Twelve men, mid- to late-seventies, all from my high school year or a couple before. I’m about the only moderate (and the only one who votes for Democrats) in the room. We sit around an oval table in one of the restaurant’s private rooms. Invariably at these reunion meals, someone brings up politics.
A man to my right said he’d heard Loretta Lynch say that the police shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas were “just the blacks getting revenge (against the police),” as if she condoned them. I confronted him about passing on unsubstantiated rumors, and, while he stopped, he said in pretty plain language that he’d heard it so it must be true. Reminds me quite a bit of the unfinished innuendos that Donald Trump drops in almost every speech. “I don’t know this to be true, but you can draw your own conclusions” sort of statements.
I have been at previous gatherings where Obama bashing and Hillary bashing have been the blood sport of the evening. I’ve had to walk away from conversations and either stand alone or talk to some of my classmates with whom I can have discussions about ideas. I have no issue with opposing political views and I realize most of my classmates are life-long Republicans. It’s the venom. It’s the stating of rumors. It’s the untruths that bother me. It’s the “I’m right and you’re wrong” that bothers me. Guess Donald would call me a loser. Ah, well.
When I left lunch, as we exited a classmate’s car in front of me sported a Ben Carson sticker.