sides of political parties but still..I don't know how you can win votes or friends by making a statement like that..or maybe they do?? He has since backtracked on his post saying he is not that kind of person & that he will be friends with everybody..but the original post is still there, so he's contradicting himself.. I felt that he could've edited the post..but anyway..

Yes, it's a free country & you can say anything you want, but I am also of the old school that anything you post on fb will come back to haunt you. He has posted some stuff in the past which I didn't think were appropriate, I am just thinking of the resumes he's sending out & that he'll be turned down because of his posts. & yes, I have told him about that too.

Not looking for any answers, really..just your opinions! Thanks moms! :)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for your responses! Wish I can respond to each & everyone of you! :) My post wasn’t about whom he is siding with, but with the choice of words he used (even though they’re someone else’s) . I don't care whom he votes for & I respect him for his beliefs. More power to him if he is really passionate about his choice. If only he stated it in his own words, nicely at that, pointing out the whys, whats, wheres & hows like a mature person would, but no, the 1st thing you see is those harsh words. I was taken aback by that & if that was meant for shock value, he sure shocked me! & of course the old school marm in me just had to say something to him of what I think is rude. He is my son after all.
I was even attacked by the original poster, can you believe it? Like, why am I policing her post, etc..I told her, I'm not policing her, I respect her views but I'm looking out for my s/son since he shared it. He has since responded in kind on why he picks this party, telling me facts, etc..& I told him if only he posts this instead of sharing a post with some harsh/unkind remarks, it would’ve shown how mature he was & that he probably would’ve convinced more of his friends to jump to his side of the fence! But it’s too late because all people would see is the top (the post) & not the thread.
Of course being young that he is, he told me not to worry about his posts! I really hope this doesn’t nip him in the butt! I also told him, instead of wasting time on fb, to go to the campaign office, become a volunteer , work for them & get involved the right way.

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I think it depends upon the issues. If you told me you believed segregation was right, intermarriage was wrong and blacks were inferior to whites - no you could not be my friend. Period. Same if you told me that Jews killed Christ and will go to hell because of that.

I believe that many many people (gay and straight) believe that if you believe gay marriage is 'wrong' then you believe their families and they themselves are inferior to you. I would find it difficult if not impossible to be friends with someone who felt I had no right to marry and fully participate in civil society.

I have shared comments from friends which essentially stated the above.

7 moms found this helpful

I agree with Kristen W. My first thought was that he is gay and speaking against Romney because he is outspokenly against gay marriage (and therefore anti gay rights/human rights). One of my best friends is gay and was married in NY. She has been posting gentle reminders -- "a vote for Romney is a vote against my family" -- and I don't think that's going too far AT ALL. It's not an opinion; it's a factual statement. In fact, every woman in America could say the same thing. A vote for Romney is a vote against my civil rights.

5 moms found this helpful

I guess it depends on what he's defining as "his very being." If it's just his general political leanings, he needs to get over it. If it's a specific issue, such as he supports gay rights, and he's gay, and he's defriending folks who don't support gay rights, that would make sense to me. That would rise to the level of not supporting his very being.

3 moms found this helpful

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YAWN! (not to you, to him). Ah, to be fresh out of college and so passionate and right about everything. I think I was a vegan working for Greenpeace right about then. All I can say is thank god the internet didn't exist to post my know-it-all stances to the world :) Yup, he shouldn't do that. Now at 42, my FB posts are NICE and supportive and positive and neutral. Even my lefty political things are scarce and light-hearted. I haven't de-friended any Republicans and the chats have stayed respectful. But then, us older people don't have "our very beings" wrapped in this kind of stuff :)

7 moms found this helpful

I think it depends upon the issues. If you told me you believed segregation was right, intermarriage was wrong and blacks were inferior to whites - no you could not be my friend. Period. Same if you told me that Jews killed Christ and will go to hell because of that.

