Uncovering the partisan politics of pork, beef and ribs


Never in the history of our country has this nation been so politically divided. OK, so there was that whole “War of Northern Agression” thing that may have been a smidgen more, but you have to admit the good ol’ U.S. of A. is somewhat polarized with no one standing in the middle.


On one side you have the red states. On the other you have blue states. While pollsters and major media types can tell you exactly what that means, hardly anyone else can. I believe it has something to do with whether your state prefers Coke or Pepsi.


This polarization issue became even more apparent to me when I stopped to eat a little barbecue recently. I was in Athens and decided to stop and have a meal at Sonny’s Barbecue. Upon being seated I noticed they had strategically placed television sets in the corners. Instead of sports, they were tuned to the news.


The most interesting part was the television sets were airing two different news channels. Half of the diners were watching CNN and the other half were watching FOX News. While news in itself is not necessarily polarizing, the fact Sonny’s chose to air these two channels was intriguing.


The restaurant had found another way to segregate their clientele. In the olden days, say, back in 2004, restaurants socially divided diners with a simple phrase. Smoking or non-smoking?


At least on the surface the question seemed simple. The real question was far deeper and much more complicated. Would you rather sit on the side which is most likely to give you lung cancer and pollute the fresh air others are trying to breathe or would you prefer to sit with those who are trying to stifle personal freedoms and put the entire tobacco business and all of their families out of work?


Having Fox News on one side of the restaurant and CNN on the other brings a whole new spectrum to the dining experience. I began wondering if in the near future when you walked in the front door, the hostess would walk up and say, “Will that be Bill O’Reilly or Larry King?”


Of course, that’s not the “real” question. The underlying question would be “Would you prefer to sit with right-wing conservative Bible-thumping flag-waving zealots who wage wars based on flimsy intelligence or would you like to sit with left-wing liberal bleeding-heart semi-communist pacifists who would sit back and allow the evil terrorists to take over the world.”


There are some out there, at last count thirteen, saying, “All you’re talking about are Republicans and Democrats. What about the Libertarians?”


I’m glad you brought that up. Yes, there is a news show for Libertarians as well. The Daily Show can be found on Comedy Central. As far as a section for Libertarians, I believe the only restaurant that may have a section for them would be Chuck E. Cheese.

Excuse me, waitress. I think I’ll just get mine to go.