Relationship Roots Run Deeper Than Politics

A friend and I met to shop at Costco together Tuesday afternoon, and since we were both starving, and we weren't done talking, we decided to get a hot dog and soda. We headed for that little area that Costco's carved out on the way to the exit that has small white plastic tables and red attached benches, all crammed close together. This was a new experience for me. Usually I just get the hot dog and split.

The place was packed, with a line of full shopping carts patiently parked nearby, as shoppers sat elbow to elbow eating and drinking and hanging out. The place was noisy with multiple conversations. I was struck by how it felt like a family-style restaurant, since strangers were compelled to share tables with strangers.

My friend and I asked two women if we could please share their table, so they moved their purses from the empty side of the table and said sure, we could join them. My friend and I had barely sat down before the oldest of the two (she just turned 80) asked right out of the blue whether my friend and I were Republicans or Democrats.

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Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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71 Responses

  1. Bruce Vojtecky says:

    I remember family Thanksgiving dinners, either in Hayfork or Anderson, where we would sit around drinking beer and watching football. We had animated discussions about politics, religion, work but our most animated discussions were really important. Who was the better team? The Niners or the Raiders. What was missing was the insane hatred that has seem to come over the nation. It didn’t start with Trump but seems to slowly come to a boil over the years.
    I should add a prediction but only a hope. As I am in the December of my life I hope things will get better in the future.

  2. Robert Wallenberg says:

    My mom was right – “we don’t discuss politics or religion among strangers!”

  3. erin friedman says:

    I was raised in a family where politics was always discussed – intelligently, respectfully and with humor. As a kid I learned a lot listening in and watching the grown-ups I loved articulate their very differing ideas on how to solve problems.

    Oh, boy, have things changed. I now have a “no political discussions” rule for family dinners, and ditto for my Facebook feed. The brusqueness of social media has definitely fueled the vitriol. Maybe salons — face-to-face gatherings for debate and discussion – are the answer?

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      My favorite classes in college were grad school seminars. 6-8 grad students and a prof sitting around a conference table, shooting the shit on the topic of the day. Often, the discussion would continue over beers at a local watering hole. Very salon-like.

      That kind of thing would be great, but nearly every political gathering I’ve witnessed in the North State has been dominated by the angry red-faced ranters crowd. Pass.

      • Angry red-faced ranters just about covers it.

        (And just an observation, but when you remember your years in grad school – “shooting the shit on the topic of the day” was that more of a guy thing? My observation is that guys are more able to really go toe to toe and argue and still be friends. Generally speaking, women aren’t conditioned that way.)

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          By “the topic of the day” I was referring to topics involving evolutionary biology and the like. Some of those topics were controversial among those of us in the field. As I recall, the women were eager participants. But also, one of those women was so offended by one of my counter-arguments that I became dead to her for the rest of grad school.

          It was the dicey topic of forced copulations in animals. She was taking the stock feminist position of the time that rape has nothing to do with reproduction, and that only human males do it. I told her about mallards, including an incident I’d witnessed at Putah Creek Pond on campus in which several drake mallards drowned a mallard hen. She was so invested in her position that she never spoke to me again. It wasn’t until much later that it occurred to me that she may have had a personal experience that shaped her position—that maybe it wasn’t just political.

    • I like how you were raised, Erin.

      And I think you’re onto something; face-to-face discussions. I have to believe that people would be less likely to be as mean in person as they are online. (Sorry, this comment is in the wrong order.)

  4. Beverly Stafford says:

    Great article and comments so far. No, it didn’t start with Trump, but here he is, stumping for Ted Cruz after calling him Lyin’ Ted just a short while ago. Where’s the civility? Where’s the integrity? Those seem to be values long gone with both parties.

  5. Maggie Zlotowski says:

    Thank you! Your fresh and compassionate perspectiveare salve for all our aching hearts. I don’t think that fueling hatred will ever solve anything.

