Dear Tommy,

It doesn't have to mean perpetual conflict if you don't want it to.  There's nothing wrong with spirited, respectful, inquisitive and well-informed debate between family and friends.  Done correctly, this is how we learn.  This is how we open our eyes to others' perspectives, and theirs to ours.

If you find you're both worked up into too high a frenzy to listen respectfully to one another, refrain from talking about politics for a few weeks.  Let the dust settle.  Your lives will move on and with time, hopefully, you'll both be able to look back at the events of the past two years with a bit more emotional detachment — so that your conversations exchange ideas, not hurt feelings.– M