Copyright © 2003 Henrietta W. Hay
Politics and Morning Coffee
July 18, 2003
"Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with
Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China, wrote that in
1965. He was an expert in both.
I deplore the war that politics has become in this century. So it
has been a real treat to find a group of political opposites with whom I
can joke and discuss without danger of physical harm.
I have coffee every Tuesday morning with a group of women friends. In
the same coffee shop a group of local men and an occasional wife are
also having coffee together as they have been doing for some 25 years.
The two groups have gotten acquainted and it is a great way to start the
morning. They even sang "Happy Birthday" to me -- and followed it with
"The Old Gray Mare She Ain't What She Used to Be" -- in perfect
If there were a line down the middle of the floor of the coffee shop,
their table would be on the right of the line and ours on the left. But
since there is no line, we have created a very interesting,
entertaining and unusual, political community. The great thing is
that we tease and joke without getting defensive. They love to tell me
how wrong I am, and finally I said, "OK, guys, you tell my readers what
you believe." And they did. Here are some political opinions from
Larry Feather, Chip Newton, Bob Jess, Paul Wisecup, Gerry Gesche and
Dick Watson -- the breakfast club.
I tossed out a few questions, starting with, "How did a bunch of '60's
kids, probably flower children, end up as conservative Republicans in
pin stripe suits?" Of course I have never seen them in suits, but they
are Republicans (all but one). They assured me that as they grew up and
got smarter they chose the correct party to support.
George W. and Hillary get into the discussion quite often. They say
that he speaks a great Texas drawl and that they understand him
perfectly in spite of his grammar. Hillary, on the other hand, they
can't understand at all because her foot is always in her mouth.
Needless to say I tend to take exception to this because I have great
respect for the English language.
They say that the reason George W. is so popular in spite of running a
horrendous deficit is that he makes the proper decisions.
They approve the Patriot Act, but say that it should not be abused. We
need to protect our country and our way of life. Their definition of
patriotism is belief in God, Country and our way of life. One member
wants to be called a Christian Conservative Patriot. I thought he was
kidding, but he assured me he was deadly serious.
But they do say that while they believe the war is necessary, I can
protest it without damaging the troops or being unpatriotic.
They favor requiring school kids to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance each
They say that abortion should not be an issue in choosing judges.
Actually, we are not always as far apart as it seems on the surface.
One morning Larry got carried away and wrote out for me on a
coffee-stained napkin some words of wisdom. "It's my take that we at
the doughnut shop could do a pretty good job of running the country,
because there's not much that we aren't experts on. We could grab a few
more good men (oops! men and women) and do a bang-up job. We are great
in the idea area, but somewhat weak in the work area."
OK guys, I often don't agree you, but I sure have fun arguing politics
with you. Let's continue to laugh together as we solve the world's
problems. Politics does not need to be so deadly serious. And if I
ever get that lunch with Hillary, you're invited.