  6. sue says:

    I love this, Doni. Thankyou

  7. Rita Panike says:

    Great article Doni. I honestly feel like I could have written this article, it’s exactly how I feel. My dinner table is Switzerland, a safe space with no politics. I have my beliefs, religious and political, and I hope that people respect them just as I respect theirs. But hatred, bigotry, bullying, etc., I have no tolerance for that. Regarding your reference to this summer and the break we got, I couldn’t agree more. I was thinking about the fire last night and how that feeling of “community” that was so beautiful seems to have faded into the background. I truly hope that we can get that feeling back.

  8. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    I’m a life-long moderate, but much of my family were western Colorado ranchers whose Republicanism ran toward libertarianism, a political outlook that I deeply respect.

    Then, starting in the Deep South in the 80’s, the GOP sold its soul to the evangelicals, and that sell-out spread like a metastasizing cancer. The evangelicals—the polar opposite of that “you-leave-me-alone-and-I’ll-leave-you-alone” brand of Western libertarianism. The ultimate tongue-clucking, moralizing, intrusive busy-bodies.

    I’m no longer buying that the difference between the parties is a matter of shades-of-gray perspective. As I described in a recent essay here on ANC, I recently changed my voter registration to “D” after a quarter century or so as an independent. The last dozen or so political mass murders in this country were committed by conservatives, save one. Yesterday, pipe bombs were found in the mail of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The inhumane treatment of illegal immigrant children is supported by one party, not two. Trump is a proto-fascist, and the party he now leads is sick to the core. I’m sorry to disagree with Doni, but it’s not tit-for-tat. The hatred is grossly asymmetrical.

    Don’t get me started on the GOP’s ongoing war on objective reality, starting with Fox News, where POTUS goes to get “informed” (read: affirmed). “Truth isn’t truth,” said Trump’s lead attorney/attack dog, Rudy Giuliani. That was in the context of arguing that he wouldn’t allow his client to testify under oath because that would be “a perjury trap.” In other words, POTUS is such a congenital liar on a daily basis that he would almost certainly commit flagrant perjury.

    I can continue to be friends with conservatives—most of my local buddies are Republicans—but I’m not going to shy away from telling them what I think for the sake of getting along. At this moment in this country’s history the stakes are too high (if it’s not already too late).

    My Mom’s side of the family immigrated from Germany to Chicago in the 1930s when the fascists were taking power. Those who stayed in Germany said to those immigrants, “Why are you leaving? This will blow over.”

    • don says:

      Good point, it’s about time we quit accepting the false equivalencies. Disturbing Mitch’s dinner is not the same as mailing Hillary a pipe bomb. Both acts are wrong but in no way cancel out. My dinner is disturbed almost nightly and I hardly ever send a pipe bomb to my phone co.

  9. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Excellent take on local and national politics. Civility: word of the day. Who was it that coined the term, ‘politics is a blood sport’ ? This descriptive term needs to be removed from the lexicon of political phrasing. This one term describes politics as something no one should get involved in unless they’re willing to get down in the dirt and rumble. Not that politics hasn’t always been ‘dirty’, but come on let’s garner some sense of civility. And then when it’s over it’s as if nothing rotten was spoken, a bit of hypocrisy for sure. As a partisan of the Blue color, I dare say it’s too late for the current President to redeem any sense of kindness, truth-telling or sense of civility to persons of my stripe.

  10. Tom O'Mara Tom O'Mara says:

    This article offers some additional appeal for being an independent, side from any other attraction it may have.

  11. Darcie Gore says:

    I am no longer on Facebook for this very reason. However, I struggle with being silent when our government is ripping children from their parents, and treating women and minorities with such disdain. How did Hitler come into power? By starting in the schools and the silence of others. If we don’t learn from history it will repeat itself. So where is the line?

  12. Hollyn Chase says:

    I have no problems with Republicans, per se. In fact, I’m married to one. But I refuse to engage in conversation with people who still support Donald Trump. There is truly nothing to talk about.

