Sunday, January 22, 2006

Conservative Kum-Ba-Ya...

In my fumbling attempt to keep up with far-flung friends from all walks of life, I have been hearing myself have much of the same conversation over and over lately. Here is a transcript of the most recent:

Me: "Ok, I kind of have a little bit of news and I don't want you to freak out."

Friend: "Spill it."

Me: "Well...I've made a new friend."

Friend: "Oh, fantastic!"

(I pause somewhat dramatically, thinking of what to say next now that it was officially out there.)

Friend: (Sensing my deliberation.) "What? Who is this person?"

Me: (Taking a breath) "Ok, seriously, he's just a friend, so please don't freak out, but...ok...I'll just say it: he's a Republican."

Friend: "What? Are you serious? Like for real Republican?? How is this even possible?"

Me: "Seriously, he's a very cool person, and if you ever meet him, you have to promise me that you'll be respectful of your differences, but yeah, he's like Grade A For Real Republican-Republican."

(We both laugh at our obvious over-the-top antics.)

Me: "Not all Republicans are evil, you know."

Friend: "Oh, I'm sure...but most of them are."

Me: "See, it's precisely statements like that which actually make me want to be friends with more of them--just to de-bunk the myth. These sorts of misunderstandings between people are why wars are fought in the first place. And, think about it--how strong is a nation with a people divided?"

Friend: "Jesus, Nam...you're like Kum-ba-Ya on a peace, love and a yoga mission! What, you think you're gonna light some incense and chant "Om" to this guy a few times and he'll suddenly see it your way and change his political views and convictions?"

Me: "Actually, no, not at all." (Laughing)

Friend: "Liar! You are!!" (Laughing back.)

Me: "Ok, well, maybe...Ha!--But it's not about me! It's about being open to alternative perspectives!"

Friend: "I love you, but you're a serious dumbass and you know it."

Me: "I love you, too, but that right there is what's wrong with this country."

The conversation moved to other matters of personal and less political importance. In the end, the test of a good friendship is respecting certain obvious boundaries and knowing when to agree to disagree.

However, it occurred to after we hung up: Intolerance can't be fought with intolerance. Or, as my favorite homeboy M.K. Gandhi famously said, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

I'm learning that it's possible to make new friends with marginally opposite ideological leanings...and this...is not a bad thing.

Love,

Namaste, Friend of All Peoples (even Republicans), and Kum-ba-ya Extraordinaire

14 comments:

ryguy9296 said...
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ryguy9296 said...

Friends with a Republican? How very...enlightened of you! It's almost like a safari, really. You may be the Jane Goodall of the Left, venturing into the dark, fetid jungle of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, searching for something worth saving...a new species of lemur, perhaps? Let's call him the lemur geopenus for now, shall we? Cute and cuddly from a distance and, depending on how he handles himself, either something grand and delightful you're happy to invite further inside or something crude and offensive that you wish he would just put away.

I'm sure if this black-hearted Republican, Mr. Lemur Geopenus, ever learned the details of this conversation, he would laugh that its even an issue. Since Republicans spend so much time thinking about how to get brown people to work longer hours in their sweat shops and otherwise subjugate the masses, he probably doesn't have much time to worry about the differentness in your world-views.

Or it could be that he recognizes the ideological differences but A) sees past them far enough to recognize that you're bringing a lot more to the friendship than a page of Pelosi-Reid talking points and B) sees you as someone who is (probably) reasoned and articulate enough to have a dialogue about the differences when they do come up. I'm guessing this quality would make you a sharp contrast to his usual ideological opponent who offers up their best regurgitation of the NYT op-ed page, is flumoxed by his cogent rebuttal (b/c nobody ever rebuts them so they're not practiced in the dialectic) and then wilts into a puddle of cursing, emotional mumblings.

Whatever worries your friends may have about, whatever your motivations for embarking on, and whatever his nefarious aims throughout this little adventure, Namaste, I wish you good luck and God speed! Do keep us posted, would you darling?

I am,

Exporting, exhorting and etcetera,

Very Humbly Yours,

Captain Lucius Gaius Americanus

Rhinestone Cowgirl said...

(Laughing)

I've had the same conversation with my friends, when they discovered that I'm DATING a Republican. Yes! (So far, we're okay as long as we don't debate politics, and he leaves his Nefarious Republican Debate Tactics at home.)

Namaste said...

hahahahah.

I'll definitely keep you posted, Captain. Especially since I could write a book on the dialectic...and how many people do you know who've actually read Hegel, my dear? :)

RC: Have you read HB's commentary on how she will never date a republican? Indeed.

Phil said...

The Playaz are all Republicans (except maybe for Tac, who probably couldn't tell you who the Vice President is). So you have 5 friends already who fit that description.

DC Cookie said...

How a propos, the day before Canadian elections. We don't have republicans, per se, but we have the Bloq Quebecois. Hmm...

Velvet said...

If he's at least socially liberal, you have a fighting chance.

Heather B. said...

Yes, I would never date a Republican. I can be friends with them though, I mean I like RC's boyfriend. Mostly I get annoyed with Republicans who have to shove their ideals down my throat, which is what happened in College.

But then again, I'm young and I might change my mind, but for now, no republicans.

alicat said...

Well, all I have to say is that fiancee is a Republican and he can vote for whoever the hell he wants as long as he continues to rock my world in the sack like he's done for the last 7 years. They don't call it "HEATED" debate for nothing!

Washington Cube said...

On reflection, I've never dated a Republican.

Carrie Broadshoulders said...

I say convert him now quickly and get it over with. If you are unsure how, reflect on your previous posting regarding the Namaste Ass. That should work.

My dreaded ex was a Bush loving (in more ways than one) Republican when I met him. That changed very quickly. I can deal with little "r" republicans (especially if that's all that's little) but big "R" Republicans are only useful if good in the sack.

A Unique Alias said...

I like being judged because I fall on one side of a political line in the sand.

ryguy9296 said...

Allicat: "he can vote for whoever the hell he wants as long as he continues to rock my world in the sack"

CB: "but big "R" Republicans are only useful if good in the sack."

Three things:
1) Just like a couple of liberal broads, thinking only with the cooter.
2) Who calls it the sack? Seriously.
3) I'm friendly with this particular Big R and he is known to have quite an appetite, shall we say? Some might even call him a "goddamn Tyranosaurus" in that regard, though with a much larger brain...and better grooming habits.

Carrie Broadshoulders said...

Since when have you had any issues with a girl thinking with her cooter?

And you'd gladly to call it a sack if you thought you could get up in it with me. Know that.