Every four years we are inundated with political advertisements telling us why those guys are bad and these other guys are the greatest since applesauce. It doesn’t matter what viewpoint you have because the debate over who is right or wrong has been going on since our nation began more than two centuries ago.
It seems easy to tell who is a Republican and who is a Democratic by listening to them. You can also tell the difference by the way they dress and their mannerisms. For example, Richard Nixon was a Republican and wore shorts and wing tip shoes when he went for a stroll on the beach, whereas Bill Clinton is a Democrat and couldn’t keep his pants on in the Oval Office.
It took this presumed Republican family a few minutes to set up their little camp. Actually, the husband did very little except stand around and survey the surrounding scene while his wife did everything. When she had set everything out he grabbed a cigar out of a bag and walked to the water.
Overcome by curiosity I had to know if my hunch was correct so I got out of my chair and strolled down to the water not too far from where he stood. Gradually, I eased into the water, trying to ignore the pain, and edged towards him. When I thought I was within earshot I tried a harmless little conversation starter: “Beautiful day today.”
For several seconds he didn’t react, just kept staring out at the ocean and puffed out thick blue clouds of cigar smoke. Then, when I thought he either hadn’t heard me or intended to ignore me, he said: “About time.” So, we had a conversation after all. He was from Natick, Mass. and was a lawyer. Surprise, surprise, I thought to myself. I then sneaked into the conversation what I intended to discover. I asked him what he thought of the upcoming election. It was like blowing up the Hoover dam.
He had to hold the line at all costs, he said. We absolutely have to change the direction of our country because if we don’t the country would never be great again. Not caring to reveal what a fool I was I told him to enjoy his vacation and went back to my chair.
Moments later I found my attention drawn to another family camped a few yards down the beach. I couldn’t believe it was one family because there were multiple adults in beach chairs gathered in a circle while children played around the outside, so I guessed it was two or three families vacationing together.
Socialists obviously so they had to be Democrats. Then I realized this was outmoded thinking. The definition of a family was no longer a man, a woman and children. The possible combinations within this group suddenly became infinite so I went back to my quest to determine what their political affiliation might be.
I wandered over and introduced myself and found out they were all from Malden, Massachusetts. All the men were firefighters and it turned out they were all married to the same number of women in the group. After a while our conversation turned to politics and once again I found my assumption was correct.