Monday, December 22, 2008

Politics Rears Its Ugly Head...AGAIN!

Politics Rears Its Ugly Head... AGAIN!
I just got in a fight with my best friend. And I'm not talking a polite difference of opinion. This was a knock down, drag out fight. Thank goodness it was over the phone, or there would be bruises and broken bones. This is the first fight we've ever had in our nearly four years of friendship. We go to dinner together, drink wine together, cruise together, we even went to Denver for my sister's wedding last year together. We've had nothing but fun together. Until now.

She believes it was just as necessary for America to go into Iraq as it was for us to enter WWII, that Bill Clinton was too much of a wuss to take out Sadam, that al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden trained in Iraq, that Bill Clinton was "hobnobbed" (her word) under his desk in the oval office and therefore was a horrendous leader, that Bruce Springsteen bribed ignorant kids to register as Democrats with free concert tickets, that Obama has no idea what he is doing, that he coerced people into using their welfare and social security checks to buy his way into office, that Sarah Palin is just as qualified as anyone to be VP, and that W's lack of being able to put a cohesive sentence together just means he's human.

I told her Iraq was not remotely like WWII, that George's own father believed going after Sadam and invading Iraq was wrong (see link below), that Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and one of the most brilliant leaders we've ever had (and yeah, the hobnobbing part sucked in more ways than one), that Bruce invited folks to register to vote not to necessarily vote Democratic, that Obama is brilliant and thoughtful as opposed to average-minded and arrogant, that people dug as deep as they could to get him into office because that's how much they're disgusted by the politics of the last eight years, that Sarah Palin could no sooner be VP than I could, and that any president we elect will most likely be human and should definitely be able to speak so people understand instead of laugh. Unless he or she is actually telling a joke.

I was shaking when I got off the phone with her. What's interesting is that socially, she's liberal - pro-choice; pro-stem cell research; pro-gay rights. That's what makes it so hard for me to understand. I know this is America and we each have our rights to free speech and our own opinions. But I get frustrated when she presents her ideas as facts and doesn't have anything but her opinions to back them up with. When I try to direct her to links or stories on line, she says she doesn't trust the liberal media.

Did I mention she's an amazing wife, mom and grandmom (even though she's only 43) and that we've had nothing but good times together until now? I'm not sure how to go on with our friendship with this gigantic rhinoceros head on the table.

I need some coaching here, people. Please. Bring it on. I can take it. (As long as it's not in person so no one gets hurt.)

Here's the link to what George Sr. said about Iraq:


fudgelady said...

I'm remembering a story a fellow Dem told me about Election Day. He was working the polls and at one point was chatting with a longtime friend who happens to be quite conservative.

One moment they were gabbing, the next they were practically coming to blows.

His conclusion: "You know what? We can't do this. We can't talk politics." And they stopped.

Sometimes it's what you have to do, just as it's what I have to do with my hubby's reactionary aunt. And if you and your friend can agree to it, you can move on with your relationship.

There are always other progressives to track down for those "venting" times! ;-)

Good luck --

DebraLSchubert said...

Dear FL, I know. You're absolutely right. It's kind of like what do you do to lose weight? Eat less and exercise more. What do I do to continue my friendship? Not talk about politics. It's just that there's a disconnect between "knowing" and "doing." Plus, I love to talk about politics! Thanks so much for chiming in here. I think this is going to be a situation where if I hear the same advice enough, hopefully, at some point I'll "get it" through my thick head!

Big Plain V said...

As a guy who's not too interested in politics, I've never understood the emotional attachment to these opinions. Isn't it possible to have a purely intellectual disagreement? To just shrug and say, "Meh. I still think you're wrong."

Cuz see, I am passionate about writing, and there's a certain someone who reads my writing that thinks 'good writing' should be full of purple prose, weighty description, and deep concepts. I think they're a freaking idiot who doesn't have a clue as to the difference between literary and commercial fiction, but the opinions all take place in my brain. My emotions never enter the equation.

Does this analogy help?

DebraLSchubert said...

Ray, Wow. You are such a guy. Guys are more easily able to compartmentalize things. I think women, for the most part, lay it all out on the table. At least, I do. I've always been very passionate about politics (surprise!) so my buttons definitely get pushed. I appreciate the analogy. I'll work on keeping my emotions in check. (Maybe more wine and chocolate are in order?)

fudgelady said...

More chocolate is ALWAYS in order!

WendyCinNYC said...

The fact that she's pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-stem cell research would be more important to me than her stance on Iraq. That, and what kind of friend she is. I couldn't be friends with a racist or a homophobe, but I could live with someone who liked Sarah Palin. Although I would strongly disagree.

I like talking politics, too, but it's possible to have a difference of opinion. Otherwise, what's the point of talking about it? Just to hear someone agree?

Maybe it comes from growing up as part of a very liberal family living in a very red state. I just had to learn to deal. Either that, or constantly be angry.

DebraLSchubert said...

Wendy, I love your advice. It's true that the social issues are far more important on a friendship level than the foreign affairs, etc. She has always been a very loyal friend. I need to keep those things in the forefront. Thanks for reminding me...

BTW: Are you in CO? If so, how's the snow? We're leaving for Denver tomorrow and we'll be in Winter Park on Monday.

Elizabeth said...

You know what? My BFF and I also had a huge fight twice in a row and now we are no longer friends (together since we were 12). It's been a year now that we have not spoken. Do I miss her? Ya. Do I think she's still a bitch? Ya. It sucks. I'm really sorry. Maybe some cooling off time and then an agreement not to discuss politics?

DebraLSchubert said...

Elizabeth, I was just sitting here looking at a card I bought for her, wondering if I should fill it out, and if so, what would I say? I'm still feeling angry, so a cooling off period is probably in order. And, definitely, politics needs to be off the table. I'm sorry about your former BFF. What a drag. But, I also believe that people come and go in our lives at different times for different reasons. I'm not yet sure if this friendship is meant to go on or not. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Thanks for your support and suggestions. I really appreciate it!

WendyCinNYC said...

We are leaving on the 26th for Beaver Creek. The snow report says it's the most snow they've had in December on record.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Don't let nasty politics ruin a beautiful thing. And have a great Christmas/Hanukkah. Bring on 09!

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, You're absolutely right. I've just finished writing a card to her apologizing for our first fight and telling her I hope we can get past it. Happy Holidays to you and your family as well. Here's to '09!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hey, Debbie, just poppin' back in to say congrats for scoring a pitch crit over at BookEnds! (And such a good one too.) Yay!

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, Again, you're a sweetheart. I really appreciate the heads up and your kind words on the critique. I've been in such a family world these last few days, that I haven't been keeping up on writing things like usual (hence my lack of a new posting here in nearly a week.) I have, however, been working on my book. I'm getting close to the end. Yay!

Keith said...

Don't ever let politics come between friendship. It ain't worth it. Since none of us have all the right answers, nor does a single person know the absolute truth.

And you actually learn more from people you disagree with. It's healthy to debate people you disagree with.

It is a balance of ideas ...that is like surfing a really cool wave.
Roll with it, and enjoy the ride....after all it's only water.

Keith H

DebraLSchubert said...

Keith, Once again, you're a beacon of truth and light. Happy New Year to you and Joanne!!!

Mollie said...

I realize I'm way behind schedule in checking the blog, but here's my input:
I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other. I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that. I believe that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
You'll get through it. Kind of like when me, Chuck and Keri nearly killed each other and you sat calmly in the rocking chair as the voice of reason.

DebraLSchubert said...

Me? The voice of reason? I hope my mom reads these comments. BTW: Are we on for the 24th?

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