Is It Ever Okay to Talk Politics In Bars?

After a few beers, it can be almost excruciatingly hard not to slam your fist on the table & yell out your opinions on the Income-Tax Act of 1961 to whomever is willing to listen. But are you being respectful of the people/drunks around you? Read on to find out.

Let’s say you’ve met up with your buddies at the local tavern after a hard day’s work. Everyone’s finished talking about how terrible their bosses are, how disappointing Arsenal has been this season, and how you all should totally start a bar together in the distant future. The conversation is starting to get stale; you feel your friendship falling apart, you need to bring up an engaging new point of conversation lest the plan fizzle out, and people leave. Tired of holding it in all this while, you let out an almost inaudible, cautious whisper “I think the mandatory implementation of Aadhar is unconstitutional.” There’s a stunned silence; you’ve gone where no man has ever gone before; you’ve brought up politics at a bar.

There is an old Adivasi proverb that states it’s unwise to talk about politics and religion with family members or friends; and that makes perfect sense. Politics, like cricket, is an inherently toxic, divisive subject; while bars are a sacred space where men go to get away from their problems. Surely, ruining the sanctity of such a hallowed ground by discussing such a vulgar topic should be akin to treason. Well, not exactly.

Bar culture has always been political. For centuries, men have congregated in the safety of these institutions to share ideas, discuss politics and plot revolutions, all while the beer flowed freely. The American Revolution, and the Munich Beer Hall Putsch can both be traced to single bars and a couple of drunk bros with a dream. If anything, by not discussing the ideas of the day we’re doing a great disservice to the men before us. So how does one uphold this proud tradition while successfully navigating the fact that it’s taboo in modern society? We might just have to come up with basic etiquette of acceptably discussing politics in a bar. And here it is;

Know Who You’re Speaking To

Some of your friends simply don’t know or won’t care enough about politics to have an informed discussion and would much rather discuss movies, video games, or EDM; just like the globalists want them to. Bringing up the subject of politics will therefore be futile if not detrimental to your relationship with them. But let’s be honest, if they’re talking about EDM their opinions aren’t going to be very enlightening anyway.

Don’t Talk To Strangers

Discussing your views with random people you meet at a bar might sound like fun, but we wouldn’t advise it. Politics is more about passion than intellect and what starts out as a simple argument about demonetisation could quickly turn into a knife fight; which even if you win, isn’t worth the paperwork. Trust us, we know.

Keep An Open Mind

Remember that you aren’t Buzzfeed, and you aren’t here to force ideas down people’s throats. If you can bring them to see your point of view, then there’s nothing like it, just make sure your open to seeing theirs; provided they make logical arguments and are well informed. If you reach a point of contention, agree to disagree and change the subject. You’ll get them when the great cleansing begins.

Be Courteous

A bar isn’t the internet, so you’ll need to watch your mouth, although drinking isn’t going to be your ally in this regard. We get that it can be excruciatingly difficult, first you’re just downing a couple of beers with the boys and the next thing you know you’re standing on a table talking about implementing Ghar Wapsi. We’ve all been there. When you’re talking to friends with different views, don’t insult their intelligence, even if they deserve it. It’s just a friendly discussion, not a debate.

Be Informed

This is possibly the most important thing you can do. Politics, like any other field of study requires at least a minimal amount of awareness on your part. It’s ill-advised to spew nonsense based purely on passion, opinion and emotion in front of your mates, because while hilarious, it justifiably makes them think less of you. Even if they disagree with you, presenting evidence and citing sources for your opinions will make them respect you more.

The Decree: Talking about politics in bars isn’t simply justifiable, it’s important. The exchange of ideas between intellectuals and not-so-intellectuals is central to a healthy democracy. Just don’t be an ass about it.

This article was first published in our column for Urbane, a magazine for the “evolved man”.

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