DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I are liberals and quite accepting of others’ views. My father-in-law is extremely conservative, to the point of listening to far-right programming exclusively.
My son adores his grandpa and loves to spend time at his house, which is a stone’s throw away from ours. In the course of his visits, my father-in-law has expressed to my son his views about particular politicians he thinks are ”ruining” our country, and about gay marriage, gays in the military and abortion.
I cannot abide this, and I want it to stop. I have expressed this to my wife, who has passed this on to him. He was upset, but said he would accept it and stop talking politics to my son.
Now I have the feeling he does not like me or my beliefs. We have had a fairly good relationship for the last 20 years, but now it feels strained.
Should I leave things be or approach him and discuss this problem? I almost think it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie. Your thoughts?
GENTLE READER: That he disliked your beliefs before you spoke up, and that you are not “quite accepting” of his. Miss Manners is afraid that you are far from the only family struggling to maintain harmony despite divisive politics.
You cannot make amends by repeating your objections. But you can make a point of saying how much your son enjoys time with his grandfather, and that he is just too young to understand political issues and the different ways people approach them.