Monday, October 4, 2010

being a democrat, cont.

So, today, just back from Baltimore and seeing the grand children, I took our dog, Bela, for a walk in the cemetery where we often walk. The Tea Party folks were up on Main Street, if front of the town hall where they are often on evening drive time. I saw a placard that said "Obama is a socialist". So, on the way back, I stopped and went up to talk to the man with that placard.

I had my dog with me so I thought I would seem benign. I really wanted to know what definition he had of 'socialist'. I am very left wing--but, at this time, short of being a 'socialist', though it is appealing to me philosophically. I approached him and asked if he could tell me what he thought a socialist was. He said, "if you don't know, don't ask".

I said that I did know and that the President is, much to my chagrin, a 'moderate democrat', not even 'liberal' or 'left wing', though I wish he were, but far short of a socialist.

He said he didn't want to talk with me.

I noticed that he, like most of the 30+ people there, had a glazed look in their eyes, much like my 4 year old grand daughter had when we watched a street magician on Saturday at a festival in Baltimore.

I said, "I just want a conversation..." and he replied, "we just had one."

So I sought out a guy about my age with a sign condemning the healthcare bill as "Obamacare" and recommending its repeal.

I asked him to talk to me about health care. He stared at me and dismissed me by saying, "the health care bill is all wrong."

I asked why and added, "I don't think it went far enough. We need a 'single payer' plan, what do you think of that?"

He called me a socialist. I thanked him and asked if we could have a conversation and he said, "we just had one."

I told him we hadn't and I'd like to know what he objected to in the bill--allowing children to stay on until 26? stopping insurance companies from canceling coverage when people got drastically ill or refusing coverage for prior conditions?

He too, called me a socialist, which I'm warming to after this event.

So I cried out to the group, "will anyone have a conversation with me about the issues on your signs?"

They gazed at me like kids at Disneyland and many of them laughed.

As I walked away, back to my car, some of them hooted at me and said I had bells on my shoes, which I don't understand, but one man called me a 'faggot'.

So, tell me how to engage these people in a conversation....

And I beg you, send this to all the people on your email list. I actually have believed that I could talk to Tea Party people. I'd like to. I need advice.

So, why am I a Democrat? I'm beginning to wonder why I'm not a Socialist....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.