There’s no denying that we live in politically divided times – but that doesn’t mean we can’t lead by example in our own personal relationships. With the radical poles of either party pulling society apart at the seams, too many folks have forgotten how to find common ground. It’s a sad story, but one I’m committed to fighting back against. Here’s why we shouldn’t let politics get between friendships, no matter what the basic plot of The Sound of Music suggests.
I myself am a proud Democrat, and will be the first to tell you I voted my conscience for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I’m secure in my political views and as such have never shied away from a spirited debate with my red-voting friends. Not everything is a personal attack! In fact, no aspect of politics is personal to me, and so while I firmly believe that the most vulnerable populations should be protected, I can still be civil with those who see it differently. I think our nation would be better off if more of us practiced a little kindness, even if the Von Trapps did totally cut out that friendly neighborhood kid Rolfe for becoming a Nazi in the beloved 1965 film The Sound of Music.
It’s well documented that back in the day, Democrat and Republican politicians would duke it out on the Senate floor by day, then go enjoy a steak and a drink together that evening. Some would argue that this senatorial era functioned this way because they were all wealthy white men who were ultimately on the same side of history, class, and racial conflict despite their distinct party designations, but to me, it’s actually awesome. Much like it was awesome when Liesl didn’t give up on Rolfe when he first became a Nazi and was like, “Come hang out!” but he was like, no, heil Hitler. It didn’t work out for you Liesl, but your aisle-reaching instinct was commendable.
The bottom line is we could all learn a little lesson in coexistence and love of country from the statesmen of yesteryear, though it may require us to set aside the lessons of The Sound of Music in which Captain Von Trapp broke all social ties with his peers in a refusal to cooperate with Nazi occupation of his homeland. I mean, it’s different – these were literal Nazis! And okay yes, there’s a resurgence of Nazism in America now, but I’m not suggesting you be friends with Nazis, just that you stay friends with people who downplay their existence while demonizing their opposition in the name of maintaining normalcy. It’s not what the Von Trapps would do, but whatever, clearly that movie’s dated.