Back in the good old days, it used to be that elaborate dinner parties, or debate salons, were in fashion. Friends of different political, economic, or financial persuasions would meet in order to eat, drink, and debate the issues of the day. The conversations were usually heated, yet would typically end with smiles, handshakes, and an adjournment to a waiting horse and carriage.
In addition, it seems not long ago that we witnessed U.S. Senators Everett Dirksen and Hubert Humphrey routinely engaging in historic battles on the floor of the United States Senate, as both the conservative and liberal, respectively, dramatized their political viewpoints. Every Thursday evening, however, they would meet with their wives for the weekly dinner and bridge game, with political discussions not allowed. Unfortunately, dinners, salons, and unusual friendships such as Dirksen and Humphrey, or for that matter even Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, are definitely relics of the past.
Undeniably, in this day and age, the lines have been drawn — you’re either with me or against me. Thus, as I recently met for dinner with my dear Left Coast weirdly liberal friends whom I had not seen in a few years, I did so with extreme trepidation. Would the battle lines be drawn?
Murray and Beth strongly held that the Second Amendment was expressly written for the bad guys, and the good guys should merely be armed with a good argument. Beth never ventured beyond a government headline, and strongly believes that the current reduction in the labor participation pool actually consists of people who have retired to the Hamptons. Murray has always pounded the table on the sanctity of the Kiwi bird versus the process of domestic drilling, yet continues to wonder why the price of gasoline exceeds $1 per gallon. Of course, their vehicle count is three, including matching SUVs (not to mention their extravagant RV.)
The evening started slowly as Murray stated, “I heard you write for Townhall, hmmm.” Beth excused herself following that comment and went to the ladies room in a huff. “Have you read anything I’ve written?” I asked. “Once, in the men’s room,” Murray responded. “Oh,” I exclaimed. As Beth rejoined the table, I asked if we just couldn’t put our differences aside for old times’ sake. They both broke out in robust laughter, “Of course,” replied the professional actor Murray, “we were just pulling your chain, let’s eat.”
Indeed, it was two liberals and one conservative enjoying a wonderful evening. Now, if only the boys and girls in Washington, D.C. can accomplish the same thing.
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