Four conservatives in a parking lot

Early this year I blogged about the bizarre experience of running into four conservatives in Marin in the aisle of the local craft store.  Well, I did it again today, this time with four conservatives in the dojo parking lot.  I discovered through Facebook that one of my martial arts friends is, in fact, a conservative — or, as she more gracefully and accurately says, “an independent who is fiscally conservative and socially responsible.”  We were quite excited to discover kindred spirits (being a non-liberal in Marin is very isolating), and started gabbling away in the parking lot about politics and the pressure of emotion-laden attacks from Marin liberals.

As we were talking, another guy walked up and I said to my friend, based on statements he’d dropped in the past, “I think he’s one of us.”  I was right.  And as we were talking, his sparring partner walked up and turned out to be another one of us.  As to this last guy, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t recognize him, since he’d attended the last get-together of Marin conservatives that I’d attended.  My only excuse is that I tend to recognize people situationally.  Had I seen him again at a second party, I would have recognized him from the first party.  In the dojo parking lot, though, he just looked familiar — which made sense, since I’d seen him at the dojo before.

It turned out the two guys knew about each other’s politics but my friend was just giddy with the delight of finding that she’s not alone.  I suspect that, as the days turn into months, I’m going to find more and more people who, although they didn’t realize it before, are also kindred spirits.

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  • Bill Smith

    Back when I was a cop I was walking down the sidewalk with a colleague — in uniform — and I saw a guy I recognized, and knew I’d met recently. I greeted him very cordially, offering my hand, etc. uttering a few pleasantries. He nodded somewhat awkwardly, and we all went on our way.

    Out of earshot my buddy said, “You don’t recognize that guy?”

    “Well yeah; not exactly sure where from, but, yeah! Why?”

    “We ARRESTED him last week, you Moron!”

    I know ALL ABOUT situational recognition….

  • Bookworm

    That, Bill, is an absolutely excellent story.

  • Mrs. Happy Housewife

    You’re not the only one who feels isolated. Isn’t there some sort of “Friend of Lincoln” secret code?

  • Bookworm

    Mostly the secret code is a sentence or a phrase that shows either (a) respect for the free market or (b) worry about Obama’s free-spending ways. I’m getting very adept at picking up on these tells. In my teens and 20s, having grown up in San Francisco, I had gaydar. In my 40s, looking for political soul mates in Marin, I have something else: free-dar? liberty-dar? I don’t know of a clever way to phrase it, but I’m noticing signs.

  • SGT Dave

    It is not surprising you met them at a dojo; martial arts are a surprisingly conservative activity. It takes time, training, concentration, and a willingness to take on a challenge. There are no short cuts, no artificial equality, and no social advancement – either you are good enough or you need to train more.
    Military types are relatively easy to pick out, too, when you know what the tells are; most of us fall into step when walking and most of us do the “yes, sir” or “no, ma’am” type of things. Intel types are a bit stranger and pilots have their own quirks.
    I won’t tease the jarheads, squids, or zoomies about their various traits; I’ve worked with good people in each branch.
    Oh, and from the other comment thread – the “bus driver” moniker comes from the uniform hat from the dress blue uniform. It is nearly a match for Ralph Cramden’s hat from the Honeymooners. The Army’s dress blue hat is similar, and has the same name.

    SSG Dave
    “Remember the Navy’s first rule of gunfighting – send in the Marines.”

  • Danny Lemieux

    Here’s a tell: look for someone who is confident, happy and well-adjusted.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Hint: They tend to hang around dojos.

  • kali





    Most frequently heard as – There goes dem-dar idiots again!

    Glad you found your mojo at the dojo.

  • Ymarsakar


  • Ymarsakar

    The cell grows one by one and multiplies exponentially.

  • Charles Martel

    SADIE, I like “demdar” a lot.

    I also like “tard-dar,” which does double duty in alerting one to the mental abilities of the person so denoted and as a bonus insults Barney Frank by imitating his horrid Boston accent as he proudly introduces his instrument to whatever poor soul he has brought home to fornicate.


    Charles, his voice makes me cringe when it’s not in shrill mode.

    I cannot imagine any soul maintaining his ‘equipment’ unless hearing impaired.

  • Bill Smith

    Um…How about O-dar?


    It’s Boston accent? Damn…I thought it was an attempt to give voice to a Moose :)


    Btw…Charles Martel, BrianE gave credit to you for his epiphany in Book’s post
    Lonely, I am so lonely.

    (see his post #33 and my response #34) which will explain why we can’t go with tard-dar).


    Bill Smith


    I like it and goes so well with B.O.

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