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No talking politics

Blog by: Bill Prater , Colorado 12/7/2019
We donít talk politics in the Loveland Fishing Club.

You wonít find this rule in our bylaws, but it is a guideline that has allowed our randomly chosen, wildly opinionated seniors to harmonize for nearly two decades.

With an average age approaching 80, itís not that we lack strong opinions. Itís just that we collectively choose not to air them in situations where discussion 
should be on trout, bass, or scheduled hip replacements.

Tom, Dennis, Jim and I have known each other well enough, long enough, to realize we donít agree a damned bit about most things political. But in nearly 20 years of really close acquaintance, I donít recall a single cross word between us. Like a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary, we know exactly which buttons to push to annoy one another; we just choose not to push them. Similarly, I just returned from a harrowing one-day ice fishing expedition to Coloradoís North Park, involving a snowy, six-hour round trip through the mountains.  On that memorable expedition, Norm, Rick and I talked about every damned thing except anything remotely to do with topics that dominate the national news. The radio was never tuned to CNN or Fox; when it was on at all, the dial pointed straight to Willie Nelson.

Has your spouse taken away your access to the TV remote? After your most recent, disastrous Thanksgiving Day discussion with in-laws, did you vow to enter the priesthood, or take up mindfulness meditation? Well, you donít have to devote the rest of your life to contemplating your navel; just shut up and fish. You cannot ponder elections or impeachments or likely public hangings while paying close enough attention to the tip of your ice fishing rod. Or looking online for sales on Z-man plastic grubs.

So. Donít talk politics in the Loveland Fishing Club. Or your Mahjong group, or almost any social gathering where members are drawn together by something other than mutually agreed to, shared political obsessions. If, over time, you somehow learn you share political beliefs with someone else, great. Go to  the corner of the room, away from the rest of us. Or create a distribution list for like-minded fanatics. Just donít use a shared love of fishing or recommended hemorrhoidal ointments as an opportunity to convert other anglers to your political passions. You wonít change their opinion on any topic except whom to invite on the next fishing trip.

Donít do it. This is arguably the single most powerful suggestion for remaining friends in unfriendly times. Itís an impressive insight, if I say so myself. The late Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, one of the gentler humans to ever grace this planet, could only narrow his list of rules to three:
1. ďThe first way is to be kind.
2. The second way is to be kind.
3. The third way is to be kind.Ē
Blog content © Bill Prater
Blog Comments
Hawaiian Punch, CO   12/8/2019 6:03:38 AM
Ahhh young grasshopper . . .you have learned well . . . .ME? I've learned the fine art of doing the "side step" . . . .when that nasty subject comes up,do a fast "change the subject" move . . . .Friend . . .your long rods getting a hit! . . .afterwards just pick it up where you left off . . . .what were we talking about before that strike interrupted us? "I can't remember!" Hows the wife doing?
Goosehunter82, CO   12/8/2019 7:21:16 AM
Well said, I can't agree more. Over the years I've found it best to keep a lot of my views and opinions to my self. It's just better that way.
skiman, CO   12/9/2019 8:42:45 PM
You know what they say...Ēopinions are like. -//,Ďs...everybody has one!Ē I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend, with my heart, your right to say it! Thanks for the timely reminder about whatís truly important Bill.
Coyute, CO   12/10/2019 4:21:58 PM
Good advice for most probably. But then again, I don't pal around with the most PC crowd in the world. I'd rather have open discourse. Makes things more interesting. :) Thanks for the blog just the same.