Posted by Larry Brandes, Ph.D on 12 November, 2022 at 11:17 am. 25 comments already!

When the midterm election results were announced, I was disappointed, demoralized, and angry.  I really anticipated a deadly red tsunami, 100 feet tall and moving at the speed of a Cat-5 hurricane, to overwhelm and destroy the Democrat party. I slept soundly on election eve with visions of the Democratic Party joining the Whig Party and disappearing forever.  Yeah, that didn’t happen

The morning after the election I arose from my slumber expecting to see stunned Democratic voters washed up by the tide with the other flotsam and jetsam. Suddenly,  my wonderful dream turned into a nightmare.  It was mortifying to learn that the election was a bust and Republicans probably wouldn’t even win the Senate.  It was disappointing on various levels.

Hari-kari with a butter knife crossed my mind, but my lovely wife said, “Put that in the  “Life Ain’t Fair File” and move on.  Pouting, I went to our clubhouse (plus 55 community) to read a book and mope around without being judged.  I encountered four old guys who were playing bridge and assumed that they were intelligent conservatives. That was my first mistake.  Player 1 asked me how I was feeling, and I said, “dejected because of the election.  We might get control of the House, but the Senate looks iffy.  It may come down to Georgia because Warnock and Walker are locked in a run-off election.”

Player 1 said, “I hate Walker.  He hit his wife and doesn’t deserve to be a Senator.”  I replied, “Both of those candidates are really, really, horrible, but we desperately need to win the Senate. Hey, how about Fetterman in Pennsylvania?  He had a major stroke, can hardly speak, and has a bulge on his neck the size of a grapefruit.  650,000 votes were “collected” before he even bothered to debate.  Somehow, he “won” and is now “the honorable” senator from Pennsylvania.”

Player 1 responded, “I hate Walker. All he can do is play football.”  I changed the subject and said, “The tax dollars we are sending to Ukraine is excessive.  We are focused on a border 5,000 miles away and ignore our open southern border.”  That’s when the fight started-not an actual fight because our combined age was like a thousand years.  Player 4 weighed in and said, “We need to stand up to Russia and defeat Putin.”  I said, “You mean like Vietnam, where we sacrificed 57,000 young men and women for nothing? How about Afghanistan, where we stayed for 20 years and wasted 2 trillion dollars?  Do you feel sorry for Biden’s botched withdrawal and the 13 young men who horribly died because of his incompetence?”  Player 2 responded, “After 9-11, we chased Osama bin Laden into Afghanistan.”  I replied, “Yeah, but Afghanistan is the “graveyard of empires.”  We should have known better.  We stayed 20 frigging years and forced our courageous troops to serve three and four tours in that medieval hell-hole.  2,456 soldiers were killed, 20,752 were wounded and many returned home with debilitating PTSD- ALL FOR NOTHING!

Player 4 chimed in, “We need to defeat Russia.  Do you like Putin?”  I replied, “Nope.  I once respected him as a leader, but he made a terrible and costly mistake invading Ukraine.”  Player 4 replied, “So, you like Putin!” I replied, “Russia, Russia, Russia, is not the problem.  The real problem is China!”

Player 3, who may be the smartest man in the room, said nothing.  Player 1 said, “I hate Walker.”  Player 2 said, “We need to stand up to Russia and show our Pacific Rim allies that we will protect them.” I replied, “Saber rattling is stupid.  America cannot afford another war (31 trillion $ in debt) and lacks the resources and the conviction to continue policing the world. As the leader of the free world, America should broker a peace treaty between Russia and Ukraine.  We should have accomplished that task before the war broke out.  Player 4 sarcastically said, “I’m, gonna get you an “I LOVE PUTIN” tee-shirt.”

In retrospect, this was all my fault.  I wasn’t paying attention and suddenly found myself down the rabbit hole being relentlessly attacked.  I responded with anger, which thwarted my ability to intelligently debate the issues.  It is sad, but our country is so polarized that it is impossible for liberals and conservatives to rationally discuss the horrific problems that we are facing.

This incident should serve as a cautionary tale because Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching.


You will never change their minds, and they will never change yours. However, on the bright side, if you alienate liberals at Thanksgiving, you won’t have to buy as many presents at Christmas. (rimshot) Just kidding. The answer is actually very simple:


That is sage advice from an old dude, but if you ignore my warning you might just score a nifty “I LOVE PUTIN” tee shirt!

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