  13. Johanna Anderson says:

    I visited Belgium in May and the lovely people we stayed with were extremely knowledgeable about WWII as the area where we stayed was near the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes. Our hosts were not shy about revealing how terrified they were for us and the current US political climate. Our current president and his rhetoric looks and feels too familiar to them, and we all know how the results of that psychopath’s mindset.

  14. Jeff Haynes says:

    One clue might be the 30 years that half the workforce of America spent plugged into Rush Limp-bough for four hours a day.

  15. Bruce Vojtecky says:

    To those on here, and it seems like more than a few, the government has changed it’s policy on separating families while holding them. And it didn’t happen because of comments on here, it happened because of protesters here in Phoenix standing in 115 plus temps protesting. It happened because Phoenix residents captured on cell phones, and reported to Arizona officials, pictures of children being taken out of vans into business offices that served as holding cells. As one CPS official said closing these illegal holding cells was like Whack-A-Mole, a new one would pop up around the corner.
    The result of the governments change in policy on families, an increase in migrants crossing the border. The number of migrants being arrested in Arizona has doubled in recent months. But it is easier for officials as these migrants are not running away, they are walking up and surrendering. Sadly the number of migrant deaths has also increased.
    What to do with all these migrants? Any sane answers?

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      First, call them political and (mostly) economic refugees rather than murderers, rapists, and drug dealers. The poisonous rhetoric serves no purpose other than to serve up red meat for mouth-breathers.

      Second, acknowledge that there are vast sectors of the American economy that rely on foreign workers. Start examining that in Trump-supporting Iowa, where rural citizens say they agree with Trump on most everything *except* the notion of returning all illegals to their countries of origin, because that would kill their local agriculture economy. The family business of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Visalia) relocated the family dairy cow business to Iowa. Nearly all of their employees are illegals. Stop being hypocritical @$$holes. We need a sane work visa program that is orders of magnitude larger than what exists to meet the workforce demand.

      Third, the primary incentive for illegal aliens is economic opportunity. There was a reverse net migration of illegals back to Mexico when the economy crashed in Bush II’s last year in office. You can’t stop illegal immigration by punishing illegal immigrants—the opportunity incentive is too high. You have to punish those who hire illegals. Of course, those are mostly Republican business owners. Arizona made it illegal for Grandma Frisbee to hire an illegal standing in front of Home Depot to help with yer yard work, but that law excludes construction contractors—you wouldn’t want to criminalize Republican business owners.

      Lastly, we need to change the law so that you’re not automatically a U.S. citizen if you’re born here to parents who are foreign visitors, illegal or otherwise. The “anchor baby” incentive has got to go away.

      • Bruce Vojtecky says:

        First I did not mention Trump, I said government. I said migrants, not drug dealers, murderers and rapists.
        Second, there are vast sections of the economy, I lived in Nebraska, where illegals worked and not because they took jobs Americans wouldn’t but because they would work for non livable wages that even the Democrats protested. Dairy farms in California have left because of environmental concerns. Nobody wants a smelly poop pen next to their McMansion. Look no further than the closed dairy farm just north of the Sac on I-5. When ICE swooped down on Swift in Grand Island and took all the illegals their jobs were filled by Americans at decent wages. Billboard signs were posted along highways advertising meat packer jobs.
        Third, the primary concern, interviewed by Spanish speaking reporters every night on the news(not Fox), is safety and that is also why they travel in caravans. There was a minus immigrant of Mexicans during Bush, but not mentioned was that the migration from other countries far out paced the Mexicans leaving. And these new migrants are not from Mexico, they are from El Salvador and Guatemala. And nobody is punishing Granny for hiring illegals at Home Depot in Arizona or anywhere else. There are contractor laws, brought up in Doni’s remodel, against illegal, American or Migrant, contractors.
        Too many let Trump hatred cloud their otherwise normal arguments.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          Bruce — I didn’t accuse you of saying anything about Trump. I’m free to bring they guy up in my reply if I’m doing so to make a point. He’s the POTUS and the leader of his party. It’s common sense—not clouded judgment—to say that he’s a prime force in the current state of federal immigration policy.

