MATTHEWS: Yes, Republicans and Democrats can get along

Politically speaking, we are living in incredibly polarizing times here in America. 

It seems that no matter the issue, whether it be impeachment or abortion or school choice, the left and right have dug their heels in, refusing to budge on their positions. Some even view their opponents as the enemy. 

Unlike middleoftheroad types in politics and the mainstream media, I dont view partisanship as a bad thing. Think about it: The reason why political parties exist is so groups of like-minded people can join forces to advance their agenda over another partys. So it stands to reason that a party is partisan by nature. 

In other words, theres nothing wrong with standing firm on issues that are important to you. 

That being said, not everyone standing on the other side of the aisle from you is your political enemy. 

The phrase common ground is practically banned in hard-line left and right circles, but if you can find it without sacrificing your core beliefs, is finding common ground really a bad thing? 

A criminal justice reform bill passed in 2018, receiving overwhelming bipartisan support from members of the House and Senate as well as conservative and liberal special interest groups. President Trump, a Republican, signed it into law. 

But thats in Washington, D.C. Can rank and file Republicans and Democrats across America really get along with each other, including during the holidays? 

Of course they can. For some, the key is in not talking about politics too much — if at all. Especially at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables. 

For others, their relationships thrive on vigorous political debate, and they manage to do it without turning it into something acrimonious. After all, if people from opposing sides never talked to each other about politics, how would any minds get changed? 

How would you come to understand and (sometimes!) respect the other sides arguments, even if you still staunchly disagreed with them? 

I can tell you based on firsthand experience that talking politics with your friends and even family members can work, depending on the approach they (and you) take. 

For example, the wrong approach with me would be for someone on the left to assume that because Im pro-life Ianti-woman. I mean, I am a woman so being anti-woman would be self-defeating. In spite of that, youd be surprised at how often that accusation gets thrown at conservative pro-life women. That and the insulting you must enjoy being subservient to the patriarchy argument. 

On the flip side, for example, its not a good idea for conservatives to assume that someone on the left who disagrees with them on keeping the death penalty legal is someone who wants murderers to have it easy. 

Sometimes — oftentimes … well, most of the time, a political disagreement among friends and family members and Average Joes and Janes across America is just that: A political disagreement. Nothing sinister about it at all. 

It just involves well-intentioned people who either disagree on what constitutes a problem in America, who disagree on how to solve Americas problems, or a combination of both. 

Even with all that in mind, I do caution people to not get involved in political conversations with the stereotypical crazy uncle around the holidays — if for no other reason than it might cause you to lose your appetite at the dinner table at a time when your mama is expecting you to eat large portions of her turkey dressing and pumpkin pie. 

Because if theres one thing partisan politics should never come in between its you and a good, old-fashioned, home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. 

Never ever. 

Stacey Matthews is a veteran blogger who has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to Red State and Legal Insurrection.