Fourth of July with the ‘other side’ of the family

Note: This week’s column is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, “Relative Discomfort: The Family Survival Guide.” I simply couldn’t wait to share it with you! Enjoy, and look for the book in stores this fall. I will also be doing some book and stand-up events across the country — with special attention paid to Kirkland, Redmond and my homeys of the greater Eastside. Hope to see you there!

  • Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:00am
  • Opinion

Note: This week’s column is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, “Relative Discomfort: The Family Survival Guide.” I simply couldn’t wait to share it with you! Enjoy, and look for the book in stores this fall. I will also be doing some book and stand-up events across the country — with special attention paid to Kirkland, Redmond and my homeys of the greater Eastside. Hope to see you there!

Every year, Fourth of July celebrations and family reunions bring together our conservative and liberal relatives for the time-honored tradition of eating barbecue food and accusing the “other side” of destroying America.

But just because we’ve got relatives from “red” and “blue” states with differing political views doesn’t mean our family gathering will turn into a joint session of Congress. These events can be peaceful.

Our family members can put aside their differences and focus on common interests, like keeping the uncle everyone refuses to let baby-sit from taking the kids on a nature walk.

RED- AND BLUE-STATERS 101

Let’s begin by looking at some little-known facts about Red and Blue-Staters: Did you know conservative Red-Staters have six toes on each foot? It’s true.

They use the extra toe to press harder on the gas pedals of their environment-destroying, fossil-fuel-guzzling SUVs. Red-Staters also have an extra set of protective eyelids they can close while hunting or watching the news.

Did you know liberal Blue-Staters also have an extra muscle in their forehead that allows them to roll their eyes two centimeters higher than everyone else?

It’s true.

And Blue-Staters sigh an octave higher than most people. Blue-Staters also read from top to bottom, so as not to offend Chinese people, and Red-Staters consider reading to be one of the black arts. They will only put their eyes to a document if it’s an appropriation of wetlands, or a bill to make Birkenstocks illegal.

Blue-Staters are fine with having Spanish as a second national language, because they have no cultural identity. Red-Staters claim that the country already has a second national language: motor-engine revving.

When it comes to entertainment, Blue-Staters will watch anything, so long as it’s based on a vial of tears found in an immigrant’s basement. Red-Staters will also watch anything, provided that it features a robot, a nuclear attack, or crime-fighting aliens.

YOU DOWN WITH O.P.P (Other people’s politics)

Finally, just remember that coming from a mixed-politics family is just like being in a mixed-race marriage, except that your “Red” cousins won’t try to scare you by driving you through their neighborhood.

And, with just a little understanding and preparation, our liberal and conservative relatives will get along so well, you’d think they were family.

Jeremy Greenberg is a writer, comedian and an Eastside resident. Learn more at www.jeremygreenberg.com


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: Arezo’s journey to America | Guest column

In our little Zoom room, I hear my interviewee break into sobs.… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Can a Texas-style abortion law happen in Washington? | Roegner

If politicians really want to anger women voters, the easiest way is… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Reasons to ban Gov. Jay Inslee’s natural gas ban | Brunell

Column: Switching from natural gas to electricity is complicated and will impact everyone.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Vaccinations improve our health and employment numbers | Brunell

It is not surprising that COVID-19, which ravaged the world, was disastrous… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Firefighters vs. the governor’s vaccine mandate | Roegner

We all thought we were in this fight with the coronavirus together,… Continue reading

Providence employees look at anti-vaccine mandate protesters as they cross the street outside of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett on Aug. 18, 2021. Olivia Vanni/Sound Publishing
Editorial: A message to the unvaccinated and unmasked

We know you’re frustrated with mandates and advice, but consider our frustrations and, yes, our anger.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Back to the classroom during abnormal times | Roegner

If it didn’t feel so normal, we might forget about the coronavirus… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
What’s up with the real estate market? | Guest column

As we all know, the residential real estate market and prices have… Continue reading

9/11 Memorial in Cashmere, Washington. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
Twenty years after tragedy brought us together | Guest column

Recently, I was reflecting on where I was and what I was… Continue reading