Politics, God and a designated driver
Editor’s note: Biff America is on vacation. During his absence, we will be publishing some of his favorites.
It was a friendly debate turned ugly. I was a designated driver, chauffeuring a truckload of ladies, in various altered states, from a concert in Denver. My cargo included my wife and three of her girlfriends. The performance was given by an L.A. enema-death-rock-nihilist-accordion band, very popular with today’s youth. One of the drawbacks of marrying a younger woman is, often, their music sucks.
For the first 45 minutes, the conversation dealt mainly with the tightness of the lead singer’s pants, then switched to politics. I wrongly assumed that, since my car’s payload consisted of attractive young ladies with tattoos and body piercing, I was in the company of liberals. But as we all well know, you can’t judge a passenger by the holes in her tongue.
The discussion began with a hitchhiker, and developed to welfare.
I hate passing by hitchhikers. If autoless travelers look to be relatively clean and not dangerous, I will pick them up. I often pass by those who look suspect. But I generally assume I’m better armed than most of those who solicit rides.
The traveler in question looked clean-cut and was carrying an expensive backpack. My vehicle was maxed out, so I kept going. I expressed my regret to the ladies about not being able to offer the traveler a lift when one said, “He should buy a car.”
When I mentioned that we already have too many cars on the road, and that it wasn’t too long ago I had been in his position with my thumb out, Miss Mussolini answered, “That was the ’60s and ’70s. If someone can’t afford a car or a bus ticket in America today, they should get a job.”
This sounded quite heartless coming from someone who, not long before, was speculating about the religion of the lead singer by the tightness of his trousers.
I didn’t want to be confrontational, so I tactfully asked, “Does the thermostat usually kick in when your cold heart enters a room?”
The conversation turned ugly from there. We ran the gantlet of taxation, government intervention, the ACLU, pro-choice, Waco, Clinton and welfare.
I have to say, she wasn’t just some fair-weather, lockstep, donkey-hater – she knew her stuff. That’s the problem when discussing politics with today’s conservatives, with the likes of the Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy and Ken Hamblin on AM radio – they often are well-armed with propaganda. I had to rely on dirty fighting, name-calling, and misdirection, just to keep my head above water; thank God she was drinking.
The miles seemed to fly by. I love to argue. To be frank, much of what I was pontificating upon, I didn’t necessarily believe. It was just fun to get Miss Gingrich’s goat.
If the truth be told, I have a fair amount of what could be labeled as conservative beliefs, such as: pro-death penalty, a small-arms obsession, belief in public flogging of litterers, and I will occasionally wear boxer shorts. But, if the argument is better served by fanatical posturing, I’m glad to do it. I brought up examples of the worst of her kind – Jesse Helms, Joe McCarthy, Bob Dornan, as well as extreme examples of conservatism run amok. She mentioned: Jane Fonda, the ACLU and, of course, the Clinton stain. Then we moved onto welfare.
The argument got very heated. It was a typical battle between a “no-free-lunch” conservative, and a “bleeding-heart, tax-and-spend” liberal, and we were ruining the buzz of everyone else in the car. A few halfhearted attempts were made to bring the conversation back to the lead singer’s bulge, but Stalin and I weren’t buying. When, out of nowhere, one of the other passengers said, “What would Jesus say?” I thought I had won the argument. Then I thought again. We were both wrong.
Yes, of course the Messiah certainly would be a supporter of helping those in need. As would Buddha, Gandhi, Mohammed and Krishna. But they probably would not delight in the political baiting of an intoxicated young Republican. So, though the Jesus equation helped me win the welfare battle, I was guilty of pride, arrogance and a compulsion to win a political argument.
The truck was finally quiet. All my passengers were sound asleep. After the divine intervention, there was little room for debate. I don’t believe for a minute my former political adversary, or any of us, for that matter, can always behave with the purity and good intentions of our heroes and gods. But it does give us something to dream about. That and the lead singer’s pants.
Biff America can be seen on KRSN television, heard on KOA radio and read in this and other fine newspapers.
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