It was midway through our main course that it became clear that Josh – his real name – might be a liberal and I was therefore dating my political opposite. The warning signs were all there. He showed up wearing a face-mask. He was nice, too nice. There were no rough edges to him, they had all been smoothed off, presumably by his tertiary education. He studied business, but was at pains to point out that an equitable society and business activity were mutually achievable outcomes. I guess people start businesses in Sweden, where the tax rate is 57%, although I will have to check on the current SME activity in Venezuela. At last report they were eating stray dogs, so perhaps not.
I’m quite open minded when it comes to dating – why limit the pool right, but as we traded stories my patience began to wear thin. Josh was wishy washy, and refused to take a position on substantive issues before my stance could first be drawn out. His standard answer was ‘yes and no’, and thought this to be an acceptable response. My fist was at times curled in a ball of rage and it took all my willpower not to scream, “Yes is the opposite of no, Josh, so what’s it going to be, you can’t have it both ways?”
I became determined to tie him down to a viewpoint that I could gently attack as to ascertain the strength of his resolve at some point during the date. This was easier said than done. So I just came out and asked him directly, “Josh, as a future businessman, do you believe in the wisdom of free markets?” This led to a very long pause, a pregnant pause one might say, during which Josh sipped his diet coke, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and fondled his napkin. It took him some time to deliver the answer he thought I wanted to hear, and by the end of it he was drowning in word salad.
We did not enjoy dessert and Josh paid the bill, although not because he felt superior, but rather as the dinner had been his suggestion. I graciously accepted this gesture, and left him with a parting piece of advice. “Choose a side Josh, pick a team. Go straight home and listen to My Way before you sleep.” Who knows, perhaps Sinatra can set the boy straight.
The problem with liberals is they just aren’t tethered to anything solid. They are like jellyfish, so malleable and changeable. They are just so easily convinced of whatever prevailing doctrine might be floating past, be it equity, critical race theory, or the soundness of meme coins.
Perhaps compulsory military service would be a positive for the spineless generation that I’m presently dating. Maybe Josh would be improved by interacting with some forthright male role models. I can’t imagine the boys storming the beaches at Normandy had much time for yes and no answers.
“Ok men, we are going to overrun that machine gun post. Are you with me?”
“Well yes and no sir, we are…”
“Brilliant. Lads we have found ourselves a volunteer to carry the flag of freedom as we rush headlong into direct enemy fire. Now Josh, hoist that flag and lead the charge like a true patriot.”
I rest my case.
So to the words of Sinatra
“For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows
I took the blows
And did it my way”