There's something to be said for listening. You learn lots. I mean, I'm surrounded by people of a very different political persuasion than myself at most social functions I attend, and I gotta say, I'll always amazed at what turns up when everyone thinks the mike's off, and they're among political allies. Or they just get carried away and don't care who hears what they're saying.
Folks, I'm not makin' this stuff up. Wish I was, but I'm not. I struggle to maintain my composure and my acquaintances when things like this come up. I mean, what do you say? (Note: the following statements are not exact quotes. I'm relying on my memory here. But the quote marks indicate the essence of what a particular person said, and sets the statement off from the rest of the sentences).
From some months back...
"I believe this election is a referendum on the intelligence of the American people." (An older woman eyeing the election returns, election night).
Hey, I'm not saying you're not intelligent because you voted for Obama. I'm just saying that you were deceived.
"She was wonderful. She said there needs to be equality for women, and diversity, and it was great." (A man describing Donna Shalala's keynote address at a conference).
And when I heard that she was covering such fresh ground, I grieved that I had missed the keynote.
At a party this weekend...
"I was so excited to move to a liberal state. But then I found all these corrupt politicians here!" (A girl on her move to Illinois and the current impeachment trial of Governor Blagojevich.)
And you were surprised?
"I just can't understand why people don't like the word socialism. I mean, my dad and I get the warm fuzzies when we talk about universal healthcare." (Another girl describing her and her father's political harmony).
Well I don't know about you, but knowing that Hitler's party was the National Socialists' party is enough to make me allergic to the term "socialism." And I don't think your dad is going to maintain those "warm fuzzies" when he's put on a waiting list for his kidney stones.