“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

haircut 2008

So, yesterday, I'm getting my hair cut, and the stylist my wife, son and I go to is making small talk, asking about our spring break excursion to the Midwest, how Nebraska was, if we enjoyed visiting with my relatives, that sort of thing.

And then she asks if I have voted.

It's kind of a strange question, and I don't really want to answer it. The old Amarillo tradition of speaking very softly when criticizing George Bush is fading, I've noticed of late; nevertheless, I don't want to get into politics with someone holding shears near my head. She could put some serious hurt on my look.

I noncommittally say I did vote in the primary.

Isn't it scary who could get in?, she asks.

It is, but I'm not sure we're talking about the same person so I just grunt. She looks at me in the mirror. Don't tell me you're for that guy, um, his name starts with an O...

I say, yeah, actually, I voted for Obama in the primary. She starts to tell me that there's something wrong with him. She can't seem to say what it is, exactly. Well, he wasn't born in the U.S., she finally points out.

Actually, he was born in Honolulu. And you have to be a natural-born citizen to run for President.

Well, he keeps moving away.

Yeah, when he was six. As an adult, he's lived in New York, Massachusetts, and mostly Chicago.

I think we need a woman, she says. I shrug and say I'll vote for Hillary if she gets the Democratic nomination. Then I move the focus to McCain; at least she agrees that he is also scary.

But here is the problem: this is not a stupid person. This is just a politically apathetic person who didn't listen to most of high school civics and has forgotten what she did learn. This is just a person who gets most of her political information from the batcrap crazy Wolflin housewives and gay boys whose hair she cuts. But that means that, politically, she's also an average American. The average American didn't even listen to the speech most of us here loved so much. The average American doesn't even know there was a speech.

I truly believe that the speech was a game-changer in many ways. I think it can only be negatively criticized from a racist position and I believe the drooling of our newest trolls helps to validate that belief.

But how does anyone or anything change the game when the average American doesn't understand that the voting in Texas is over until November, and makes decisions based on vague, half-heard, and largely untrue gossip? I know it's the old whattsamatterwithKansas problem. But, still, how?