I really stepped in it last night. My partner is livid with me for suggesting Stalin wasn't the evil dictator he's made out to be in the west. For a German who grew up with anti-communism and went to some very liberal universities for political science it was too much. They said something to the effect of "this feels exactly like if you said, oh Hitler wasn't that bad, he was actually a good guy." We're in the midst of planning our wedding and they were suddenly at the point of doubting that they know who I am and if this is a relationship they want to maintain.
We have a hard time discussing politics as it is. We are still not so great at interpreting the nuances of way each other speaks, and our background knowledge is very different. So we have to figure out what we do from here.
I can't come at this from the direction of "trying to convert them." They already think I have gone into a conspiracy theory ridden and propaganda laden hole, and believe me, I ask myself the same thing every day. It really weighs heavily on me, as some of our close family members have fallen into conspiracy theory echo chambers.
We've decided we need to go back to basics and make sure our core values align, which I genuinely believe they do. They're an anti-capitalist as well, although don't have a strong idea of what to would be better, just that it shouldn't be communism.
I'm not sure where to go after we sort out what our shared values are.
There's a certain condescension I sense when it comes to the leftist sources I read, many on recommendation from GenZedong members. I'm often met with "leftists just make up all kinds of stuff to suit their narrative," or "how do you know that's a primary or reliable secondary source, it's so easy to fake anything these days." Meanwhile they go to Wikipedia and see that Stalin killed millions and signed a treaty with the Nazis, even as they understand that much of western capitalist media is propaganda as well. We can't have any useful discussion on current events at the moment because we have vastly different knowledge of what's happening, as well as entirely different analytical tools to pick it apart with.
They're also terrified I'm going to say very extreme things in front of their family (privileged petite bourgeois liberals). I try to be careful but at the same time I won't pretend to not be a communist. We have political discussions often and I'm not one to just sit those out. I'm sure my family would react poorly as well, but with the geographical distance to them it's not as present an issue in our minds.
How do you all deal with this? How do you have these discussions and share these ideas with the more soc-dem or liberal minded people in your lives?