Nov. 9, 2009
I was in the super market the other day and started conversing with the man repairing the ancient dairy case. It turned out that he was in town from Tucson and was actually a native of the city. I grew up there and was born in a town not far outside of Tucson. The man and I were approximately the same age (both being old fucks), and we reminisced about the old days, and deer and quail hunting where there are now track homes.
He is retired Air Force, and had been injured from a fall from a ladder, and hadn’t had any income except for his pension for a while. That started us discussing the health care issue. He said he was a Republican and didn’t vote for Obama, and didn’t think the government should be getting involved in health care. I pointed out that he had been treated at a Veterans Administration hospital for his injuries, and that was government run. He conceded that he received good care and it was indeed government run.
We bitched about Congress and the Executive giving all the money to the banks, and we chewed the fat about Vietnam. He said we need to quit being police man to the world and that we need to bring our troops home. I agreed with him and pointed out that the vast majority of Americans supported that viewpoint, explaining that it was only the vested interests, the military industrial complex which Eisenhower warned us about that supported keeping all the troops occupied fighting endless and unwinnable wars all over the world.
According to him, “We were within a month of wining Vietnam.” “Winning it for whom?” I asked. “To install some corrupt government that isn’t supported by the people and that will sooner or later be overthrown? Just like we are doing in Afghanistan?” He didn’t like to admit it, but conceded the logic of my argument.
I told him that I didn’t vote for Obama either, nor did I vote for McCain, and that I had voted for Cynthia McKinney. He asked me who that was, and I told him it was the Green Party candidate. He told me he had supported Romney until McCain was nominated, and that he didn’t want to throw his vote away by voting for a third party candidate, though he wasn’t happy with the McCain/Palin ticket.
I asked him, “Did McCain and Plain stand for what you believe in?”
“No, not really,” he said, “But I’m a Republican, and didn’t want to vote for Obama.”
“What about Ron Paul or Nader or anyone else?”
“But that would be throwing my vote away?”
“How would it be throwing your vote away if you voted for someone you believed in? Isn’t it throwing your vote away when you vote for a party that doesn’t represent you? Most bills go unread by their Congressional Representatives and Senators. They are told how they should vote by the party. How is that good for the country? How is that representing the people that elected them? The people of the country didn’t elect their Representatives and senators to give money to banks which caused the financial crisis, but the party leaders of both parties told them how to vote and the consequences of what would happen to them if they didn’t vote as told. Throwing your vote away is voting for one of the two party candidates, the Dumbcrats or Repugnacans!“
“But they don’t have a chance!”
“They’re the only chance we have! The two party system represents the corporations and the concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands.”
He conceded my point, and said he would think about things a little differently the next time he voted.