I have many different ‘kinds’ of friends in politics. I spend time with a nice spread of Republicans, conservatives who won’t classify as Republicans, liberty-conservatives, libertarians, anarchists, and maybe 1 or 2 (gasp!) liberals.
Post-convention, though, it seems that not only am I coming down from a political overload, I’m also recovering from the pressures of a social quandary. Everyone has an opinion on who you should talk to, who you should ignore, who you have to introduce yourself to and who you can’t be seen with. This tends to come from their own personal interactions with the people they’re ‘warning’ you about. I’m guilty of it, too. We all create our own ‘haters’ by working in the party. I even have ‘friends’ that I coddle just because I’m a tad bit intimidated by the idea of being on their bad side. But just because you don’t have a positive relationship with someone, doesn’t mean the next person won’t. (There are a few stop sign runners who may be exempt from this, but we’re speaking generally here.) And let’s be honest, I don’t really do well when someone tells me not to do something. I’ve already befriended half of the Republican outcasts. I also tend to believe that everyone can bounce back from bad decisions in politics. My first campaign was for John Albers, for Heaven’s sake.
Besides, you run into the predicament of running out of people to talk to. If everyone has at least one hater and you have a substantial networking circle, eventually you won’t be chatting, or working, or seen with anyone. You’ll be the guy with the lollipop in the corner. No one wants to be *that* guy.
I’ll continue to think and learn for myself. I’m a watcher. If someone is a bad-news-bear, I’ll figure it out. It may be naive, but I’ll hold off on blackballing someone until they personally screw me. And not in the manner that Seth Harp referenced at the Cobb YR debate.