          According to California’s dairy industry, the collapse of dairy in the state is owing to the glut of dairy products on the market and declining demand, making the price of dairy products unsustainable. It’s more profitable to get rid of the cows and plant almonds. (The demand for nut milks is growing.) It’s market forces, not environmental issues.

          According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current leading immigrant countries to the U.S. are: (1) Mexico, (2) China, (3) India, (4) Phillipines, and (5) El Salvador. Asian immigrants currently exceed Latin Americans in total. The caravan of 2,000 or so Guatemalans and Salvadorians makes for good Fox News hysteria, fanned by Trump (who—because he’s both a moron and a bald-faced liar—was compelled to add that the caravan includes Middle Eastern terrorists). But the immigrants in those five countries listed above number over 20 million. That caravan would comprise a 0.0001 proportion of recent immigrants to the U.S. if it ever even gets here….some have already gone back.

          But you’re right about one thing—nobody is *currently* punishing Granny for hiring day laborers in front of the Home Depot in Scottsdale. That’s because a federal court unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out that part of Arizona’s anti-immigration law as unconstitutional. And that clause of the law *did* specifically exempt business owners—it applied only to individual citizens.

          • Bruce Vojtecky says:

            Steve, The census bureau is not down here in Phoenix or anywhere near the migrant caravan. Journalists, risking their lives from drug cartels involved with human trafficking, are reporting on the caravans approach nightly. You are right about Trump making false claims, just like the false claims that the left makes that these migrants are all innocent women and children.
            Business owners, who are licensed, oppose the cash hiring of immigrants. Every BBB, including right there in Redding, is warning about unlicensed scammers. Right there in California handymen can not work on any project over $500 without being licensed. If Arizona’s law was unconstitutional so is California’s. Worry about your own state’s laws.
            As for your false claim that Republican business owners are for hiring illegals, the main businesses being targeted by ICE are legally owned migrant businesses and franchises that employ their own illegal country people. How many Hispanic and Asian restaurants right there in Redding whose employees can’t speak English hire illegals? Answer that

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            False claim, Bruce?

            A few years back I attended a HUBZone conference in SoCal. One of the speakers was a roofing contractor from Arizona. His topic was supposed to be his experience with federal contracting in the HUBZone program. Instead, he focused almost entirely on a pending rule that would have barred federal contracting with employers who used illegals. Quote: “You aren’t going to get U.S. citizens up there on that flat roof, slopping hot tar when it’s 125 degrees in the Arizona summer. If I can’t use illegals, I got out of business.” He didn’t mention that he was bidding jobs at prevailing wage, as required, and probably paying his illegals whatever they would take.

            As a teen and young adult I worked in the trades for companies owned by my Colorado uncles—one in the sand & gravel and paving business; the other in the building renovation business. Both staunch Republicans. Both preferred illegals as laborers—they were cheaper and worked harder.

            Here’s a link to that article regarding Devin Nunes’ family business and the dairy industry’s reliance on illegal alien workers. I would also point out that when our own congressman has been asked directly if his rice farm has used illegals as workers, his response has so dodgy that it actually answers the question.


          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            BTW, the Mexican guys I worked with at the gravel pits were funny guys. They had an inside joke: Whenever anyone would ask one of them where he was from, the answer was: Taos, New Mexico. The ski resort town. All 30+ of them scattered throughout the company at various gravel pits, asphalt plants, and paving crews were from Taos NM.

