I'm trapped in a nuthouse. My dad is one of those people who watches Fox News and then screams about how America is turning to shit and how it is liberal's fault and it just gets worse every week. I'm a junior in high school and I think pretty smart, but any time I object or disagree he just calls me an idiot "like all the rest of them." and calls me brainwashed AND braindead. When I point out that it is impossible to be both, he doesn't think that is funny. So he won't listen to anyone who disagrees with him, no matter what the facts are, and he thinks I'm stupid. But I don't take it personally because he thinks everyone is stupid, and he's a genius, which believe me, he isn't. That's what I don't get. We sure as hell aren't rich, but as far as I can tell, aren't Republicans all about being rich? I can't understand why he is on their side. I guess my question is, what can I do to make my point or at least keep things from getting even worse -- Politically Confused.
Dear PC -
As regular readers know, I go to pretty great lengths to avoid political partisanship here on AAP, but this isn't really a political question as much as it is a family survival question.
Some families are great, nurturing places where everyone is encouraged to participate, learn and grow, where opinions are respected and spirited debate is embraced. Other families are more like a penal colony, run by one (or two) power-crazed dipshits who think their words and opinions carry the weight of holy law.
Guess which one you're living in.
Yes, it sucks. In the short term, you can forget about making your points or changing your dad's mind. Your best course is to keep your head down, try not to engage him in debates or incur any more wrath than is necessary. I'm not saying you have to back down, or (worse yet) agree with him. I'm saying: Live your life as best as you can. Try to keep a cool head, and the facts on your side. Say as little as possible to him at all times. ...and, like inmates everywhere, start counting down the days to freedom. I know that might be a long way off if you're planning on college etc, but try to keep the long game in mind.
How long a game? ... depends on how patient (and angry) you might be. Once you're no longer a minor and also no longer financially dependent on him, you will be better able to set your own terms of engagement. It might seem like a long way off, but believe me when I tell you that time does fly. You'll be on your own and free to decide how you spend your time, which relatives you want to visit, and who you'll allow under your roof.
And hey, sooner or later there might be grand-kids he'll want to see, or even beyond that, there will likely come a day when he suddenly finds himself dependent on you, financially and even physically. It always stuns me how bad parents never think that far ahead. So on those especially dark days, just (quietly) remember this: It is likely that you'll be deciding what old age home to shove him in...
When time is on your side like that, you (eventually) have more power than you might imagine. In the meantime remember that punk, at it's best, is also capable of making political statements. Pick up a guitar and start writing songs about the things that (and people who) piss you off. You'll feel better and you'll probably find more than a few fans.
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