Does your heart long for “safe zones” — zones free of partisan politics? Church? Concerts? Ice-cream socials? A reader writes,
Dear Mr. Nordlinger,
You have often written about partisan comments in inappropriate contexts. Well, sir, my wife and I are hidebound reactionaries and proud of it. We are also members of a synagogue and occasional habitués of folk-music venues. You can no doubt see where I’m going with this. We have heard lots of political speechifying when we’d rather be praying or enjoying music.
This happened most recently on Sunday night, when David Bromberg — whom we’d seen about a dozen times without mishap — treated his audience to an extended helping of the usual leftist claptrap: Tea partiers are racist, the country’s ungovernable, etc., etc. [Bromberg is a singer-songwriter, incidentally.] Kind of knocked us right out of the moment.
Anyway, I’d long since tired of having to choose between causing a scene — hardly why we go to services, concerts, or anywhere else — and swallowing this abuse in silence. So I came up with a bit of a solution: Whenever someone goes political at an apolitical event, I offer a contribution to a worthy conservative cause. As in, immediately upon our return home. It doesn’t prevent the offense, but it sure takes the sting out of it.
Lately, I’ve fine-tuned my approach by trying to match the contribution to the speech: If I’m lectured on gun control, the money goes to the NRA. If the lecture is on immigration — then to the Center for Immigration Studies. And so on. (For general leftist rants, I go with the Heritage Foundation.) Other folks will, of course, have their own favorites.
What do you think?
I think it’s positively inspired — brilliant. Here is a man who is putting his money where other people’s mouths are. And when it comes to sending retaliatory, or soothing, contributions — don’t forget a certain magazine with a blue border! (If I were Eleanor Holmes Norton, I’d give an address. Have you heard her voicemail?)