I believe that many many people (gay and straight) believe that if you believe gay marriage is 'wrong' then you believe their families and they themselves are inferior to you. I would find it difficult if not impossible to be friends with someone who felt I had no right to marry and fully participate in civil society.

I have shared comments from friends which essentially stated the above.

7 moms found this helpful

I agree with Kristen W. My first thought was that he is gay and speaking against Romney because he is outspokenly against gay marriage (and therefore anti gay rights/human rights). One of my best friends is gay and was married in NY. She has been posting gentle reminders -- "a vote for Romney is a vote against my family" -- and I don't think that's going too far AT ALL. It's not an opinion; it's a factual statement. In fact, every woman in America could say the same thing. A vote for Romney is a vote against my civil rights.

5 moms found this helpful

my opinion is that he is just very immature, and hadn't thought it through before he posted it. When he really grows up, he'll understand what he did was stupid. In the meantime, I agree with you, he will be turned down for jobs for sure. Shows where his character is at the moment.

3 moms found this helpful

I guess it depends on what he's defining as "his very being." If it's just his general political leanings, he needs to get over it. If it's a specific issue, such as he supports gay rights, and he's gay, and he's defriending folks who don't support gay rights, that would make sense to me. That would rise to the level of not supporting his very being.

3 moms found this helpful

It's just immaturity. I read postings from teenagers on my Facebook about their political views and think to myself...give me your opinion once you've lived a little more and contributed to society by at least paying some taxes......

3 moms found this helpful

No, I wouldn't post something like that. I don't post political stuff as a rule on my Facebook because they are my friends. I guess I find friendships a bit more valuable that my point of view.

I wish I could get my damn Kindle app to fire up on this machine!! I have been reading a book but for the life of me can't remember the name. It is written by a sociologist and does a great job of explaining how politics have become almost like religion to some, that they actually feel their party beliefs are their core beliefs where in the past your core beliefs determined your party choice.

3 moms found this helpful

I've posted similar ... 'This is me. It's who I am and if you don't like the majority of how I feel or what I post, feel free to leave. I'm not changing'.

2 moms found this helpful

My very best friend is very liberal. Our political views are polar opposite of each other. We will discuss politics but most times we agree to disagree. She thinks the US should go more the way of France and I say "No thank you". I sent her George W's book and she sent me Obama paper dolls. We keep a sense of humor about things. This friendship is way too important for politics to ruin!

2 moms found this helpful

I live in Obamaland, so as you can imagine I have a lot of lefty friends. I still like them and accept all their faults, lol.

2 moms found this helpful

Yeah, I've seen some things from my friends on facebook, where I just shake my head and sigh..They are old enough to know better. Some stuff can get pretty down right nasty. Especially political. I have many friends who do not share the same political views or person, and I have to refrain from saying something. It's their opinion. Although, if it gets out of hand, I am the first one to say something to them..

I do want to add that my own brother who is very liberal and expressive had to tone it down once he had to look for a job. From his profile pictures to his status messages. I warned him that they could very well be seen by someone who he wants a job with. So, yes, it does make a difference. You can still express yourself and say what you want, but , do it tactfully..You never know who is looking.

2 moms found this helpful

No. I would never post something like that. I stay away from politics on facebook unless it's a private group.

I am a financial conservative with some pretty liberal social views. Most of my close friends are liberals (I'm a teacher), and they know I will be voting for Romney. We respect each others opinions, and are able to discuss our differences with open minds.

2 moms found this helpful

I've seen things that people have "liked" get shared on their walls without that being the intent. The people start commenting on the item on that item on the person's wall that liked the item, not the original post. I had to adjust that in my own settings because it was a privacy issue to me.

But it doesn't sound as if that's what he's doing. It sounds like he ACTUALLY shared it. At his age, all of his beliefs and feelings have such a sense of immediacy and urgency and importance that if you disagree it's tragic and unacceptable. He hasn't learned tolerance nor temperance of speech. Calling him out on it will help him learn those things. :-)

2 moms found this helpful

He's just young and immature. Ignore! :)

2 moms found this helpful

Thank god for youthful idealism. It can get a lot accomplished. Also thank god that most people mellow as they mature.

