Can the Cocktail Party Use Alcohol to Shake and Stir Washington Politics?


The Cocktail Party is a group is trying to reduce the anger that has come to represent American politics through understanding and, of course, alcohol.

Normally we are taught to avoid talking about race, religion, and politics especially when we are drinking. The Cocktail Party, on the other hand, believes that moderate drinking can encourage civilized political conversations. This, in turn, can help increase understanding of differing political views.

The movement began when a group of Atlanta women were having cocktails and discussing politics. This group of “un-concerned citizens, stirred and sometimes shaken into action in defense of the American spirit,” began to discuss the Tea Party and gradually expanded their conversation into the general political process. Their consensus was that American politics had become too confrontational and dogmatic. The women's remedy for this is to sit down and talk over a drink.

On Facebook, there are many different “Cocktail Party” groups listed with various agendas. Some of the groups mirrored the Atlanta-based Cocktail Party with a foundation of understanding of all political viewpoints. Others, however, ranged from extreme leftist views and dedicated attacks towards the Tea Party to groups dedicated to friendly gatherings based on alcoholic drinks.   

While I applaud the idea behind these groups, it is difficult to see how they can impact the dichotomy of American politics. On one hand, we want civility in the political process. We don’t want to see hateful or degrading commercials about politicians. We don’t like the idea of prying into a candidate’s past in order to destroy his or her credibility or family.

On the other hand, we want to promote our goals and ideals. What we believe, politically speaking, is the best for us and the nation. We donate to parties and organizations that support and promote our views. We feed off other like-minded individuals that reinforce what we believe.

The Cocktail Party, while not the answer, is a step in the right direction. Understanding each political position can provide understanding of root causes for that particular viewpoint.

Maybe the ‘Super Committee’ can get a case of Bourbon and work things out. Probably not, though. The lobbyists would not know how to split the bill.

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