          • Bruce Vojtecky says:

            Steve, maybe you only deal with Republican business owners but the main business owners that hire illegals are migrant owned businesses. They are in the news constantly where hundreds of illegal workers are found. The protests down here are by migrants who are not Republicans, they do not want to stop the flow of illegals because they don’t pay even minor wages. I see all the migrant owned businesses here in Arizona and know it is a fact that both Republicans and Democrats hire illegals.
            The false claim is that only Republicans hire illegals.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            Bruce — I’ll need you to document that most illegal aliens are hired by illegal aliens, or I’ll have to call bullshit.

            And anyway, where did I say that only Republicans hire illegals? What I’m saying is that Republicans are hypocritical about it. While they piss and moan about illegal immigration, they make full use of the cheap labor.

            This is typical: Republican members of Oho’s House of Representatives wrote a bill that incentivizes employers to hire illegal immigrant workers by taking them out of the workers compensation system. The bill passed on a party-line voted (Democrats opposing) despite having no organizations testify in support of the bill and eight diverse organizations opposed. Under the law enacted last year, employers would no longer have to confirm the legal status of illegals, no longer have to pay workers comp insurance for them, and the cost liability of workplace injuries to illegals shifts to taxpayers.


          • Bruce Vojtecky says:

            Steve, I said, clearly posted above, that ICE targets legally owned migrant businesses that hire illegals. This is pointed out almost everyday on AZfamilynews.
            In rural areas, mostly Republican, they hire illegals. In cities, mostly Democrat, they hire illegals. IE. Phoenix where there are hundreds of migrant owned businesses where almost none of the employees speak English.
            But this is a non winning argument because neither of us will believe the other. And that is the gist of this article anyway.
            Lets discuss the state of the Broncos whose best win was against the hapless Arizona Cardinals.

  16. Barbara Byers says:

    Your article is very insightful. I am now a Green Party supporter. I am in favor of having several political parties rather than just two parties which results in stalemate and in fighting. A third or fourth party would be able to break tie votes and keep things moving forward instead of giving one party all the power.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Unfortunately, our Constitution does not prescribe a parliamentarian government like most Western democracies. In those systems, each party earns seats in accordance with the percentage of votes their party receives in a state or province. One-party majorities are rare, so coalitions *must* be formed, and the Green parties of those nations get some of their programs enacted in exchange for agreeing to join a coalition.

      Here, if the Green Party gets 15% of the votes, they get 0% of the seats and 0% of the influence.

      It’s arguable, that our nation’s founders didn’t get everything right.

      • Bruce Vojtecky says:

        I would say our founders didn’t get everything right because at the time they looked at a European type country because most of the known present day America was controlled by France, Spain, Russia.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          European countries of the time were mostly monarchies. The closest thing to a representative democracy was the British Parliament, and the founders rejected that model as too democratic.

          Most of the mistakes made by the founders were toward two goals:
          (1) Protecting the interests of the land-owning and merchant aristocracies by keeping power a couple of steps removed from the rabble (which is why the electoral college picked the POTUS and why state legislatures picked U.S. Senators), and (2) protecting the interests of slave states by giving slaves 3/5 status as people, but only for the purposes of numerical representation in Congress.

          • Bruce Vojtecky says:

            Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. All women White, Native-American and Chinese. They did this to ensure they had enough voters to join the union.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            Not necessarily the most dignified of motivations, but good for Wyoming. Better still, Wyoming was willing to refuse being granted statehood unless allowed to retain women’s suffrage. I also note that I haven’t heard of Wyoming being one of the many GOP-dominated states that is actively working to disenfranchise voters who are less likely to vote Republican.

  17. Eleanor Townsend says:

    Back to the “friends’ relationships don’t depend on political allegiances” aspect of Doni’s article, I maintain that belief too. We probably talk mostly about personal thoughts and beliefs and I find that a much more valuable, supportive use of friend time than political agreements or not. Also, for the first time in all these years, I met a friend in that ‘cafe’ recently, and it is a different/good experience, but I did find myself ‘blown away’ by the amount of consumption in all those lined up shopping carts!

