The other day I heard on the radio a guide of recommendations to survive the political discussions at family dinners. The thing was half serious half joking, or was it one of those sections of humor under which a real concern is guessed, at least for those who are placed in front of the microphone. It was made by very committed and progressive people for very committed and progressive people who suffer, on these very important dates, from having to share a tablecloth with relatives of Vox or fans of Ayuso.
I listened to that and, half seriously, half jokingly, I thought that one of the best things about Christmas is precisely this tension that it provokes on the surface of the ideological bubbles in which it puts us. polarization. The family, which is not usually monolithic in terms of political views, is ours. vaccine against tribalism. Food and time are shared with those who the rest of the year are reduced to digital cartoons. For a few days, antagonistic ideas are presented to us in people whom we nevertheless love. Quite the opposite of what happens in the networks, where instead of people there are opinions, and where we present ourselves to others as ptalking anchors.
With a bit of luck in each family there will be, as on the set of La Sexta Noche, an Inda, a Master, a Beni and a Marhuenda. They will say things that irritate you, they will raise their voices, they will interrupt you and they will prod you. It will be time to put into practice everything learned in those tense programs, use demagoguery and cheap rhetoric, clinging to any incongruity to present your own incongruities, lowering oneself in tone and proclamations, frivolizing and trembling at the same time, pushing the discussion to the limit of insult and, in the meantime, toasting and relaxing while the grandmother asks for peace .
We do not need a survival guide for those situations, but rather remember that it is a privilege to pass behind the stage of the political circus a few times a year and see that, when we start to argue, in reality we are all dressing up a bit. That all political opinion has something of a shell and that under each speech there is a person who is not thinking too much about what he is saying, who cares very little about what you are saying, and who nevertheless is usually there whenever you need him .