I recently came across a month-old clipping I had meant to use on my radio show—a clipping that conveys a very different message now. The advice column “Ask Amy”—with questions addressed to a would-be successor to “Dear Abby”—ran the headline: “CONSERVATIVE STRUGGLES TO HAVE PLEASANT DINNER-PARTY BANTER WITH LIBERALS”.
The questioner, a self-described “Conservative intellectual” in ultra-liberal Berkeley, complained about gatherings where the other guests “freely disparage ‘right wing hillbillies’ and say that all conservatives are ‘evil people.’” In response, the columnist urged patient explanation of conservative ideals in a hope to win respect.
Today, this exchange feels like it’s from another world. Dinner parties? Not permitted in the throes of pandemic! Perhaps, when “social distancing” is just a sad memory, we’ll feel so grateful for the return of normal, meal-time interchanges that even ferocious leftists will feel less need to insult those who don’t share their politics.