Election Talk is Dangerous for Dinner Parties This Year

What can happen when friends disagree on election year politics

Sometime during the dinner party my husband and I recently attended, my husband made the hostess cry. It’s not so much that my husband is a difficult man, in fact he’s the kindest man I’ve ever known. It’s that this is an election year and Republican women in Hollywood are the loneliest women in America.

It started innocently enough with Rick Santorum jokes. If you can’t giggle at a Santorum joke then you’ve lost all hope, right? The Santorum jokes led to a mild discussion of politics and then ballooned almost instantly into a political feud where the hostess argued that Barack Obama was the worst president in American history and the host disagreed with his wife.

An argument ensued. It’s the sort of argument had all over the nation in an election year but made messier by the fact that everyone at the table is a wordsmith. There were filmmakers and film reviewers, comedians and producers at the table (and me). Everyone makes a point for a living, they manipulate words and pictures to make them beautiful and poignant, these are not people who are used to losing a debate.

So when my husband chimed in with something seemingly innocuous about the Republican Party not being friendly to women our hostess excused herself from the table and disappeared into the kitchen. Her two closest girlfriends followed moments later and the trio stayed gone for a solid five minutes with plates neither leaving the table nor the kitchen. They returned composed but the hostess had red rimmed eyes and my heart sank.

As we were leaving I gave her a hug and thank you for having us. She broke the embrace and held me at an arm’s length. She asked me, “What happened to you? You used to be on my side.” Referring to the fact that I am technically a registered Republican and once upon a time felt like we were the only two women in Hollywood arguing for conservative fiscal policies. I sighed and felt suddenly embarrassed because I don’t have side, I resent them both.

I told her that I can’t support the conservatives until they get out of my womb and she looked at me crushed. “None of that really matters…,” she explained, going on to tell me how it was just media talking points. Sadly, I shook my head and explained that it mattered to me. It mattered very much.

National election years are lonely years and I worry that now our dinner parties will be few and far between in 2012.

Jessica Gottlieb is a Los Angeles blogger. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaGottlieb.

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