For me, living next door to NH (in MA), it is much easier to find and socialize with people of similar political views or at least with people who respect the differences. I went to Liberty Forum this year for the first time. It was my first exposure to a large group of liberty loving individuals.
Here is a sample of my thoughts when speaking with folks in MA and some of the actual dialogue of conversations I have had.
Me: Did you see they extended unemployment again?
Friend: good thing. mine was about to run out and i don't want to get a job because it's almost summer and I have plans to go to Key West
Me: (did he really just say that?
) well, what about getting a job? you know, so you can pay your bills?
Friend: oh, I work under the table for a roofer. the pay is great!
Me: (I think my head will explode) really?
well I would love to be able to take a vacation because you know, things are tight right now with gas being high and everything else so expensive. I just finished paying my taxes...
Friend: I got a huge refund. (wink) Besides, thats what unemployment is for. I pay for it why not collect?
Me: ( I may vomit right here) um, actually, no,
your employer paid for it and the fund is empty and the taxpayer is paying for your uemployment now and you're working...
Friend: hey, you can't prove that! I'm entitled to it! I worked the last 6 years, 40 hours a week, I deserve a break. and besides, no one wants to pay me what I am worth
Me: (thats what you think) ok, I have to get back to work now
Conversation in NH:
Me: did you see they extended unemployemnt again?
Liberty Lover: if you can't get a job, any job, after a year on the dole you don't deserve to survive
Me: what about people with degrees, do you expect them to sell burgers at McD's?
LL: If thats what it takes to pay their bills
Me: (big smile) so, tell me more about your .....
ANother conversation in NH:
LL: did you see that guy with all the crosses?
Me: yep (rolling my eyes in my mind)
LL: it takes all types, I dont wear my religion on my sleeve like that. I'm just glad some do.
Me: (okay, about to take the plunge) While I don't like labels I would most accurately be called an atheist (holding my breath)
LL: that's cool, but you know, if you ever want to discuss it.
Me: (whew!) nah, I'm pretty good
LL: cool, so where is everyone heading for dinner?
How that conversation took place with my own family:
Sister In Law: Well, what do you believe in?
Me: People, there are good people and crappy people
SIL: we are all God's children
Me: um, well, you can believe in a superior being if you want
SIL: what does that mean? you were raised Catholic. you must believe in God!
SIL: Well than what do you believe in?! How do you decide what is right and wrong? How do you raise your son to know what's good or bad?!!!
I told you. People. Some make good decisions. Some make bad decisions.
SIL: well, you just dont want to admit you believe in God. You are just confused.
Me: not really.
SIL: Then what do you call yourself?
Me: (ugh, not again) Some people would label me as an atheist, I prefer to just think of myself as an independent thinker, one able to make my own decisions as to what is right and wrong without needing an old book to tell me it's bad to steal or kill. sounds like dinner is ready!