WHEN COMING OUT TO YOUR FRIENDS and loved ones as a conservative — worse, a Republican-voting conservative — it is best to use the approach recommended in an old joke:
A woman leaves her cat and her aged mother with her sister for a few days. Upon her return, she asks after the cat. “Oh, the cat died,” her sister says. “Died?” the woman cries out. “That’s terrible! Did you have to break it to me so suddenly? You could have called me and told me in stages. Something like ‘The cat’s on the roof, and we can’t get her down,’ then a little more, until I could handle the truth.” “OK,” her sister replies.