How to Party|With Republicans

     Lots of parties will be thrown this weekend, and if you go, you might find yourself forced to talk to a Republican.
     In some dangerous areas of the country, you could find yourself surrounded by them.
     How is a reasonable person to behave in such a situation?
     Once upon a time, four topics were not considered polite in traditional, conservative American society: politics, religion, money and sex.
     That is no longer the case. These are now required topics among Republicans.
     Memorize these few simple phrases, and you should be able to escape without too much pain or loss of life.
     Anytime President Obama’s name is mentioned, shake your head sadly, grimace and sigh.
     We shall call this response our Fallback Position.
     If pressed for a comment, say: “He’s sure not what a lot of us expected.”
     The stock market is a likely topic of conversation.
     When it’s your turn, say: “The Dow Jones average rose by 227 percent under President Clinton, sank by 25 percent under George W. Bush, and is up by 207 percent since Obama took office.”
     That should thin the herd.
     If anyone remains, you may say: “Yup. Up from 3,242 to 10,587 under Clinton; down to 7,949 under Bush, and up to a record 16,478 today. No inflation to speak of, either.”
     At this point any surviving Republican will be sure to say: “Actually, the president has very little power to influence the economy.”
     Nod your head at this, with a wise look.
     Soon, the topic is sure to return to the stock market, or the economy, or President Obama, or taxes. This is your cue to say: “Actually, the president has very little power to influence the economy.”
     Religion is almost sure to be mentioned. Perhaps someone will say what a raw deal Christians are getting in this country today.
     You could, but probably should not, observe that modern Christians are splendidly fervent in their praise of Him who brought us the Truth, so long as they are not expected to act like Him.
     A better response would be: “Man, that J.C. was one hip cat.”
     This is known as a knuckleball – very difficult to hit.
     Immigration is a likely topic for Republicans.
     Feel free to borrow an anecdote from my own life. Say: “I rented my house to a family of undocumented immigrants for a couple years. Best tenants I ever had. Never threw loud parties, obeyed the law, paid the rent on time, their children were respectful, and they kept that yard in tip-top shape.”
     If sex comes up, so to speak, your best bet is to say: “Isn’t it a shame the way other people have sex?”
     This is known as a fastball down the middle.
     If pressed to elaborate, assume the Fallback Position. After the sigh and head shake, repeat: “A damn shame. So sad – the way other people have sex.”
     This is the official Republican position, so to speak, so you should get no argument.
     As Republicans’ blood alcohol content rises, the subject of racial relations may arise.
     I’m sorry, but I can’t help you here. Your best move, again, is the Fallback Position.
     Excuse yourself to get another drink. A big one. Then tiptoe out of there.
     Take the bottle.

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