One Fine Day at the BookstoreI wanted to buy a copy of Michael Rameriz' new book of cartoons, Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion. That's all I was there for. I was at a book store I've been frequenting for years, one of the last remaining independent book stores in the Detroit area. The owners are very liberal, but I've always liked them. Everyone likes them. And they have a really good book store.
I was talking to one of the owners and the conversation turned, as all conversations seem to turn to in these final days before the election, to the election. And as has been happening more frequently, I surprised her with my current political views. As we were debating the relative merits of each presidential candidate, I noticed another shopper listening in. Actually, everyone was listening. It's not a very big store, and there weren't many people in the store. Then the other shopper joined in. We have a small community of Russian/Jewish immigrants in the area and she was one of them. She filled us both in on how Socialism, no matter if it's being proposed by Obama, or Putin (who we all agreed was a murderous dictatorial thug) or any other progressive politician, leads away from freedom. While we in the United States have been debating Capitalism vs. Socialism for years, she got to live in a socialist worker's paradise. That's why she and her family came here.
When the owner suggested that we look at the allegedly benign socialism of Sweden, the Russian lady brought the discussion closer to home: Canada. They have socialized medicine, which is why so many Canadians are sneaking into the U.S. for medical care. After all, what's a Canadian to do when you have to wait months for an MRI? Die, or cross the border? Then I brought up another area where Canadian freedom has been sacrificed, The Canadian Human Rights Commission. Neither of my conversation partners had heard of it.
That's no surprise. The American Mainstream Media have been as quiet about it as they've been about Obama's past (non-existent) record of achievement and his past dubious associations.
We covered all of the points of contention: environment, economics, foreign policy, the Press, abortion, VP choices, and the thing that surprised me was the weakness of my bookstore owning friend's arguments. There were no comebacks. And she is an intelligent, well-read person. I'm sure she only reads her side, so there was a lot she was unaware of because it isn't reported . . . by her side.
When I argue with my sister, and she can no longer refute my arguments, she just sinks into the classic progressive defense of "you're a hatemonger" and agrees to disagree. Or, as when I was sending her articles on ACORN and The Community Redevelopment Act being the root causes of the current economic meltdown, and being made worse by the malfeasance of Barny Frank, Chris Dodd, and the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate, she simply never read them. After all, other people are saying other things. Who really knows?
Obama and his team, of course, attack the messenger, engage in character assassination, or refuse access to the offending opinionated parties. I hadn't realized how weak arguments for Liberal policies are. They have to engage in subterfuge to sneak their policies in under assumed Orwellian names, like the Fairness Doctrine, or create an echo chamber where the only voice they hear is theirs, or put their hands over their ears and kill the messenger. We've seen all of this for years. I've finally started paying attention to in the past few years.
Getting back to the original thread of this post, we still had a polite discussion. There was no hysteria, no screaming; we all listened to each other. Probably, nobodies views were changed. We are still friends, and I will still shop at that bookstore. The owner asked if some of our mutual friends knew of my views. Some do and some don't. Sometimes they don't want to listen. I tried to get into a discussion with one of my friends when he mentioned that the Soviet Union was not that bad. After all, they had the Bolshoi Ballet. When I started mentioning daily bread lines, he quickly changed the subject and began talking to someone else. When I mentioned to another friend a while back that I was reading Victor Davis Hanson on why the West was able to spread its influence around the world, he started raving about the environment and how we've destroyed it.
One day all of my friends will know that I'm not a liberal anymore. It will be on the day that they bring up politics.