I had dinner tonight with a very good friend of mine, who’s celebrating his 70th birthday. It was a big to do, for various reasons, we went to a very nice restaurant. There was a guy there who brought a lot of wine and whom I made right away for a douchebag. About halfway through dinner, he started in on politics, about how the two sides didn’t talk to each other enough and how Obama was an idiot, though he didn’t like Romney either, both sides do it. He was a bit aggressive and asked how many of us had actually watched the Republican debates enough to judge the candidates, were we just repeating stuff we heard in the big hippie echo chamber (he didn’t use those words, obviously). I told him I had watched nearly all of them, so I had some evidence to back up my opinion — that Romney’s not a great politician, so Obama may win even in a weak economy. Then he said something about extremists on both sides. I turned and said to my friend, I think under my breath, but people might have heard “see, I knew this guy was an idiot” (he’d already said a lot of stupid, verifiably untrue things about wine and American history which I’d disproved to him via my Wikipedia earlier in the evening).
This happens to me a lot, where I act in a socially inappropriate way when people say really dumb things about politics. It’s not a right/left thing, mind you, I probably lose it more with Burkean moderates than with anyone else.
How do you people deal with this? I feel like I’ve tried everything, from leaving the room to cool off, to having another drink, to trying to change the topic, but nothing works. Either I do something inappropriate or I sit there stewing all night.