2 moms found this helpful

He's probably just being young and overdramatic. I do want to put out there, though, that there are some political issues (I'm thinking of issues around disability, but there are lots) where lives really are at stake.

As someone who's grown from being a young political activist to being an (early!) middle-aged political activist, I'm actually heartened to see a kid right out of college being passionate about something political. Even if he winds up being opposed to everything I believe, I'm glad it's not just a sea of indifference out there.

Overstatement is forgivable, in the scheme of things. You might just gently encourage him to make friends on the other side of the fence -- something everyone should try to do.

2 moms found this helpful

No, I would never post something like that. I would venture to say that 60-70 percent of my friends' political views are the opposite of mine. A mature person realizes that you can have friends on both sides of the aisle. Politics isn't everything, nor should it be.

2 moms found this helpful

Just wait till he starts paying taxes. Let's see how adamant he is about political posts on fb then!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a friend on FB that constantly posts his political and sport team one sided views. After the first debate I had enough and decided to challenge him on his thoughts. Normally I just ignore, ignore, ignore...but this person in particular I had had enough.

He and his wife defriended me. Keep in mind I only challenged him...it was not heated and their were no name calling. I thought it was ridiculous that he defriended me, but then again if that is how childish he is I don't really care to be his friend anyway.

I totally agree about being conscious of what your putting on FB. And I think its ridiculous to think every person that is your so called "friend" should agree with your views.

1 mom found this helpful

Young people are very black and white in their beliefs. My stepson is highly invested in this election (he graduated last May) and I honestly worry about his ability to handle it if "his" side doesn't win. I may hide posts from friends where I don't share their POV, but I don't agree with anybody 100% on everything and don't expect to. If someone still wants to be my friend and I theirs, then we can do something other than discuss issues we will never agree on. So I chalk this up to youth and immaturity and hope he doesn't really defriend good people for having a different POV. And that's not getting into things like how spouting off at the office can get you into trouble. Where my DH works, there can be NOTHING displayed that seems to campaign for anybody during an election year. You can get written up for it.

I'm glad you talked to him and hope he reconsiders in the future about not heeding your advice. If FB has taught me anything it's not to trust their privacy settings or even their filters per audience.

Also, I think it's pretty passive aggressive to say "YOU defriend ME" vs him having to do the defriending. So maybe he's not as definite about this as he wants to appear.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, he's an idiot. His "very being"? LOL - yes, politics are important. But such an us/them attitude is just part of the problem with things today. NO ONE thinks the same as anyone else. Similar, yes, but that's it. It would have been interesting if people got annoyed at what he posted and actually defriended him for being an idiot. Hopefully, for his sake, you can fix stupid.

1 mom found this helpful

he's being careless and rude. I do not put rude political postings on fb. I have friends with COMPLETELY opposite political views to me that have posted VERY offensive political things. That pissed me off. We're all entitled to our own opinions. All means ALL. Not just one sided opinions.

1 mom found this helpful

I know that there have been people who have unfriended me because our views are different but I don't generally do it to others unless what they post is totally offensive and inappropriate. I really don't want to see my niece hanging upside down drinking from a keg. I have on occasion been attacked by friends because of my view and I have said that they are free to speak with me in a respectful manner about those views or unfriend me.

Could what he posts hurt him in the job market? Yes. Would you want to work for someone who has apposing views on issues you feel strongly about? NO.

I think the younger people take facebook less seriously than those of us a bit older. I have had to remind my younger bother of this on occasion when he posts things that could be very hurtful to our parents. He always say, "It was just a joke." I then have to remind him that it's an offensive joke and therefor inappropriate. I don't think anyone is offended when we are genuine and trying to educate others. Most people like to carry on a good discussion. None of us like to just have a point of view demanded of us.

1 mom found this helpful

He's just young and immature. And FB, like other social media, makes it more obvious.

