I go to give blood today and the technician working with me asked me what I do for a living. I told her I have a liberal political talk radio show. Something pretty close to this conversation took place as she was asking me all of the "Have you ever..." questions and taking my vitals.
"Oh, liberal? Isn't that bad? Y'know, like 'bleeding-heart liberal'" she says.
"Uh, no, it actually means someone who believes in the Constitution, the rule of law, fiscal discipline, equality of people, tolerance of differences, and helping our fellow man," I reply.
"Y'know, like 'they wanted to build such-and-such, but the bleeding-heart liberals wouldn't let them', right?"
"I suppose, if you're listening to Rush Limbaugh or watching FOX News."
"Ha ha! Yeah, Rush Limbaugh, you're like against him?"
"Yeah, I'm like Rush Limbaugh, except I tell the truth."
"So who are you for in the election?"
"Barack Obama all the way."
"What do you think of Sarah Palin?"
"I think she is by far the most unqualified person to run for the vice presidency ever. She is a liar and a bully, she is clueless on foreign affairs, and her views on most every issue would be disastrous for everyone, especially women."
"Well she has more experience than Obama!"
"Barack Obama was a state senator from a city with 3 million people for eight years, and a US senator from a state of 13 million for four years. Sarah Palin was a mayor for six years of a small town with less people than Belmont High School in Los Angeles. If the principal of Belmont High is more qualified than Barack Obama, then Sarah Palin can be a heartbeat away from the presidency."
"Well, I think Obama made a big mistake by not picking Hillary Clinton. A lot of women really want to see a woman in the White House."
"Sarah Palin is ideologically the complete opposite of Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin believes that if your husband rapes your daughter, your daughter should be forced to have the baby. Sarah Palin believes that girls should get no sex education or contraception, abstinence only. Sarah Palin believes that Creationism is true and should be taught in science classes. Sarah Palin believes that polar bears aren't really going extinct and that global warming is a myth, even as the glaciers in her own freakin' state are melting away and polar bears are drowning and turning cannibal! If any woman who supported Hillary votes for Sarah Palin, they are doing so for the most sexist reason possible and they'll deserve the loss of their reproductive rights!"
"Wow! They sure got a good one in you - you really get into this stuff."
"It's only the future of our country and our lives. I guess it's kinda important."
"Well, I heard Obama made a huge mistake in an interview the other day."
"Really. What was it?"
"He was talking and he said, 'from what I learned in my Muslim upbringing... I mean, my Christian upbringing..." That's a huge foo paw!" (It took me a minute to realize she meant "faux pas") "You can't just say you're something and then say you're something else!"
"You mean like John McCain being for his own immigration bill, then being against it, or being against Bush's tax cuts, then being for them, or being a POW who was tortured and opposed torture, but now he supports it, or being against drilling offshore, but now he's for it? Or do you mean Sarah Palin, who was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it, or against earmarks while she was taking them?"
"Yeah, but Obama made a big foo paw! He said he was a Christian!"
"To be honest, I'd prefer if all the candidates would keep their religion to themselves. I don't care what you pray to, how are you going to get me $2 gas and a job?"
"Don't you think Sarah Palin has really changed the race? I see all those things on TV where everybody is real excited about her!"
"Yeah, sure, the GOP base never liked McCain much and now the evangelicals have God-fearin', gay-hatin', abortion-fightin', science-denyin' whackadoodle to cheer for. Seriously, as a woman working in health care, the very worst thing you could do for your rights and your career is to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Obama is not a Muslim; those are vicious smears by the same people who wanted you to hate him for his Christian pastor that he listened to for twenty years! Which is it? You can't hate him for his Christian pastor and for being Muslim at the same time!"
"Alright, you're done. Your blood pressure was 140 over 90. That's a little high."
"Hmm. I wonder what could have caused that to happen."
So every time I feel that pang of Hope and longing for Change, I try to remember that there are so many of these people out there. Nobody ever went broke overestimating human stupidity. And then there are those Diebold voting machines.
Please, Obama, don't let me down. Let me trust in you to win this thing.
Get out and vote!! If you don't, the clueless people will be doing all the choosing and we can't afford to have that happen.