Is Avoidance Healthy?
But, is it  healthy  to close down dialog by avoiding controversy? What does it do to relationships? How does it influence decisions and results?
When talk of politics and its influence is cut off, there is no room for understanding and the ability to reach some meeting of the minds to find solutions that satisfy the needs of the people involved, if not all their wants. Avoidance may be effective as a short-term way to keep the peace. Family gatherings can become battlefields. Co-workers may spend more time arguing about politics than doing work. Some say, "minds are not likely to change so why bother talking about it."
Judgments about other people's beliefs can lead to disrespect and disregard.
Open to Alternative Views
Alternative beliefs and opinions and fact-checking may be taken as attacks or ignored. Differences are not explored. Each camp sinks further into its beliefs.
This may be healthy for those that profit from their uncontested  truth . But, it is not healthy for the individual or for society as a whole. In the long term, avoidance undermines relationships and deepens divisions.
What to Do
Avoid? Confront? There is no easy answer.
It's about relationships, after all. And, relationships are complex. They do not lend themselves to black and white, one size fits all rules.
It is about one's perceptions - how comfortable is confrontation and conflict? Is there fear about losing the other person's love, support, or respect? Is there a belief, founded or unfounded, about one's own or the other person's ability to engage in a rational dialog, without angry outbursts?
Cultivate Mindful Awareness 
It seems that the thing to do is to cultivate one's own mindful awareness and heartfelt sense of openness to the other.
What is the felt sense of the situation? What does your instinct; your sense of the  energy  of the situation tell you? What is your intention and purpose? What is at risk and what are the rewards? How will engaging or not engaging effect the relationship?
Assess the situation and then decide whether to engage, sit back and have another drink together, or leave.
Be aware of your own frustration and righteous anger. Be careful about your judgment of the other side's intelligence and motivation until you compassionately understand where you and they are coming from.
How to be Happy Even When You Are Sad, Mad or Scared:

How to be happy...How to be Happy Even When You Are Sad, Mad or Scared is available on It is a book for children of all ages (including those in adult bodies). Buy it for the children in your life so they can be better able to “feel and deal” - feel and accept their emotions and deal with them in a way that avoids being driven by them. You can order the book at
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:  questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty. 
Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.
By George Pitagorsky

Success is measured in how well and how regularly you meet expectations. But what exactly are expectations, and how do you effectively manage them when multiple priorities and personalities are involved?
Using the case study of a Project Manager coordinating an organizational transition, this Managing Expectations book explores how to apply a mindful, compassionate, and practical approach to satisfying expectations in any situation. George Pitagorsky describes how to make sure expectations are rational, mutually understood, and accepted by all those with a stake in the project. This process relies on blending a crisp analytical approach with the interpersonal skills needed to negotiate win-win understandings of what is supposed to be delivered, by when, for how much, by who, and under what conditions.

Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky

Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.
The  Zen  Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.