Saturday, October 18, 2008

How The Other Half Lives

I was standing outside a bar last night (does a common theme emerge in these posts?), talking politics with some people. We started listing the various canards and pseudo-evidence that might keep a poorly-informed voter from supporting Obama: He's a Muslim, a terrorist, a member of Al Qaeda, his middle name is Hussein...

A woman standing nearby yelled, "That's not true, and I'm voting for him!" Great, right on, we responded. But, "You need to get your facts straight!" she yelled. No, we were joking, we explained. "Doesn't sound like joking to me," she said, and returned to her cellphone.

In short, she was an intrusive pain in the butt, far more interested in excoriating than in educating. She's voting the right way, but I wonder how many votes she's cost Obama with her hectoring.

And I got a sense of how folks on the right must feel when we true believers explain things to them. It's not fun to have a stranger yell at you. It doesn't make you reconsider; if anything, it makes you even more certain that Obama and his supporters are scary.

I understand the frustration - we're fighting racism and a massive campaign of lies. But it doesn't matter how right we are - stay calm, or stay silent.

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