The Democrat and the Republican

A lawyer, a fervent Democrat dressed in casual clothes, sits down to have his lunch in a park across from his office. Then he notices a very distinguished and dignified man sit down a few feet away on the grass; he is extremely well dressed in a tailored Hickey Freeman pinstriped suit, silk tie, starched white shirt, cuff links, tiepin, Rolex, highly polished black wingtips and silk socks. He places his expensive briefcase next to him and prepares for lunch.

"One of those Republicans, I'll bet" thought the lawyer, and after introducing himself, he found out he is right! Not only a Republican, but an investment banker. The lawyer glances at the banker's shoes, glistening in the sunlight.

Lawyer: You have those polished every day, don't you.

Investment Banker: Just about. I have to look good for the clients.

Lawyer: What about the poor? A few shoeshines would pay for a lot food.

Investment Banker: I help them through taxes, but we all have personal responsibility.

Lawyer: I'm telling you, the poor only need a chance! We should be GIVING them money; they haven't had our advantages!

Investment Banker: We all have to work for what we have.

Lawyer: Look, poverty can happen to anyone! There's no way you can know that from where you sit! With those clothes and that car and your high-paying job!

"Keep talking if you want to. When I sleep, nothing wakes me!and I mean NOTHING." The investment banker sighs, then takes off his suit jacket, places it on the grass and falls deeply asleep.

Then a barefoot homeless man appears, and asks the lawyer for change. The lawyer apologizes, and says he has nothing, but then he sees the investment banker's wallet in his suit pocket. He slips it out, and hands it to the homeless man; then he notices that the homeless man needs shoes.

Then he has an idea!

He looks over at the feet of the sleeping investment banker. "Wait!" cries the lawyer. "I'm sure you need these more than he does." He then starts to untie the investment banker's polished wingtips and carefully pulls them off. Even more carefully, he divests the banker of his black dress socks and hands both shoes and socks to the astonished homeless man. "With my compliments!"

Then the lawyer sees a sad woman with a baby walking by. "Can I help you?" he asks her. When he finds out that she needs money for her rent, the lawyer again approaches the snoring, and now barefoot - investment banker and removes his cuff links; then he slips the tiepin out of the silk tie and the Rolex off his manicured hand. He hands them all to the delighted woman. "Sell these!" the lawyer cries. "Oh, thank you sir" says the delighted woman, and runs off. "It's the least I can do!"

Next, a man in a janitor's uniform walks by, looking dejected. "What's the matter, my friend?" says the lawyer sympathetically. "I..lost my job. I have a chance for a better one, but I don't have the clothes! This is all I have!" and he holds up a pair of old polyester pants.

The lawyer sighs, and then sees the businessman's pinstriped suit jacket. "Would this help?" he asks the man. "Sure!" cries the man. "You could use a briefcase, too!" says the lawyer and opens up the investment banker's briefcase. He removes the contents and hands it to the joyful man. Then he looks at the investment banker's silk tie and white shirt. Can he manage it?

He has to move the investment banker a few times, but he only snores and sleeps. Then he undoes the banker's belt and pulls it off. Triumphantly he hands the shirt, belt and tie to the man. "Wait" the lawyer cries. "You really need a full suit. Give me a hand and I'll need those polyester pants. I'm getting good at this" and with great care and trouble, set to work.

Ten minutes later, the man is holding up the pinstriped suit with admiration while its former owner is wearing the polyester trousers. He thanks the lawyer profusely and runs off, whi brushes of his words: "I'm always glad to help those who need it! "How good it is to help people!" he says to himself.

Twenty minutes later, a policeman walks up to the formerly well-dressed investment banker, and snaps: "Hey buddy, wake up, no loitering! We don't allow bums to sleep here"

Finally the investment banker wakes up with a start and looks down at himself with astonishment. There is nothing left of the impeccably dressed executive he had been when he left his office. He is barefoot, and wearing only cheap trousers and a t-shirt. It takes him a moment to realize that his suit, shoes, socks, tie, watch, jewelry, money and briefcase are gone.

He turns to the lawyer in astonished fury. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! WHERE IS MY SUIT, MY TIE, MY SHIRT! WHERE ARE MY SHOES AND SOCKS!? MY BRIEFCASE! HOW CAN I GO BACK TO MY OFFICE LIKE THIS!? I LOOK LIKE A BUM!"

The policeman then turns to the lawyer and says "Is this bum disturbing you, sir?" and grabs the struggling investment banker by the arm and says: "You can sleep it off in the tank, buddy! Vagrancy, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, harassment!" At that moment, his boss walks by on a stroll, sees his employee being dragged away and cries out, "You're fired!"

A month later, the lawyer leaves his office for lunch as usual, and sees a new panhandler on the corner, wearing polyester pants and a T-shirt. "It can't be!" he says, as he walks up to him. But it is.

The expensive haircut and the manicure are gone, along with everything else, and the former investment banker is now an unemployed bum with a criminal record.

The lawyer just shrugs and says: "Those republicans! They never think it will happen to them!"

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