"He bellowed, 'Who are we?' We all waited for the answer. Then he whispered, 'We are our stories.' "

Friday, September 12, 2008

America's Voters

I never intended this blog to be political, but sometimes things happen which just push me over the edge.

This morning I stopped by the Elbow Room Cafe for breakfast, as I often do when Lorna is working. The small group of tradesmen, small business owners and retired duffers is more or less the same every morning. Usually I just sit at the counter reading the morning paper, listening, as the inane conversation crosses back and forth past me. This morning it was politics - Palin's stumble in the Gibson interview, McCain's age, Obama's gonna raise taxes, etc. Some sophisticated thoughts, most not. I had them tuned out pretty well when Dennis (last name unknown) leaned back and stated emphatically, "I usually vote Democratic, but not this year. I ain't votin' for no nigger." ...a moment of silence. I couldn't contain it. I couldn't look at him; my head still down in the Tribune, I said through my teeth, "God that's dumb. The next time you have something that stupid on your mind just keep it there." He never hesitated, never skipped a beat, "You ain't a nigger lover are you?" From someone down the counter, "Jeez, Dennis!" I paused a while, grasping for the proper response, a crusher. Finally I answered simply, "Yes". Dennis leaned back again, boasting to the world, "I just like to support my own people." Just seething, I got up and went to a corner booth to finish the business section alone.

He votes.

(Lorna say's that the correct response to "...support my own people" is, "Oh, you mean dumb shits?". Yeah, but I was too mad to think clearly at the time.

I am so tired of attack commercials. Let's talk about energy - the economy, inflation, the war - all are driven by our voracious appetite for energy. And don't give me a sound bite about drilling for more oil. Let's really THINK about alternative energy and WAYS TO CURB DEMAND! Also, health care: the best they can do is propose programs to get everyone insured. Insurance isn't the question. The question is how do we contain rising health care costs, costs that will eventually consume all of our GNP.

I meet with an old friend once a week to solve the world's problems and talk about our families. He said he has decided to opt out of the health care system. At 65 years of age, he will take what fate deals him, rather than spend all the money and leave nothing to his wife and children. He is a very disciplined, very philosophical person. He is dead serious -literally. It's too bad it has to come to that.


reverend dick said...

Dennis is an asshole.

Velo Orange said...

Dennis is most of America! This is where we live.

Anonymous said...

Amen Gunnar! You need a professional pulpit! Debb S.