Liberals are often touted as open and accepting of everyone and everything, and perhaps they are, except when it comes to politics. Then, they transform into belligerent, angry, intolerant and patronizing yo-yos. I've never seen an angrier bunch when faced with views contrary to their own. They have a special disdain for conservatives, particularly Republicans, and they make no efforts to mask those negative feelings. This is mainly evident in the entertainment industry, but can be found in other business sectors, as well. And this is another reason why most of us choose not to share our political beliefs with anyone left side of right.
I'm in performance for a show (which shall remain nameless), and knew most of the actors prior to starting rehearsals. One I had worked with before, on several occasions, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that he, too, is a Republican. However, unlike me, he happens to be quite open about his politics. I swore him to silence and everything was fine until a few days ago when the following scenario occurred:
We were all in the men's dressing room, during intermission, when one of the other actors (we'll call him A) made a disparaging remark about how the audience "must have been Republican", because he had heard some audible gasps of disgust (though I hadn't interpreted it that way) after a brief kiss between A and another male actor (D). This is a very famous murder mystery that was made into a movie (okay, I'm giving myself away) and it's really more about greed and deception than homosexuality, but the actor (who is gay) was being overly sensitive (in my opinion) and took offense. They are actually gasps of surprise rather than disgust, but, I digress.
Homophobia is not exclusively Republican terrain, so I jumped in to inform him that I had known several gay Republican actors and directors, to which he responded, "So am I!!", but then angrily declared that he had not voted Republican in the last election because he didn't support the war in Iraq. So, I'm totally flabbergasted, because I had no idea. Well, maybe there was one time I might have questioned his political leanings, but immediately dismissed the idea.
Anyway, I didn't get a chance to engage him further but my Republican friend (B) and I continued chatting while the other actress (C) proceeded to proclaim that all Republicans were rich, to which I replied that wasn't necessarily true; that there were many Republicans who were not monied. This did not sit well with her, so she immediately demanded to know if I too was a Republican, and as much in defiance as my dislike for lying I blurted out, "yes, I am!" There was a moment of silence and then she stormed off, to the women's dressing room, saying she couldn't believe we were all Republicans (though she has been great friends with A for years, and most likely knew he was). I think being in the presence of 2 confirmed and one lapsed was too much for her. Back in our dressing room, she tried to drag me into an argument about the war and how the Republicans haven't done a thing for her, but she was too angry to listen to anything I had to say, so we agreed to disagree and I asked her not to tell anyone. That if it did become common knowledge, I would know who had told. She assured me she wouldn't, although I recall at an audition several years ago (during a Bush bashing session) she told a group of actors about a director she loved, who "unfortunately happens to be a Republican." Who knows if she can be trusted, but it's a little too late to worry about that. So much for honesty.
After she calmed down a bit she, patronizingly, told me she still "loved me", even though I "was a Republican!" As if it was a disease or something to be pitied.
So much for all that liberal tolerance.