I actually have a friend who was completely taken aback when we had a debate. He had just come home after graduating college and came over to my
place. In the 4 years we were away from eachother, I found Christ and (before that) had become a die hard conservative through my sudden interest in
politics. He, at the same time, became a bleeding heart liberal and a unitarian.
Somehow, politics came up (for those of you who know me in real life, you're shocked, I know
) and we really got into it. Raised voices, "can I
have a chance to finish my point"s being thrown all over the place, etc. You know, a good debate by two people equally educated but polar opposites
in their interpretation of said education. After about an hour and a half, I tried to sip from my empty beer for the fourth or fifth time.
Finally, I got up and asked him if he wanted a beer. He seemed like he was completely sidetracked, and said "sure" as though in a dream. I asked him
if he'd join me outside because I wanted a smokey treat, he came out there, and we started talking about this, that and the other thing, politics
That was about 5 years ago. Just last year, I was talking with him. He had said that, when we first started talking and he found out I was a
conservative Bible thumper, that our friendship was over. However, the completely simple, curtious effort of grabbing him a beer helped him to see
that, hey, it's only politics.
One really cool thing about him, too, which is unique among my friends is that we can just say to one another, "no politics", and the other drops it
immediately. Let's face it, there are days where you're not the cheeriest person in the world, and talking politics with someone you know disagrees
with you on everything is only going to piss you off. However, I have said that to a few other friends, a couple of aunts, and some other folks, too,
and they seem to take it as the green light to get a reaction out of me. It's like you have to read The Art Of War just to be friends with some of
them: you can't let them see your weakness or they will exploit it.
So there are exceptions to this rule. I'm blessed in that my best friend and I both recognize it as only being politics, not a life and death issue.
If we didn't, there is no way we'd be able to be in the same room with one another for more than 5 minutes!