Dinner party politics and how to avoid them
I think I'm making progress.
A year or two ago, when I would go to a party and the inevitable comments would come up, apropos of nothing--Bush is evil, Michael Moore's movie is the repository of Speaking Truth to Power, those Swift Vets are a pack of Republican lying scum and vicious attack dogs, etc. etc. etc.; I would turn red in the face and have to leave and go cool off.
And now? Now when I go to a party and the inevitable comments come up, apropos of nothing--Bush is evil, we are a pack of murdering marauders in Iraq, Abu Ghraib was the equivalent of the political killings and imprisonments in Iran under the mullahs, etc. etc. etc.; I turn red in the face and have to leave and go cool off.
You don't see the difference, you say? Well, here's the difference:
(a) The comments no longer surprise me.
(b) I no longer get quite as red in the face, and my cooloff period is shorter.
(c) When I return, I don't try to argue with or convince anyone (i.e., I've given up on logic and facts, and have accepted that this is the way it is with certain people).
(d) The intensity of my need to talk about these things is somewhat mitigated by the fact that we're no longer facing the possible election of John Kerry.
(e) The intensity of my need to talk about these things is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I have a blog.
All in all, I consider that progress. You may not. But at least it makes get-togethers a bit easier for me.
One thing it does drive home when it happens again--as it did last night--is that most intelligent liberal people still consider what they read in the MSM to be the simple, unadorned, basic Truth. And not just to Power.
[ADDENDUM: Oops! Sorry I failed to make myself clear. I'd alluded to this before, in my "about me" section, but from responses in the comments section I can see that, obviously, I need to say it again and say it clearly: I'm fully out of the political closet, perhaps even obnoxiously so. At last night's get-together, everyone present knew full well exactly how I feel. I've had it out with all of them many times, and I've given up.
I've also spoken up with strangers, and I find that if there is a certain level of reasonableness to their comments, we can have a conversation. If they're way over the top, I know at the outset--from bitter and repeated experience--it will be fruitless. Sometimes I don't speak up then, and sometimes I just say a sentence of disagreement and move on.
Rest assured though, I'm one of the more vocal people on this issue. It's cost me a lot of grief and I've gotten a lot of flak for it, and I soldier on--just not again and again with the same people.
And please don't tell me to make new friends! Or rather, you can tell me, but my answer is that I like these people and enjoy their presence. They just turn into Jekyl-Hyde dimwits when politics rears its ugly head.]