So 3 anglers show up in your boat. Young, lots of Patagonia and a flat brim or two. They’re from Oregon and you know Portlands there – clear cut liberals. So you dip into your best bleeding heart material but this turns out to be a case of mistaken identity. Well camouflaged in progressive plumage you’re eventually tipped off when the conversation moves to Reganism and voting 3rd party. You must avoid politics at all costs.
Okay I acknowledge advice from me about avoiding politics is like reading Mein Kampf for musings on inclusion. In my defense for every time I indulge in a change-the-world conversation I deflect another 10 times. Okay 8 times. Fine this one time. In any event, here’s 4 invaluable techniques collected over 20 years of guiding foreign clients while representing the Socialist Republic of Canada.
Technique 1: The Walk the Line Non-Answer
Right down the middle and give up nothing. The safest technique.
Angler: “Well I just couldn’t vote for Hillary. She was way worse than Trump. What do you think?”
Guide: “It seems like two really difficult choices.”
Angler: “From everything I read about Harper he was amazing and now you’re stuck with that dope Trudeau.”
Guide: “Ya he’s a politician. They all have their shortcomings.”
Angler: “Are you a liberal or conservative?”
Guide: “I’d say I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”
Note: also substitute “I’m a libertarian” to rapidly end argument.
Technique 2: The Foot in mouth pivot
After a liberal statement you realize is ill-advised quickly counter with another that erases the first. Such as…
“You have to be some kind of idiot to push Hydroxychloroquine when your own doctors are against it.” Now pause and read your room. All frowns must quickly be met with “…is what a granola munching liberal would say. I’m just happy you have a commander in chief actually looking out for you.”
“The irony of fake news is Trump spreads more bullshit than anyone.” You see a concerned face in the crowd. “….is what the media wants you to believe. I mean how they got away with Benghazi is the biggest scandal of our lifetime.”
“I was watching Rachel Maddow last night.” You see a wave of angler sweep across the face of your sports. “It’s the only way to see what the crooked Dems are up to these days.”
Note: mentioning anything MSNBC at the start of a statement is risky. Be advised you may never make it to your pivot if you go this deep into Liberal-landia.
Technique 3: The Dumb Canadian
Act as though the clearly offensive comment is way over your simple backwoods mind. Counter with a well disguised jab, if only for your sanity.
Angler: “Ya but Obamacare is a disaster. You know what I mean. Isn’t socialized medicine just the worst?”
Guide: “I can see how it would seem that way. To be honest it’s all I’ve ever experienced. They don’t give us the choice to pay everything out of pocket.”
Angler: “I just can’t imagine why anyone would vote for Biden. He’s really lost a step.”
Guide: Silence. Raise eyebrows as deliberately as possibly. Wait for irony to set in.
Angler: “I thought we had it bad in the states but how can you afford paying all those taxes?”
Guide: “Ya nobody like paying taxes, even if we have gotten used to a certain standard of living up here.”
Technique 4: Global Appeal
Inject any of the following into conversation to demonstrate global understanding of politics.
Replace the name “Trump” with “Boris” in all casual conversation.
Demonstrate an understanding of gender disparity in politics and proclaim the world should take it’s lead from Finland and the Nordic countries. No really though.
Say you believe in elves or love the taste of rotten fermented shark. Neither political both funny.
Lets be honest, most Canadians know more about US politics then our own, so some local understanding should disable uncomfortable situations. Techniques near the coasts should lean left while central provinces should be heavily conservative.
Albertans- make the case that here on the coast we should be thankful that there’s one great province propping up the rest of us.
The prairies- use the terms “Mr. Dress-up” or “Tru-dope” anytime addressing the prime minister.
Quebec- say we owe the founding of Canada to the French Canadiens.
Ontario- stick with low hanging fruit and address the Ford family. Depending on the leanings of your fishers it can involve smoking crack with Somali drug Lords or the unwavering dedication to fighting corrupt carbon pricing.
Eastcoasters- will be most comfortable with the accomplishments of Jack Layton like amending the Clean Air Act. Avoid mentioning massage parlors.
British Columbians- most easily divided into 2 camps. Coastal and everything else. For the coasties make the case for parental leave in the event your pet gives birth and for interior folk argue that if they don’t open the grizzly hunt packs of bears will be roaming our streets in no time.
You must learn to take solace in each small moral victory you’ve accomplished even if you have nobody to share in your conquests. Remember your role as a boat pundit will soon be reduced to counselor so just weather the storm. Your only job for the day is to straddle in the center, not offend and maybe even catch some fish. You’ll be back at camp soon enough attacking your friends with well thought arguments you stole from a podcast.