The Influence of Friends and Family

The Influence of Friends and Family


Almost all my close friends and family members are liberal. This is probably because I was myself quite a liberal for many years and nowadays I tend to move in so-called “creative” circles. There aren’t a lot of impassioned conservatives in the creative writing community or the advertising community.

What this means is that, at any given gathering, I’m one of the only people in the room who has not decided that John McCain’s election would mean the end of civilization as we know it and that Barack Obama’s election would turn back the tides and heal the earth. I exaggerate. Most of the Obama supporters I know are very realistic about the man’s potential and capabilities. And that’s the problem. It’s hard not to fall in line with your very reasonable friends and family.

Now, as anyone who’s read me for any amount of time knows, I’m comfortable being an out-of-step political type. I’m not going to sign on to anything just because “everyone else is doing it.” But with the recent debate about the power of endorsements, I’ve realized that the most powerful endorsements are the ones made by those closest to us.

I will ultimately vote with my mind because, frankly, I’m hard headed. But I wonder, do many of you find yourselves drifting one way or another based of the opinions of your closest friends and family? Do you ever think you’ve been lulled into supporting a position or a candidate because you’re just “going with the flow?” And since I know most of you Donklephant readers are as hard headed as I am, let me also ask: do you ever suspect your friends and family are just falling into agreement because that’s the easy thing to do?

  • Dennis Sanders


    Like you, I’ve always been a bit hard headed and don’t usually go with the flow. My parents are diehard Democrats and we usually disagree on issues. My mother was more accepting of me being gay than being a Republican.

    Living in Minneapolis, most of my friends are liberals. I’ve seen a few of my friends who were more conservative change and have suspected they just decided to do what everyone else was doing.

  • mike mcEachran

    My family lives in Florida, and I’m working ’em hard. Although I don’t think a McCain presidency is the “end of all things good on earth”, I do think an Obama presidency is the better option. My family is conservative, and would normally vote McCain if they vote at all. However, because they recognize how disasterous the Bush years have been, they are much more open to the thought of voting Obama. I sense that my gentle lobbying is having an impact and I don’t think they are swayed by Oprah or other more distant “endorsements”. Without my “endorsement” I don’t think they would be giving Obama a second look.