StoryCorps: Just In Time For The Election, It's Family Feud! With A Twist: Reconciliation It's a tale as old as time: Father is conservative, daughter is liberal — and family gatherings almost always descend into bickering. Cue StoryCorps for a little election-season family therapy.
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Just In Time For The Election, It's Time For Some Family Political Therapy

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Just In Time For The Election, It's Time For Some Family Political Therapy

Just In Time For The Election, It's Time For Some Family Political Therapy

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/500506738/500634464" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Time now for StoryCorps. Today, a father and daughter who can't agree on politics. Jenn Stanley is 29, a writer. And she's liberal. Her father, Peter Stanley, works in construction, is conservative. And their arguments over politics have taken a toll on their relationship. But for StoryCorps in Boston, they tried to put the issues aside and just talk.

JENN STANLEY: I try to not bring up politics. But you always watch the 5 o'clock news and the minute any politician steps on - it doesn't matter who it is - I just cringe.

PETER STANLEY: Me, too.

J. STANLEY: Yeah. But you have to say something, whereas I would like to just pretend it's not happening.

P. STANLEY: But maybe the answer is we don't watch the news when you're there.

J. STANLEY: Maybe. But now I feel like we've gotten to this point where we are together and we're fighting about politics.

P. STANLEY: And those would be the times when I hear you say, I can't even talk to you, Dad. And if you're going to flip out about it, then you know what? I'd rather you didn't talk to me.

J. STANLEY: But see, this is what drives me crazy. You start these conversations.

P. STANLEY: Well, I ask questions. What do you think about this and what do you think about that? It's me trying to glean information from somebody who is significantly more educated than I am, and whose opinions I trust.

J. STANLEY: I'm really surprised to hear you say that. I had no idea that you were genuinely interested in what I had to say. I thought that you wanted to tell me how I was wrong and also make a joke about how I was silly.

P. STANLEY: Well, I would never feel that way about you. I have nothing but respect for you. I don't agree with you all the time. I don't agree with you most of the time, but that's OK. We have a lot of things in common.

And I do know that everything you did when you were a little kid was because you wanted to be like me. You even played softball, which you hated, because I love baseball.

J. STANLEY: I did really hate it (laughter).

P. STANLEY: I know.

J. STANLEY: I mean, I just really worshiped you, Dad. I just thought that, like, everything that you thought and said was right. And you were just my best friend. But I think as I got older, I realized that you were really wrong about a lot of things.

P. STANLEY: Well, you're probably right, Jenn. I never professed to be right about everything. The important thing in our relationship is that I respect you for your beliefs. You were raised to be a sensitive, caring person and that's exactly who you are.

J. STANLEY: You say that. And I feel loved. But I think you used to like me and I don't necessarily know that you like me anymore.

P. STANLEY: Oh, yeah, I like you a lot. It doesn't make me feel good that you say that. I don't agree with everything you say and do. But do I like you? Yeah, you bet I do. And I'm extremely proud of you.

You know, when my time comes to say, yeah, my father was a good man. We didn't agree politically but he was a good man. And if you can say that, then I'll be happy.

J. STANLEY: I don't think that you're right all the time. But I think you're the best man.

P. STANLEY: Thanks.

J. STANLEY: And you're the best dad.

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