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It's Common Knowledge

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By Douglas V. Gibbs

My wife and I went out to dinner last night to celebrate her latest 39th birthday (I can’t even remember how many consecutive 39th birthdays she has had at this point).  At the table behind me a very loud gentleman and his soft-spoken wife, both of whom were sitting at their table with their backs to me, were conversing with the people at the next table beyond them, who both were facing them from their table.  While I could not hear what was being said by the folks farthest away from me, the man directly behind me was clear as a bell.
“We are celebrating our one-year anniversary as a married couple…Four kids between us, from different marriages…All grown up…I’m 65…No, I’ve been here before, but this is her first time.”
My wife was enjoying prawns and fish with a combination of rice and quinoa, and I had a shrimp and scallops alfredo delight in front of me.  We had just finished off a large bowl of mussels (a personal favorite) and cups of clam chowder.  While eating our meals my wife and I have a tendency to only talk a little bit.  Not nearly as much as the gentleman behind me…and we especially don’t tend to strike up conversations with strangers.  I don’t mind such a happening, so much, but my wife is not cut from the same cloth when it comes to social prowess.
On this occasion we were talking even less, sort of distracted and entertained by the man behind me, half-chuckling at him, realizing that it was inevitable that he was going to try and strike up a conversation with me, as well.
She was wrapping up her meal, with one prawn and a few bites of rice/quinoa remaining (I was at around the halfway point in my journey to finish off what was on my plate) when the man turned my way and asked, “How about you guys?  First time here?”
I turned halfway in my chair to meet his gaze.  “Nope, we come here at least once a year.  Favorite spot, to be honest.  I had some meetings out this way, too, so it’s kind of a combination of work and my wife’s birthday all rolled into one.”
“Oh?” he asked.  “What is it you do?”
This is always the part where the conversation gets interesting.
“I am a constitutionalist.”
The inevitable “what does that mean?” was next.
“I am an instructor and commentator regarding the original intent of the U.S. Constitution.  I have two radio programs, six classes, online programming, I write columns, I’ve done a little television, I’ve written eight books, and I am a public speaker.”
“Fascinating,” he said.  “So, then, you must really be upset with the unconstitutional activities of a certain former President of the United States.”
“Careful, honey,” said his wife.  “You don’t know his political beliefs.”
He added, “The guy was a menace to this country, acted unconstitutional over and over.  It’s common knowledge, you know.”
“Which President was that?” I asked.
“You know,” he replied.  “It’s common knowledge.”
“I see.”
“We are from La Jolla, how about you?  Are you a local?”
I thought it was funny how he solidified his position without really telling me anything, or who he was talking about, and then shifting gears to a new conversation.  “It’s common knowledge” was his way of saying “It’s the consensus.”  He likely meant Donald Trump, I figured, considering how fast he ran away from the subject once he saw an opening.
“We are from the Temecula area,” I said.
“Ah,” he said.  “Lovely area.  Honey, we were there not too long ago.  Do you remember?  The Wine Country.”
“Yes,” she said.  “It was a nice day.”
“I’m in real estate.  I’m staying away from certain properties, though.  You know, they’ll be underwater, soon, thanks to the geothermal climate conditions that this planet is suffering from.  It’s common knowledge.”
I had a feeling he was kind of right.  With the economy going the way it is the properties may indeed be underwater at some point in the near future, but of the financial kind, not the environmental disaster type of underwater.
“Well,” I replied, “I am not so sure that it is as common knowledge as you think.  I don’t believe most people understand that historically the planet has undergone natural cycles of cooling and warming that are, for the most part, caused by solar cycles.”
I was hoping for a look of horror on his face.  Perhaps an “Oh, you’re one of those people” kind of response.  But, he did as he had done when referring to Trump, shifting gears faster than a Porsche on the autobahn.
“Oh, look at that sunset, honey.  I have to run outside and take a picture.”
And out the door he went.
While he was out there I boxed up my remaining meal, paid my receipt, and we departed.  He never came back in until we were outside of the restaurant and walking towards my truck.  
The “It’s common knowledge” remark is an interesting mechanism for discussion.  It is the same as the “consensus” argument, which basically says, “everyone agrees, so if you don’t agree you have no argument so it’s better to keep your opinions to yourself so that you are not seen as an outsider or dissident.”  Yet, while he was so confident in his belief that what he was saying was the belief of everybody, he sure did what he could to avoid a direct confrontation regarding any of the topics.  Kind of a “drive-by” approach.
My wife, who is not really that political, asked as we walked to the truck, “What was that all about?”
“Lefty,” I replied.
“I figured that, but he was so unwilling to be clear in what he meant.”
I smiled.  “That’s how they operate.  They can’t win in the arena of ideas so they just tell you the arena is against you, and then walk away smugly.  It must be tough living in fear like these people do.  They are afraid of everything.  Bet you he wore gloves and two masks during the scamdemic.”
My wife chuckled, “I bet you’re right.  He probably still wears a mask, while he’s driving.”
As I opened her door for her when we reached my truck, I said, “You are probably right on that one.  It’s common knowledge.”
Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


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