Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to politics for a moment

I spend a long weekend at my in-laws', where we all ate too much processed carbs and high-fructose corn syrup and I think I managed to get one vegetable into Bat Girl in four days. But ah well, isn't that what Grandma's house is for?

Anyway, the ILs live in a state that is pretty much guaranteed to go for Obama next week, but they live in a pretty rural part of that state--we're talking deep in Wal-Mart country, deep enough that even though they live literally minutes away from the home state of the VP candidate, McCain/Palin signs seemed to outnumber Obama/Biden signs by at least 3 to 2. We had the rental car radio tuned to the local lame Gen X-ers station most of the weekend--you know, the one that plays the "best hits of the 80s, 90s, and today!" and has an all-80s weekend every other weekend so we can all enjoy a regular Dexy's Midnight Runners and Kool & the Gang fix. You've got a station like that near you, right?

I say all this as a preface so that you understand that this was just a regular mainstream radio station, with the stupid morning-show DJs that play farting sound effects--not conservative talk radio, not some crazy fringe opinion program. Anyway, we were on our way to Wal-Mart Sunday afternoon to buy all the usual crap you buy there, when that afternoon's DJ started ranting about Obama. The usual stuff, saying that Obama is a secret Muslim who is friends with terrorists, might as well be a Black Panther, etc. He basically said that Obama is part of a secret plot to bring down America, and that the reason why people are snowed by him is that the truth (secret Muslim, terrorist, etc.) is so outlandish that we refuse to believe it even when the proof is staring us in the face.

At first I was disgusted and wanted to change the station, but my husband insisted we listen ("It's good to hear what the other side is saying once in a while"). Then I laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. Then I got a little depressed as people started calling in to say things like "Thank God someone isn't afraid to tell the truth about this guy!" Again, this is a mainstream radio station, a DJ giving an off-the-cuff commentary in between songs, broadcasting to a wide audience in a generally liberal-leaning state.

It's not so much the fact that they were saying it that bothered me. I knew that people thought these things and said these things, and that I'm mostly shielded from it because of where I live. What really depressed me was finally realizing that there is a significant minority in this country who truly believes that Barack Obama is not only a bad person, but anti-American to the core--someone who will stop at nothing to destroy this country.

I've met my share of Bush-hating people in my life. Hell, I've been a Bush-hater. But I don't think I've ever met someone who believed that Bush (or even Cheney) truly wanted to bring the country down. Believing that he would bring the country down as a side effect of misguided policies and even selfish motives, perhaps. But believing that he had the destruction of America as his primary goal? No.

And I wonder...if Obama wins next week (please please please oh please let it be so), how can he truly be an effective, unifying President, if people think such terrible things about him?

(Please feel free to give examples of past Presidents who were believed to be the anti-Christ.)


Blogger Eva said...

I guess I just can't wrap my head around the idea that there are that many people who take that stuff seriously. In my head it's maybe 1% of the population. But then apparently almost 50% are for McCain, which confuses me.

I basically figure people don't really believe that stuff; they just use it as a cover for racism. Which is of course SO MUCH BETTER!

8:36 PM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

I insist on avoiding that sort of viewpoint because I cannot fathom that there are so many uninformed, appallingly ignorant people out there. I just don't get how you can function in society being so gullible and naive.

I read a BBC article about the ignorant dickwads in the reddest part of Pennsylvania, and it made me want to throw up. Seriously people, it's the 21st century, fast forward a bit from the early 20th century and join us!

In case you, too, want to be irritated by some residents in my home state:


Stay classy Pennsylvania!

I will say that I got a bit teary last night watching an Obama canvassing video on YouTube. He was in Ohio, and was approached by an older white guy (in his 60s/70s?), and I assumed this guy, with a packet of smokes in his pocket, socks pulled up to his knees, and living in OHIO for god's sake, would be one of the people mentioned above. However, he was obviously so pleased to meet Obama and mentioned that he knew who he was voting for from the start, and that he had Obama signs in his yard. So, sorry so cynical old man in Ohio. I'll try not to judge a book by its cover quite so much.

9:01 AM  
Blogger sara said...

I really can't believe that either side is truly out to ruin the US. So I agree with you. I have liked Bush, McCain, and Obama at various points (bush not for a long time now of course) but I don't think any of them truly want to ruin the US. That is a bit crazy I agree. Hopefully the good guy will win next week and you know who I mean, LOL!

4:43 PM  
Blogger velo girl said...

ronald wilson reagan (666) (:-)

11:41 AM  
Blogger caramama said...

I can't even fathom that this would occur on a general radio station. I just don't understand some of the people in this country!

I'm not that into the history of politics, but I'm pretty sure there was a serious anti-Kennedy population. I think it had to do with his being Catholic and more liberal leanings? But I'm not positive.

5:28 PM  

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