Talking To My Friend About Their Conservatism

So I have a friend who I’ve known for a long time. She’s really been supportive in my life, when I came out as trans, she was really one of the first friends I had who was by side.

With all that said, she’s incredibly libertarian (just the other day she was talking about privatizing all education). She always calls herself “socially liberal” but “fiscally conservative”. I don’t really know how to broach the subject with her and the idea, that fiscal conservatism does alot of harm to the people you say you care about.

I don’t really expect to change their mind, I’m not really sure I even could. I just want this person I really care about, to think about my position and other marginalized people who have alot to lose eith these type of ideas and how it impacts others.

So how should I do this? Is it even worth it?

Also, I don’t really understand how or why people think this way, if some of you do, maybe you could elaborate. It just sounds like one side of their mouth is saying “I care” while the other side is going “as long as I don’t have to do anything, ir it doesn’t affect my pocketbook in anyway”. It’s just really confusing to me :confused: so some explanation on that would also help. Thanks!

I really like these forums, so that’s why I’m coming here as apposed to somewhere else first! :slight_smile:


As someone who considers themselves somewhat the same (except well not libertarian), I can tell you one thing, you just need to present a solid argument with real numbers. It might not change her mind but it might provoke some new thoughts on her part. When you really break down the numbers most of the libertarian ideas sound good but don’t hold up in the long run. So if you’re up for some homework you can pick out a few things and show that we all end up paying more in the end for a lesser service that seems cheeper in the short term.

That makes sense. It just really hurts that someone I care about and says cares about me subscribes to alot of these notions :confused: it makes me feel really invalidated as a person who doesn’t have that many friends in general to say some of these things while also thinking in their head that they care about my well being. It’s confusing and I don’t really understand how people can have these two conflicting ideas.

If I were in the situation I wouldn’t be above making it personal.

If it’s someone who has supported me I would start by reiterating that and saying how you value that… but then I would have to continue by saying that if you really want to help me and people like me, you have to look at how these things ultimately hurt me.

If this person truly respects you, they would surely be willing to listen to how some of their beliefs lead to situations that cause you harm. If they value those beliefs more than they value your friendship, then that will quickly become apparent.

And you may have to acknowledge the possibility that you value the friendship more than they do - that might not be the case, but be prepared for it being the case.

People often praise people on different sides of the political spectrum being friends, but this isn’t sport, or just a matter of taste - this about how we want to build society and treat the people in it. A true friend accepts you wholly, not for just how long they are willing to put aside their beliefs, and shining a light on how those beliefs affect you personally in ways this friend might not be aware is bound to put it to the test. And it might not go how you want.

As I put it to someone who I deeply disagreed with once: ‘I see no reason why we can’t be friendly - but also I can’t see how we can ever be friends.’


Not to sound insensitive, but your friend sounds selfish. If she refuses to see the world from your point of view, then there’s no point in trying. It might help to explicitly tell her that she needs to listen and see the world from your perspective otherwise you don’t want to hear her political beliefs. However, this means that you’ll have to listen, too. So let her know that she needs to listen but also that you’ll be there to listen, too. If she’s the only Libertarian in your friend group then she might feel like she’s being persecuted. By explicitly saying this, it states that there is mutual respect for everyone’s beliefs.

Hope that helps!

Going off the information provided, I do think that your friend might be swayed by pointing out how the policies she supports would have a direct impact on you. Combine that personal pathos and some hard data and you might be able to help her see the light.

Unfortunately I have almost zero capacity to separate the political and the personal and have driven away most of my conservative friends, so my read on the situation may not be the most valuable on an interpersonal level. Still, wishing you encouragement and the best of luck.