I must have been in one of my more strident phases (they come less and less the older I get) when one of my students pointed out that you should never fall out with people over politics. My normal view is that this is perfectly acceptable, indeed necessary to maintain ethical standards.
He said that people are not really political creatures, that it is only at election-time that they get all worked up; after that, they return to their old selves.
I thought about what he had said and met him halfway. I could not vault face and agree with him, even though his argument held some nuggets of wisdom. He did say that it would be somewhat difficult be best mates with a group of Nazis. Whilst I wanted to test the weight of water in his reasoning, suggesting that some Nazis may have been alright on some occasions, I didn’t. The rest of us are just middle-hitters between the political poles and we will vacillate according to our current concerns.
I came away from our conversation in the knowledge that my student was always going to come at an argument from a strictly rational approach as emotion does not come into it. I, on the other hand, am directed by emotional responses which cloud my judgement.
The best thing was that I Gave A Litle Bit.