THE OTHER SIDE – Friday, September 26th.
My husband, Walt Selig, and I are eating lunch at the Sizzler out in Concord, California. An announcement of the debate tonight between Obama and McCain flashes across the overhead tv screen. While my husband is at the salad buffet, an elderly white-haired man approaches our table. “How about it for Palin!” he cries.
“She would be a disaster.”
Startled, he recovers himself. “She’s smart and honest,” he says. “I think she’s wonderful. The first honest politician we’ve had since Reagan.”
“I’m very strongly for Obama.”
He draws back slightly in shock. He had assumed we were rooting for the same team.
“Obama’s a dangerous man. Do you know he’s buddies with Farrahan? And Farrakhan’s in league with Arab terrorists who want to overthrow the country. Do you know that Obama’s church sent millions of dollars to Fidel Castro to kill Christians? Obama was in the Million Man march on Washington, he adds, as if this were further incrimination.
How do I confront this thicket of distortions and lies? I mutter about economic justice,
Supreme Court appointments, global warming, women’s rights to choose...ah, that’s a mistake as it sends him off on a further tangent.
“We seem to have entirely different sets of facts, I say. “Do you ever read The New York Times?”
“A Communist publication! .... I get my news from Fox.... I’m retired, and I have time to check things out.”
“Have you read either of Obama’s books”
“I don’t need to. I know who he is. His parents hated America.”
“No,” I sputter. “His mother was a wonderful woman with an incredible social conscience...and his father...”
“We have different views,” he says with a sheepish smile, and he wanders off, this man with a kindly face who would probably stop to help me if I got a flat tire on the freeway.
We inhabit different worlds. It is more than scary.
Causes Maria Espinosa Supports
Amnesty International, KPFA, anything to ameliorate homelessness and to make shelters more livable