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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Quit talking politics and get a life? Never!

MARK O'BRIEN, Florida Voices Staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 04:27 PM

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Let's face it: I already know which presidential candidate I will vote for in November, and you probably already have chosen your candidate, too. Neither one of us is likely to change his mind, either.

If we're on the same side, we can commiserate about our guy's flaws, which are dwarfed by the evilness of the other candidate.

If we're on opposite sides, we can defend our guy's flaws and rant about the other candidate's evilness until our faces turn red and spittle flies from our lips – not a pretty picture.

These two candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are very different in politics and upbringing. About the only positive thing both sides can agree on is that both candidates love their families.

After that, it's a name-calling frenzy: "Bain Rev. Wright ACORN birther Kenya Mormon underwear Romneycare Obamacare candidate's spouse" ad nauseam.

So let's spare ourselves all the hard feelings. If we're on opposing sides, there's virtually nothing we can say to change the other's vote. If we're on the same side, do we want to spend the next few months stewing in our own political juices?

Whether we're friend or foe, do we really want to spend the next four months bickering over political matters we can't change?

It would be much better if we find more constructive things to do with July, August, September and October.

Rather than talk politics, think of the many other activities available:

Clean up the attic, where your spouse has been hoarding junk for decades... Organize all those old photos into chronologically ordered scrapbooks... Watch baseball (but not the Boston Red Sox, who are neither amusing nor competent this year.)

Read the collected works of Proust – if someone will first explain how to pronounce that name correctly... Paint the garage floor because the car's tires deserve a nice new color... Learn the scientific names for all the weeds in your yard and give a lecture on them at the local library.

Collect license tags from faraway states... Tell younger people how much tougher it was in your day... Engage the mail carrier in lengthy discussions of what's wrong with the U.S. postal system.

Learn to share your aunt's love for cat videos on YouTube... Wander aimlessly around Lowe's or Home Depot for hours, asking clerks to get items down from the very top shelf before you decide not to purchase anything... Watch the Weather Channel for several hours a day and try to determine if Jim Cantore is a "himbo" – the male version of a good-looking bimbo.

Hmmm, as I look at this list, I'm changing my mind.

Not about my choice for president, but about this self-imposed ban on political discussions.

Arguing politics is more fun than any of the activities on this list.

It's aerobically beneficial, too, if you wave your arms a lot to demonstrate your points.

Forget what I said about getting a life. Let's talk politics.

What were we saying? Oh, yeah:

"Bain Rev. Wright ACORN birther Kenya Mormon underwear Romneycare Obamacare candidate's spouse" ad nauseam.

Formerly a columnist, reporter and editor for the Pensacola News Journal, Mark O'Brien is a writer in Pensacola, his home since 1978. He also is the author of "Pensacola On My Mind" and "Sand In My Shoes."

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