By LEON YOUNGBLOOD
“I admit, a bar probably isn’t the best place to discuss politics. Or sports or religion, either. But the place is a popular family restaurant, and it has its bar-side, and how could the management know that partisan parties decided to have a little meeting there at the same time—at the bar? Well, they did not know the other side would be there.
Some of the belligerents knew each other, and some of them didn’t, but they brought their opinions and egos to the meeting and the eating, and, of course, the drinking. None of them had that much, for the restaurant saw to that. But they had enough to limber up their attitudes; and when one side sniffed out the other, they weren’t beyond jokes and jabs, and outright insults.
“The gem of the evening was when one of the Republicans said, ‘The present administration is a permanent brown stain on the underwear of Government, excreted by the bleeps who voted the bleeps into office!’ Man, that was a gem! And he said it passionately, too, but not really emotionally. He preceded this with examples, and he had tons of ‘em. He pointed out the illegal immigration problem, ISIS, healthcare, the national debt, and other stuff, and he did it all in a minute or two. And he told the Democrat side, ‘You’ve already run out of other people’s money.’
“I thought he had ‘em, there, but they had answers. They promoted the small man, and told about some of the Republican fiascoes. They said poor people had a right to healthcare, regardless of who paid for it, and said ‘big business’ ought to, for they caused the problem. And they hauled in the grandparents, and hauled in the rights of people with ‘different lifestyles,’ and then they besmirched the ‘Christian compassion’ of the enemy. They said if they were really religious, they’d ‘give more, do more.’ They said they were hypocritical bleeps, and that’s when the physical part of the brawl began. I don’t know how they became righteous all of a sudden, but that’s when they started beating up on each other.
“I guess it was the insults that started it all. You’ve heard ‘em all before. That ‘You run out of other people’s money’ thing. ‘If your momma and daddy were morons, what would you be?’—‘A [member of the opposition party].’ You know ‘em all. ‘Why did the devil make lawyers and politicians? He ran short of demons.’
“But, now, isn’t that how it is? You know, most of the people involved wouldn’t know a filibuster from a doorknob. But they have a team. It’s like sports. In football, you have your Vikings, your Cowboys, your Green Bay Packers—but outside their playing ability, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference in them. But I’ve seen fanatic fans whose only allegiance is the team. It’s the same with too many voters. These people at the bar conference had their team. That’s about it. I wish politics was that simple. These people couldn’t see beyond their party noses. I will give them credit, though: The local candidates are coming out. They know these people, some even since they were kids. Some of them went to school together. Other than a snip or two, they pretty much left the hometown candidates alone. I guess it’s different, when you see the other side face-to-face, and know their mom and dad, and your kids or grandkids go to the same school—there’s an advantage, in the long term, in getting along. But when you get up to the big leagues, then it’s all different.”
It was my turn, now, in this conversation, and I asked, “There was an actual brawl? What happened?”
“Well, some went to jail, some went to the hospital. Friend, it wasn’t pretty. Politics is politics. It shouldn’t ever be anyone’s religion! I believe in fighting for the freedoms of the country—I served. But you need cool, rational facts over blind fanaticism. Something’s wrong with any campaign fueled mostly by emotion. But it still seems to boil down to, ‘just support the team,’ or worse, to ‘get what you can.’ Kennedy’s quote doesn’t seem to apply much, anymore.”
“But you were there in the fight? You came out without a scratch!”
“Well, why not?” the testifier said. “I’m an Independent!”
Doubtless, there will be those who will agree or disagree with the sides presented and comments made. By all means, feel free. After all: This is America.