Every political movement has a crazed relative hidden away in the attic, dementedly pounding away on a piano while muttering strange remarks only they understand; the aunt or uncle so embarrassing they need to be kept away from outsiders. [...] On the right, it will always be Ayn Rand. I am reminded of this on Day Two by a young woman who loves Rand (but is, somehow, an ardent proponent of rent control).
Earlier, we had touched on the notion of a career in politics as a noble sacrifice. Now, not quite apropos of anything, she notes that "people are conditioned to think sacrifice is good no matter what." "As a radical individualist," she adds with a steely glaze, "I think sacrifice is good only if it gets you something." [...]
Back in Toronto after the seminar, a friend tells me I've got it all wrong anyway -- being a hard-core libertarian would actually be a big plus from a dating point of view. So what if someone you hit it off with has different politics? You want that. "You can be like Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting," he notes encouragingly. The tension only makes things more charged.
I decide to settle the matter once and for all and put his suggestion to the test when I go to a party and run into an eligible left-wing acquaintance. There have been reports she's in some sort of off-again, on-again relationship. Crossing my fingers it's in the off phase, I quickly devise an ingenious plan of seduction:
Method: Engage her in conversation.
Strategy: Pepper remarks with political ideas she will find deeply offensive.
Outcome: Make out in hallway.
We chat pleasantly for a while. We're loose, relaxed, laughing. Eventually, she mentions her interest in the environment. Aha. My big chance. "Capitalism is good for the environment," I interject brightly. She looks confused. "Excuse me -- people don't start to care about the environment until they reach a certain level of affluence. We should encourage economic activity if we're really serious about cleaning up the planet!"
(Glancing around nervously): "Heh heh, Andy, that's ... interesting."