I read posts all the time from young people I am "friends" with on FB and just shake my head. It's like they are 2 years old still, and they are the center of their own universe. As my husband put it the other night, so aptly I thought, "It's their version of 15 minutes of fame when they post that stuff".... Whether it be the dumb duck faced pictures, or pictures of themselves being "hott" or some comment that is extreme, like what you have just experienced.
He's still a kid, he just doesn't realize it, and you can't save them from themselves...

1 mom found this helpful

He's cutting himself off from learning and growing more intellectually, and from learning how to get along with people you don't always see eye to eye with at all times. Some of my best friends have different political/religious views than I do, and I wouldn't "de-friend" them for anything! I chalk it up to he's young and immature.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, it does sound harsh but really how good of friends are you with someone if you core values are that drastically different? I'm not saying that you agree with your friends all the time (that is not realistic) but if you are polar opposites on core values, what is your friendship based on.

As for posting on FB...you are right...once there, it's out there. As far as who can see it, that really depends on how his security settings are.

1 mom found this helpful

If I dropped family from my life for that...I'd be awfully lonely. So....no.
And while I don't talk politics with family, I enjoy having thoughtful smart friends who don't have the same politics as me. Makes for interesting insight - and we find we have plenty of overlap despite the conventional wisdom that we have none.

1 mom found this helpful

Chalk it up to youthful stupidity.

In a private message, I would gently recommend that he delete that post. I'd also gently recommend that he make his profile private so that strangers cannot view his profile uninvited, but remind him that anything he posts on a public page is searchable through Google just by typing his name.

Best to you. And be patient. Young people tend to be passionate and thoughtless...that's what makes them so wonderful, right?

1 mom found this helpful

I would NEVER let a friendship go because of political differences. If they were morally corrupt? That is a different story. But I have tons of friends with different political views. One of my good friends is on the campaign trail with one of the presidential candidates. We don't always agree, but we don't have to--we have other things in common.

1 mom found this helpful

No, I wouldn't post anything like that. I have very good friends that we are on complete opposite sides of the political fence. I have no delusion that everyone will think exactly as I do. It sounds like some people need to grow up a little.

I believe what is great about America is that you can different political views as well as voice them. But with that freedome comes responsibility. What you put out should be tactfully phrased in a proffessional manner. I enjoy having friends with different political views as my own as it provides great opportunity for conversations and new ideas.

Employers, and HR are all over facebook.
He's shooting himself in the foot with posting stuff like that and it could very well bite him in the behind while he's looking for a job.
There's many a young person that has to have their data scrubbed (deleted) so they can appear presentable to prospective employers.
It's not lying so much as it's deciding who needs to know every thing about you.

Yes stuff like that can end friendships if they are not solid. When the whole thing with the Obama speech being shown in schools I had several friends that voiced their opinions and spoke her mind strongly on another friends page. And they had been friends for at least 9 to 10 years. That friendship ended and they will not talk to each other any more. To me I don't have to agree with your views to care about you. I would not want to be married to someone that did not share my views as that could cause issues but friends you feel your way and I will feel mine if we agree great if not oh well!

My very best friend and I have polar opposite views when it comes to a lot of things. Political parties are no different.

My friends and I do not have to agree, because we are influenced by different things and those things are what make us...us. It's also nice to have a different opinion or perspective, sometimes it can help us work through issues we might be having with our kids/husbands/friendships. How boring would the world be if we all thought alike.

Take gay marriage, my friend was very opposed to it, but after lots of discussions, not debates or arguments, she has decided to flip sides. I'm sure there are idea's that I have changed also because of her.

Your step son is very, very immature and will soon realize the impact of his inflamatory posts.

Good for you for speaking to him about his posts- too bad he is not taking your advice. Now he will have to learn the VERY hard way.

