How to Lose Friends and Influence (?) PeopleYesterday, my son, who is in college far away from home left a comment here as to how liberal his classmates and his history professor are. My advice to him was, "Be strong, be sarcastic, make them think." Today I had to take my own advice. I knew I would have to eventually.
I've written before (somewhere, but I don't feel like looking for the link) about my previous more liberal bias. Some of my friends have noticed that change in my political views, especially when it comes to discussions on Israel. Some, who I don't see often get surprised when they start talking politics. Other formerly normal, mainstream citizens who have crossed over to the dark side and have become right-wing extremist bloggers, most notably Neo-neocon have written at great length about "coming out" to their friends. Others like Bookworm Room, if I remember correctly, have been keeping it a secret. I've gotten to the point where I can't just listen and smile when my liberal friends start ranting. I'm polite when they keep things to a normal conversation. For example, I didn't start an argument at the dinner party we were invited to last month and the conversation turned to "John McCain is a dope".
This morning though, I was at a social function at my temple, talking to a guy I've known for a few years. My daughter used to be friends with one of his daughters. We always stop and chat when we see each other. He's a nice guy, and he is very bright. He's a doctor. He told me he might have to move to Canada. I reminded him of the promise made by so many progressive intellectuals after the 2000 and 2004 elections. Then he started about Bush, and the war, and the economy, and the Supreme Court (who we just KNOW validated Bush's stolen election) and his fear that there's going to be a redneck vice president in 2009. Yes, there is worry in Obamaland. In fact, judging by the level of invective being hurled at Sarah Palin, I'd say that there is gut-wrenching fear among the Obamatons.
So I presented the other side. I ran some of Obama's faults by him. I only managed to get through some of his foreign policy gaffes and his economic illiteracy when his daughter began dragging him from the room because she wanted to go home. There was so much more I was going to bring up and as I was thinking about it later, even more episodes that I had forgotten. There are so many Obama gaffes, how can anyone remember all of them?
Are we still friends? I'll know the next time I see him. As Dumbledore famously states in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, "There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." I think in the movie version, the line was changed to, ". . . it takes more to stand up to our friends." This was not the first friend I've argued about the election with, and with November 4 only a few months away, I'm sure I will displease and appall more of my friends. But I do have to be honest even if it means shocking people with the change in my political leanings.