A Dose Of Reality For Card-Carrying Democrats

“I had a call from my old friend Juan on Friday. He said he had good tofu curry, decent wine, and had had some sort of political epiphany. I was skeptical, but went downtown to see what it was about.

Juan may be a drug dealer, but the boy’s an idealist – with a PhD from Yale – so I have to rub his nose in reality from time to time.

The curry was good, and he had hidden the take-out containers, too. Someone had given him advice on the wine, because I like Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, and he had thoughtfully provided more than one bottle. I was mellow by the time we got to the politics, which was a good thing, because I gave up patience when I left the Order.

Juan has always had an opinion on everything, and a policy on nothing, except legalizing weed, but he’s suddenly become a card-carrying Democrat. There’ll be a Democrette in the picture somewhere. Juan has this thing for double-D blondes.

He was into a detailed explanation of the Party position on about the eighth issue before he realized that I was giving him my death stare.

“”What?”” He was all defensive. “”What’s wrong with this? Why the Look? These are perfectly reasoned positions, and I have explained them completely logically, and in a tightly argued and sequenced order… “”

“”Juan,”” I sighed, “”You think your new party can explain these positions to people with the attention span of gnats? Most people don’t want complex positions. They want one-line sound bites. Republicans love Jesus. Anyone else is a gay Muslim abortionist with direct links to al-Qaeda.””

Juan believes in the intelligence and potential of the average human being. I see Karl-boy playing the American public. Condi in chorus over Rumsfeld and Gonzalez and Bush, all of them on message. Once in a while, when I am feeling masochistic, I tune into Fox News to hear them, every half hour, on the half hour, played sequentially to make sure that the mini-brained learn the lesson-of-the-day.

I had some more of the Sauvignon Blanc and refilled Juan’s glass.

’Juan,’ I said, ‘Let’s go back to basics. What was wrong with Kerry? A message that was too complex. What does Rove get right? Simplicity and clarity, irrespective of logic or morality.’

’He speaks to fear, while the Democrats speak to reason and hope? Rove exploits ignorance and the inherent xenophobia in human wiring.’

’Yes – and it turned out real bad for him, didn’t it? Now think about it?. which would you bet on? that people are basically well meaning, open-minded, and eager to leave their comfort zones to learn tolerance and understanding? Would you put money that most people in America long for real debate, self-examination and honest reflection? Or that Karl-the-cynic is right?

Silence.

’Huh? Juan? Huh?’

’You’re such a bitch, Gale.’

The discussion circled around for about an hour, and he started to get that beaten-down look.

’I make you dinner and you come down here and depress me. And then you beat up on us Americans.’

’Juan, you’re a Puerto Rican, pot-dealing bastard, so don’t get above yourself because of one Ivy League scholarship. I said people, not Americans. People are defensive, intolerant, lazy-minded, sloppy thinkers everywhere. And don’t lie to an ex-nun about making dinner. I’d know BT’s tofu curry anywhere.’

We played backgammon instead of our usual klabberjas, and I let him win the first game, just to cheer him up. After that I took him to the cleaners, but I only played him for toothpicks. He’d had enough reality for one night.

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