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THE POLITE SIDE OF THE AISLE AT 180 DEGRESS

Do You Forgive Stupid Remarks In The Sauna? Of Course You Do. It’s So Damn Hot.

via aoc.gov

via aoc.gov

Most people I know are Republicans.

Not the neo-con version.

Not the Tea Party version.

They are the American version, the business side of the political house.

And it’s not my fault. They’re just good guys.

Then I heard the other side, the angry, bitter, side.

Where’ve I been? The sauna.

My regular crowd doesn’t talk politics. When it does come up it usually ends with another beer.

Recently the subject came up in an non-beer-friendly place and it sort of got out of control.

A crowd of regulars in my local sauna started a conversation that ended poorly. For that I’m sorry.

I’m sorry one of the group called me a dumb sh!t for supporting President Obama. It’s something I do whether it’s a republican or democrat in the office.

If you speak to a national from another country and they rag the President, it’s okay to say, “I don’t agree with him, but he’s better than the loser ruling your dump of a country.”

Are those fightin’ words? More than calling someone a dumb sh!t? Please. My baby boomer cohort and I don’t need anymore aches and pains.

You’ll never see violence encouraged in boomerpdx. Check the posts. No gets a green light to kick ass. But….

In the midst of the right vs left debate a new person came in and said it was the best conversation she’d ever heard. She thought it was funny. It was.

One of the guys said the talk didn’t usually get so involved because the other side is usually quiet. I was the other side this time.

The biggest opinion came from the person who said, “You’re a dumb sh!t. Don’t you know history? What’s happening today in America is the same thing that happened in Germany in the 1930’s. The same thing that happened in Russia in 1917. In China.”

Did I ask to see his degree from Fox News University? His debate certificate from the Rush Limbaugh Institute? I didn’t, just like I didn’t tell him I’m a college grad with a degree in American History, graduate seminars in the Origins of WWI, the effects of unconditional surrender in WWII, or my interest in current shades of Nazism. Held my tongue is what I did.

I also didn’t tell my pal to keep his trash mouth at home where he and his wife can enjoy it since she was in the room. That’s not good for anyone.

Then another man came in the door, a guy I’d met last week in the weight room. U.S. Army soldier with three deployments. I said, “There’s only one person here with an opinion worth hearing. His.”

And I pointed to the new guy. He had headphones on. When he took them off and heard the talk, he didn’t say much.

I asked the rest of the crowd if any of them had served in the armed forces, that if they had they’d have a better idea what they mean to America, and what America means to them.

Without judgment I can say the folks in the room were baby boomer age for the most part. Their idea of gym time includes spin classes, dance classes, and cardio machines. They don’t lift weights and it shows on their sleek frames.

The army guy looks like he could change the tire on a deuce and a half without a jack. For my part I try to keep pushing boundaries. Toward that end I benched two hundred fifty pounds today, a personal record over the last two years.

My sauna buddies are good people. Their hearts are in the right place, but there is something missing. Call it manners.

If you look at the national debate, the sauna was a microcosm.

One side does the heavy work while the other side shows up to look good.

One side rigs the system. The other side fixes it when it fails.

If my republican friends had been in the debate, I hope they’d speak up for fairness and not come off like little panty waist bullies.

And they’d buy the next beer. That’s what friends do.

I’ll wait for the sauna dipsticks to get that idea.

 

 

About David Gillaspie
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