Living with a Conservative in a Liberal Town

26 Jul

Karen Gans and Larry Buchanan, co-authors of "The Gift of El Tio." Photo by Christopher Briscoe

I’m often asked by my liberal friends how I can live with a conservative.  As a matter of fact, our conflicting perspectives influenced our decision to write our memoir, The Gift of El Tio; I being opposed to mining and my husband, Larry,an exploration geologist, seeing it as a way to alleviate poverty.

It’s 2004.  Larry and I position two signs on the front yard, one campaigning for Dennis Kucinich and the other, for George W. Bush.

“Liberals are intolerant,” my conservative husband says, “especially in this town.”

“That’s ridiculous.  Tolerance is the axiom of liberal thought,” I counter.

The next morning only one sign remains – Dennis Kucinich.

“See? They can’t stand different opinions.”  My husband gloats as if he’s won the debate.

“Maybe there’s a prankster, but I don’t think one incident proves anything.”

That night, Larry places a second sign (he seems to have an endless supply) for George W., proclaiming that this one will probably be stolen by morning.

“Nonsense,” I say.

Next morning, George W. has disappeared again, leaving a lone Dennis Kucinich.

“Watch,”  he says, now apparently enjoying the proof that my liberal cohorts certainly do not tolerate free choice in presidential preferences.

After the third disappearance of George W., doubts about acceptance of differing opinions in our town edge their way into my mind.  But these abate when the fourth George W. Bush sign remains throughout the primaries and election.

“See?” I grin.  “It was just a single prankster who gave up.”

Larry just smiled and said, “Oh, really?”

As I approach the George W. sign one day, I receive an electrical jolt.  Puzzled, I ask Larry what could it be.  “Just some pipe,” he quipped. “Sometimes they do that,” he went on, taking advantage of my ignorance of physics.

We all know the outcome of that election.  As time passes, even Larry begins to question whether or not George W. is the right choice for president.  And with more time passing, both of us become even more disillusioned with our parties, promising to register as Independents.

One day, I ask Larry, “Whatever happened to that pipe that gave me a shock?”

Sheepishly, he replies, “That wasn’t a pipe.  I electrified the George W. Bush sign.”

“Guess that’s one way to deal with intolerant liberals.”

“You bet,” he says.

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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


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