Aware of my positions on issues, and, yes, having actually read a few of the columns and essays I've written over the years, my friend—let's call him Dave—enjoys needling me as a "conspiracy theorist." And at that event he was at it again.
I don't mind his banter, and, in a jocular fashion, I hand it right back at him.
This past Christmas Dave was all exercised about some of my pieces on "the Deep State," and insisted that such discussion was nothing more than "right-wing talking points," "conspiratorial exaggerations about legitimate government," and, basically, much ado about nothing. The Deep State he explained, did not really exist—rather, I was "making it all up," and that my criticism was actually misdirected at noble professionals who had dedicated their lives and careers to what he termed "the betterment of all Americans."
How dare I attack those hard-working men and women who actually "made this country work!" [I am quoting his words, as I distinctly remember them.]