In the Belly of the Beast: The Only Conservative at a Liberal Dinner Party

Dear Belladonna Rogers,

At a dinner party last week, the host turned to me and said, “I hear Obama may be dropping Biden and asking Hillary to be his Veep. As a woman, do you think that will help him?”

I froze. His question came at me out of left field. We hadn't been discussing politics until that moment. I couldn’t think fast enough to respond. My real answer is that I wouldn’t vote for Obama if Santa Claus were his running mate and I’m certainly no fan of Hillary’s.  I replied, “What do you think?” and he was delighted to answer. I was off the hook and the other liberals all chimed in with their views.

But Belladonna, I never want to be a deer in the headlights again.

How should I, a 70-year-old professional woman and a conservative, deal with liberals’ questions that are based on the assumption that I am, of course, one of them?

Mute in Manhattan

Dear Mute,

You may have heard the one about the out-of-towner who asks directions in Manhattan: “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”  The New Yorker replies: “Practice.”

That's also the secret of dealing with liberals.  Before you attend another party, practice saying calmly, “I don’t accept the premises underlying your assumption.” Say it as many times as necessary to feel comfortable uttering that sentence whenever you encounter a liberal.

In the context of your dinner conversation, here's how it would go:

“What do you mean?” the shocked liberal will ask.

“First, I wouldn’t assume that anyone to whom you put that question would vote for Obama under any circumstances.

“A second premise of your question is that I vote as a woman.  That’s a classic Democrat assumption.”

Again, you’ll be facing a flummoxed liberal.

A word of warning: the more you say, the more the liberal's response will turn to enraged apoplexy. By the time you’ve finished lucidly expressing your views, the liberal will react like a shrieking, psychopathic hyena being laced into a straitjacket.  More on this below.

HOW TO SPEAK TO A LIBERAL

In your calmest, most unemotional manner, point out to him that “the Democrat Party is based on identity politics.  It has been for the last 40 years.  For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, Democrats were the working people’s party, as well as that of so-called ethnic voters.

“With the rise of affirmative action, feminism and newly-minted ‘minorities,’ the Democrat Party began tailoring its strategies to pigeon-hole voters into discrete categories, assuming each would vote as members of beleaguered groups that required exceptional government intervention. To me, this is a pernicious public policy for all affected -- except, of course, the Democrats scrounging for votes.

“I’m a professional woman in my early seventies and I’ve never felt like part of a beleaguered minority.  I received a fine education, then went to work and had a successful career that continues to this day.  I worked in a meritocratic system and it rewarded me.  It would be absurd for me to think of myself as a minority when women are, numerically, a majority.  Although many companies didn’t welcome women when I was younger, they do now, and even then, I made my way and did well through hard work.

“I resent the Democrat Party’s assumption that I vote as a vagino-American when in fact I vote on the basis of my reasoning capacity and my skill at sizing up people. I vote as a national security-minded, free market-appreciating, patriotic American -- not based on my gender.

“I only wish more women and genuine minorities understood that their permanent victim status may serve the Democrat Party by providing it with votes, but it utterly fails to serve the 'victims' in the long run.  In fact, nothing could be more detrimental to them.

“Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, the Kennedys, and Barack Obama all preach the gospel of the weak, helpless underdog. This discourages people from working as hard as possible in school and at jobs.  They would be far better off if they stopped accepting their assigned roles as lifelong members of the permanently disadvantaged who can only be served by special programs designed to cater to them and win their votes."

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Repeat these thoughts to yourself in your own words, revising them to express your individual views.  Practice saying them calmly, matter-of-factly, and unemotionally.

Practice in the shower, as you get dressed, as you prepare dinner, or do the dishes.  Keep practicing until saying these words has the same emotional weight in your mind as, “It’s looking a lot like snow” or “How 'bout those Yankees?”  You’re saying what you think -- not having a panic attack in fear and trembling. Let the liberal experience the panic attack brought on by your calm statement of your views.

DON'T BE BLINDSIDED BY THE LIBERAL’S ENRAGED REACTION:

BE PREPARED TO COMMENT CALMLY ON HIS INEVITABLE TANTRUM

Expect a temper tantrum as the response to what you've said, and don’t let it surprise or unnerve you.  Visually and aurally, it won’t be pretty.  It is 97% likely to happen to a conservative woman speaking with a liberal man. That’s just how it is.

The liberal will become irate, perspire profusely, then shout -- often obscenely and insultingly -- at the top of his lungs, be it at a private residence or in a restaurant, attacking you personally -- you, whom he’s never met until now. Invariably, he'll question your intelligence.

Remain as calm as you can. As you witness the liberal's display of impotent rage, the adjective, "apoplectic," will come to mind.  This rarely fails to happen. The combination of your well-thought-out comments, calm demeanor, and -- most intolerable of all -- the fact that you don't agree with him will drive the liberal nuts.

His abusive response is beyond his control, poor fellow.  Just don’t let it catch you unawares.  Be prepared to smile calmly, shake your head gently, like a patient teacher, as he wreaks verbal havoc and lapses into a bout of temporary insanity.

"At some point, you might want to explore why my views have led you to throw a tantrum, simply because they're contrary to yours," you could say with emotional detachment. "It's fascinating that you were unable to speak to me in a rational manner."

In the end, you'll have the satisfaction of having said what you think.

–  Belladonna Rogers

Do you have questions?  Belladonna Rogers has answers.  Send your questions or comments about politics, personal or cultural matters, or anything else that’s on your mind, and Belladonna will answer as many as possible.  The names, geographic locations and email addresses of all advice-seekers will be kept confidential. Names and places and will be changed to protect the identity of the questioner.  Send your questions or comments to: [email protected]