I often say that having a child with special needs makes you less prone to freak out about unimportant stuff. However, recent events are forcing me to admit that I may have overstated my case. A crusader may be disguised for a while, but a crusader she shall remain, I’m afraid. Or he.
I’ll begin with “he.” Last night Christian and I had a little incident at the intersection of Broadway and Hitt. A college kid in a silver BMW stopped in the middle of turning left onto Broadway in order to pick up another kid coming out of a restaurant. Christian, who was turning right, started around them into the intersection. Then the BMW Boys decided to make almost a 180 and go right instead. Christian laid into the horn, they flipped him off, and we followed them down the street. He was preparing to pull up alongside and tell them what he thought of their manners, but I wouldn’t let him. Then they flipped us off again, and we spent the rest of the drive arguing about whether it was appropriate to call the police. Christian thinks that all rude punks need to be publicly scolded for their misdeeds, in the hopes that it will shame them into better behavior in the future. I sympathize, but mostly I think it doesn’t make any difference. It’s just not worth arguing about. I am Not A Crusader.
Today Obama’s campaign called. And somehow instead of hanging up (as I do with any unsolicited annoying call) I ended up listening to what he had to say. It was a “push poll.” He started out in a rational tone of voice, sounding like a normal human being as he asked if we were voting for Obama. I said we were making up our minds, and he launched into a very whiny attack on McCain: how out of touch he was, how he didn’t even know how many houses he had, and how he said the economy was fundamentally sound, even after Bush made this grim prediction the other night.
This was the point at which I interrupted and said this was really not a useful conversation, because first of all, McCain’s houses are his wife’s and I think they’re investment properties, so I find it very believable that he might not know how many there are. And second, I think this bailout is ridiculous. He told me we were headed for Depression if we didn’t get it, and I was provoked into saying that Americans need to suffer a little, and the Depression created many great characters.
“Well, I have to disagree with you,” he said, and we parted company. The best I can comfort myself for being completely idiotic and inarticulate, not to mention picking a fight with a campaign volunteer, is that perhaps we’ve been taken off one party’s list of people worth push polling!
My crusade is this: half-truths are lies. Statements out of context are lies. Push polling tells us nothing about the issues. News articles that tell us who’s raised more money is not helpful. Rhetoric is counterproductive. Deciding to take Bush at his word after calling him a total liar for the last 8 years may be politically expedient, but it’s irrational and insulting to my intelligence.
Talk sense, people. Talk issues, talk facts, talk whole truths. The only way that this country can be great is if we abandon all the aforementioned CRAP (excuse my language, Grandma!) and talk about things like rational human beings instead of manipulative three-year-olds. And I’ll take on the Republicans and the Democrats alike when they call me this campaign season.
Gauntlet, consider yourself thrown!