Friend Democrat & Friend Republican

A political parable.

Elizabeth Grey
6 min readFeb 2, 2021


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Let’s say you and I have a couple of mutual friends in Congress. Their names are Friend Democrat and Friend Republican.

Suppose we arrive home after a long, hard day at work. We suck it up in spite of our exhaustion. We decide to make a tasty, nutritionally balanced meal that nourishes our family.

We take the time to carefully chop vegetables, and grill a beautiful piece of fish. Friend Democrat gave us the recipe! He’s such a great friend, always wanting to make our lives better.

Then Friend Democrat calls us on the phone at 6:30 pm, just as we are trying to wrangle our teenagers away from their phones. We are eating at the dining room table, damnit.

“I made the fish,” we tell Friend Democrat. “It looks great. Thanks for the recipe! We are about to eat.”

Friend Democrat is in his office in Washington, and must tell us some good news. He is excited about some policy he developed today. As he drones on and on about how he’s finally figured out how to pay for Medicare for All, we cut him off. Can we call him back later? Dinner is served.

Friend Democrat is quiet. Friend Democrat knows one of our kids has a pre-existing condition, and how important this legislation is to us personally. But he meekly gets off the phone, because he doesn’t want to be a bother.

After we hang up, we feel a mild pang of guilt. We know Friend Democrat feels wounded. We sigh, because Friend Democrat is a lot of work.

The phone rings again. On the line now is Friend Republican.

Without asking if he’s interrupting, Friend Republican starts telling us a really juicy story. We love Friend Republican; he’s a gossip who never gets too deep about anything. Tonight, he has a secret to tell us. Very few people know this secret; but friend Republican wants to tell us in particular, because Friend Republican knows we are smart.

We drop everything. The dinner will keep. Friend Republican keeps it short and sweet:

“Today, Friend Democrat got caught in the midst of a torrid affair with one of the office staff; and that’s not all! Friend Democrat, that cheating skunk, plans on raising our…