    • I know what you mean about the carts. Fascinating. Living in this new old house of mine that was only 1200 ft when it was built in 1938, with two smal bedroom closets a tiny coat closet and a tiny linen closet, I’m often aware that my 80- year-old old house hasn’t kept up with 21st century consumerism.

  18. Dr. Patty Dr. Patty says:

    Here!! Here!!! I am so incredibly tired of this current political atmosphere!!! I am seriously considering deleting Facebook. It has become so oppressive and adversarial. It is actually stressful. Great article, Doni.

  19. Doug Mudford says:

    Thank you Doni…I had a friend like yours, for over 50 years. We abided by Erin’s “no political discussions” until a dinner shortly before he died. The issue of the border wall came out of the blue. After we crossed swords and parried for several minutes, the conversation began to get louder. We hadn’t argued politics since college. Another friend asked us what we could agree to? Within 10 minutes we discovered we agreed on almost all issues but disagreed on how to achieve. Rather than just agree to disagree, I may try to find agreement a few more times…before I’m again relegated to issues non-political.

    • That sounds like a civilized and rational solution. (And I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend, Doug.)

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      When I worked for a school district, a method was introduced with the hope that negotiations between management and the unions would be fruitful and civilized. The acronym for the method sounded like CFIRE, but my online search couldn’t locate the actual initials or what they represented. But like Doug’s discovery, the idea was for each side to list what was important. And as Doug found, the two lists were very similar thereby creating a basis for negotiating. One of the books that was suggested reading was, “Getting To Yes Without Saying No.” Unfortunately, among adversaries rather than friends, CFIRE works only if a district has money because what employees want most is higher wages. Wages can’t be negotiated if there is no money, and California schools are not rolling in dough. So Doug, you and your friend did a CFIRE negotiation without the use of easels and chart paper and markers, but you did get to “yes,” but like a school district without money, you couldn’t find a solution.

      • Doug Mudford says:

        Bev…an interesting concept. When it comes to politics and religion, I long ago gave up trying to change minds or even find a compromise of opposing viewpoints… my goal is more modest…to end such conversations quickly and with a smile of relief.

        The current political discourse literally makes me sick ( nausea, depression )…the healthiest thing for me would be to ignore it all. I worry about many of us being one major illness away from bankruptcy, mortgaging the future of the next generations so rich people and corporations can enjoy even more money now by giving them unneeded tax cuts, the national debt, middle-aged, mostly white men telling women what they should do with their bodies, ignoring climate change, making it ok to again pollute our water and air, tariffs hurting the farmers, nuclear war…ah hell, you get the idea. Safer to keep my head under the covers…but it somehow just doesn’t seem right.

        • Beverly Stafford says:

          Ya know, Doug, if all of us would home in on those areas you listed, we could solve most of our nation’s woes. And most of your list is based on who “represents” us in Washington and Sacramento. So we vote, wear our I Voted stickers, and hope (against hope) that other like-minded people made the effort to cast ballots.

  20. Janine Hall says:

    Again Doni, you nailed it. I don’t do politics with my friends, Facebook or otherwise. Some are of like mind, some are not. But the political climate in our wonderful country is so mean. I just don’t need that kind of negativity in my life

  21. Eleanor, I know what you mean about the carts. Fascinating. Living in this new old house of mine that was only 1200 ft when it was built in 1938, with two smal bedroom closets a tiny coat closet and a tiny linen closet, I’m often aware that my 80- year-old old house hasn’t kept up with 21st century consumerism.

  22. Candace C says:

    At our Thanksgiving table ( which is verrrry long and seated with many friends and family with differing political views) we agreed beforehand to have a political free zone so that no one feels persecuted for their beliefs. That said it is harder and harder to remain mum when you realize the person seated to the right of you is supporting the obliteration of a person’s rights you love and cherish seated to your left. I think that’s where the honest struggle to stay civil comes in – the stakes this time around are very high and very real for many. It’s not “political” as much as it’s simply “survival”.