On one hand I think it's kind of silly....but on the other it IS a little difficult for me to know that I am Pro-life but my friend is Pro-Choice. Or I believe in gay rights and my friend doesn't. Or I believe that all races are equal and someone doesn't.
I think that "political views" are not just political...they are LIFE views. And it is hard for me to separate my friends from their political/life beliefs. I CAN do it!!!
That being said, I have friends from all walks of life. I do have ONE friend who posted that same thing you are talking about...and she has literally thrown a person out of her house (at a dinner party, no less) for not agreeing with her political beliefs. I would never do that. I try very hard NOT to talk politics with friends.
I feel like I am all over the board here! LOL
Laura

People get very passionate about what they believe when those beliefs are challenged such as in an election year.

You see that a lot on mamapedia. Some of the answers/beliefs seem rediculous to me and are not based on reality, but I have done some of that myself. The 1% tax for me and the "I'm voting my girl parts not my girl smarts" for the Obama supporters. (And they would complain when a man makes a decision based on his man parts . . . LOL.)

Oh Well. OMG

Good luck to you and yours.

I know if my family my sister and BIL are a different affiliate than my husband and I. Would I stop talking to her, absolutely not. Sometimes I want to ask her why she votes the party she does (out of curiosity not trying to debate) but I never have to this day.

The problem I have with FB/twitter, is that most people need a cool off period before they say something that could be detrimental/insulting/offensive. And because our society is surrounded by this sense of immediacy, the cooling period doesn't exist and thus enters the "foot in Mouth" dilemma. It will come back to bite him whether it was posted on FB, twitter whatever social media site. I just wish people would actually exercise judgment before posting.

Yep, he went a step too far. I'll give you another side to look at. My son knows our political leanings and most of our church family. He has already offended some church friends and I have people asking ME about it. I don't even do Facebook! He is 22 and certainly entitled to his opinion but yeah, it's going to bite them in the butt. We all have opinions but we all have a butt too and I don't want to see it posted on facebook either! At least when we were young we were allowed the priviledge of mistakes in private!

I had an old and once GOOD friend de-friend me over politcial b.s.
I am honestly not Rep. or Dem. although I would say I LEAN more towards Dem.
Well she unfriended and blocked me because I answered a mututal frineds post about how someone was going off on her over her views. I told her that a lot of people when it comes to politics and religion are hypocrites. I didnt realize the person who had went off on her WAS my friend. Who then defriended me. Whatever. SO then she blocks me since we had many mutual friends. Then unblocks me, blocks me, unblocks me sends me an insane e-mail saying how I would vote Dem. because of XYZ and when did I become smart enough to even understand politics since I am not 100% on one side and blah blah.
The funny things is half of what she was going off on me about was false, but SHE was guilty of just about all of it. Ridiculous. For people like her, sometimes I post things JUST to tick them off LOL

Your step-son is very young and (no disrespect meant to another poster from earlier) thinks he knows-it-all. He doesn't. He needs to grow up. Hopefully he will eventually.

I have lots of friends who are republicans. I do not discuss politics with them. They know that I am a democrat. Because they are good people, they don't try to push their beliefs down my throat, and I don't do it to them. We can love each other for the rest of ourselves. This is what your stepson doesn't yet understand.

It is good that you are telling your stepson about prospective employers. Your stepson is not the only person out there who doesn't "get" that they may NEVER KNOW what job they miss out on, what CLIENT they may miss out on, what person walks away who could have made a difference in their lives. There are people who trash talk different races, different religions, make fun of "soccer moms", all kinds of things like this on their FB. I have FB friends who put a lot of liberal views on their walls. I'll click on like or make a comment once in a while. One of my friends is an atheist. I am a Christian. I never argue with those remarks. Never. It isn't my place to. It is not my wall. Same thing with my conservative friends. I usually don't read what they write about politics, to be honest. Even if I did, I would never argue with them.

Your stepson has a lot of growing up to do. A lot of our kids do when it comes to FB. Don't defriend him. Just gently talk to him ever so often. He won't like it, but if you are gentle, perhaps he will start to listen as he gets older.

D.

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