  23. Candace C says:

    Doni, I do agree with the screaming at each other thing. It never ends well and rarely changes minds. For me personally, it’s stomach churning and I tend to retreat to somewhere quiet.

  24. Candace C says:

    Doni, On a sort of different subject. I think sometimes our society conflates anger with violence. Sometimes people have a legitimite right to yell and be loud and angry.

  25. AJ AJ says:

    For many years I’ve liked to brag that I’ve never voted a straight party ticket. . . . .Now I’m beginning to question if that’s something I want to brag about . . . even to myself!

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      And for many years, I’ve voted against candidates rather than for candidates. I long to be able to support a candidate wholeheartedly rather than the alternative of voting against the opponent.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      I admire our state assemblyman, Brian Dahle. Though I don’t agree with him across the board, I’ve voted for him, and have said in the past that I’d ring doorbells for him if he ever chose to contest LaMalfa’s congressional seat.

      When I announced in an earlier essay on ANC that I was registering as a Democrat and would be voting straight ticket, his local right hand guy (Bruce Ross) reached out to me. I told him that even although I recognize that it’s swallowing a political cyanide pill for a GOP politician to speak out directly against Trump, I’d not vote for Dahle again until he overtly distances himself from Trump. And for what it’s worth (probably next to nothing), I intend to keep that promise.

      • Beverly Stafford says:

        I’ve long felt that whatever R runs for congress, he (probably) will be a clone of Herger who was a rock-rib supporter of the R president or congress. I did vote for Dahle again, but I’d really like to see him oppose Trump’s “values” publicly.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          Dahle isn’t Herger, and he’s certainly not LaMalfa.

          • Beverly Stafford says:

            And so far, he isn’t running for congress. If he does, he’d be a breath of fresh air just by being a Republican who is not a Herger/LaMalfa clone.

  26. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    I’ve long known that Barry Goldwater and Hubert Humphrey were close friends, despite being enemies politically. What I’ve only recently learned is that Goldwater and JFK were dear friends, and Goldwater was looking forward to running against Kennedy before JFK’s assassination.

    ”We talked about using the same campaign plane and debating on the same platform,” he recalled. ”It would have changed the face of American politics for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to go from town to town debating.”

    On the same plane, in the same town, on the same platform, debating issues and positions instead hurling demonizing sound bites.

    Wow. Just imagine.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Goldwater was portrayed by some at the time to be a crazed war-hawk who would almost certainly get us into a nuclear WWIII with Russia.

      Today, he’d likely be one of the Republicans with a conscience not running for re-election because he dared to speak out against the Twitter-raging Nutburger-in-Chief.

  27. George Koen says:

    Discussing politics is not the monster we have created it to be. The monster is the unwillingness to disagree respectfully. It is the choice we make to not be willing to accept that something we believed was in fact, incorrect. It is the willingness to belittle another.

    The worst approach when entering discussion is the singular desire to change the mind of another. Explain your thought rather than direct it at another. Ridicule is the enemy of argument/discussion.

  28. Denise Ohm says:

    That scene in Costco is priceless! Guessing that woman doesn’t get out much.

    In my life, my very dear conservative friends and I speak to each other about politics like we love each other. Nobody has to “sell out” just so we can remain friends.

    Lots of comments on peeps deleting Facebook over this. Wow! Facebook is what we make it be. If someone posts ugly, if I love them, my choice is: ignore it completely or dish right back (but never slash). I am proud of my posting history and I’m not in charge of anyone else.

  29. Colleen Adams says:

    I have extremely conservative family members (friends that I call family, actually), and when we sit down to discuss politics or whatever current events, it usually ends up that for some reason, they are the ones getting red faced and loud. I don’t know why this is! At any rate, we have to acknowledge to one another that we were raised in different generations with different values and that we are all good people, perhaps trying to reach the same goal from different directions.

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