I just broke down at Dunkin Donuts. So I asked the girl that’s been working there forever that I talk to everyday (whose husband happened to be hanging out outside) if they would mind jumping my car off.
She said, “Yes , if you’ll answer one question for me.”
I thought… Oh, my God, what will this be?
She said: “You were here a couple weeks ago and you were crying — like really hard. We looked out and saw it and we wanted to come out there and ask you if you were okay. We were all really worried about you.”
I was touched.
She said, “I’ve wanted to ask you that everyday you’ve been here since.”
I promised her yes, I was okay. I just got in a fight with my grandmother who is 90 and hateful. And I was heartbroken.
Turns out her grandmother just passed away last month at 87. So that got us into discussion about everything. Everything. We stood there and talked for an hour and a half. Somehow, it turned to Obamacare and having insurance and the next you know she starts going off about Barack Obama.
I said, “Well, I guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t wearing one of my Obama t-shirts when I asked you for a jump off, huh?”
I think she thought I was just kidding and she kept going.
Finally, I said, “I’m a lifelong Democrat, political science major and a warrior for Barack Obama.”
She kept going and her husband said, “Honey, stop! She already told you she was a Democrat!”
I said, “No, no. I’m a big girl. I’m strong enough to handle this conversation, trust me. ”
She said, “It’s okay, my grandmother was a huge Democrat.”
I said, “Well, that tells me that your grandmother was a good person who didn’t have a racist bone in her body. And that she stood behind things that she believed in.”
She said, “Yes!” A little surprised, even.
That’s because the entire South was democratic during her grandmother’s day. Because the Democratic Party fights for the middle class and the working man and always has for generations. But then the Democrats gave us the Civil Rights Act, and all of the racists in the South, termed the Dixiecrats, left the party. Those who remained — the ones that chose to stay with the Democrats — you can bet, are some of the most decent, good, honest, hard-working, fair-minded, God-fearing people you’re likely to meet. And that told me a lot about her grandmother.
The Democratic Party has always been for the working man and the depression-era generation witnessed that first-hand with the New Deal. It put food back on their table and a little money — for the first time in years — back in their pocket. The Republican party has never stood for the middle class but they had to court voters to win elections in order to pass legislation protecting the wealthy and to do the bidding of their wealthy donors. So they started using the racist agenda, abortion, and Christianity to fool voters into believing that they stand for them.
She admitted she didn’t know that much about Obamacare, that she’s never looked it up, never attempted to sign up for it; never read much about it. I told her that that’s exactly what I mean, there’s so much misinformation out there!
I don’t believe that Republicans are bad people, regardless of how much I rant. I think unless you’re wealthy, you’re just misinformed. Now, I wholeheartedly believe there’s a sect of religious crazies that are ridiculously hypocritical and angry, and then I believe there’s everybody else. And I truly believe that if you sit down with somebody like me — when most people haven’t spent as much time studying it as I have — and you hear the truth and not the disinformation campaign that you get from your friend’s Facebook or Fox News, that people are smart enough to make their own decisions. And that they’ll make the right one.
She then said, “Well, I can’t like Obama because he’s against America and Trump is for America. Obama just wants to let terrorists in our country.”
I said, “No, you know what Obama wants to do? What Obama believes, what Hillary Clinton believes? That if you have spent 24 months in screening in a
United Nations camp, you’ve been vetted for everything from head lice to venereal diseases and all your paperwork is in order and you are trying to flee a country where they are killing hundreds of people a week, including children,then it’s up to the United States to do our part. Our European allies were there for us after 9-11 with no hesitation, and it’s not fair that Germany, that the UK, that Belgium, that all these nations abroad are all doing their part to give home to the women and children that are trying to leave hell on Earth, and the United States is full of racists who don’t want to carry our load. That’s what Barack Obama believes. There is no agenda to bring terrorist in our country, just an agenda of women like me that want to help a little Syrian baby. And for the record, I would have wanted to help Holocaust Survivors too. Are you telling me that Donald Trump would have been there with the “we can’t let them in attitude” then?
That opened the floodgates to questions and discussions and talking a lot about Donald Trump’s rhetoric. I’m not sure I convinced her that Hillary was a good person and that Trump was an idiot, but I did make a start on convincing that some of the things that she believed were completely and totally not true. I told her that if the country had more conversations like this with facts and data and BOOKS that you can read to back up what people like me are telling you — and less of the Ted Cruz and Marco Rubios that are trying to scare the hell out of everybody — then Washington might not be such a dumpster fire. Because we might start electing people that actually care and want to get stuff done.
She said, “I don’t hold anybody’s political beliefs against them.”
I said: “Yeah, I hold everybody’s political beliefs against them.”
She said, “Well, as long as you’re not out there beating up Trump supporters.”
I said, “No, I’d gladly beat up a Trump supporter. I just like you.”
I don’t know that I won over any hearts, but I do believe that Republicans are some good people. Truly. No matter how baffling I find their unintelligible talking points. Don’t get me wrong, there are some religious crazies that spew pure evil and racism; there are some extremely selfish Americans; there are those that seem to believe that Jesus wrote the Constitution, who want to completely abandon the documents that our founding fathers set down for us.
Then there’s everybody else. I believe they’re well intentioned, but misinformed. It’s not entirely their fault. She was surprised about Obamacare: that yes, it does cover things; yes, it is reasonable; no, it’s not insurance. She didn’t seem to know that states like Tennessee didn’t pass the Medicaid expansion which means that those who benefit from Obamacare are small business owners and those who make a decent living. It’s the people that need it the most that are hurting, and that it’s the fault of these governors and state houses of Republican states who turned down federal dollars for the expansion. Who didn’t care that the ones who would suffer would be the ones Obamacare was intended to help the most.
The Republican party has never been for anybody but those at the top. Only there’s not enough wealthy people to win elections. So they started trying to use moral issues to bait you, and in doing so, created a sect of Michele Bachmann bat crap crazies that have caused the dysfunction. All Donald Trump has done is to tap into what Democrats been telling you all along. And now the Republicans, the Trump voters, see that the Republicans have never stood for them.
But here’s the thing: Donald Trump is not your answer.
All Donald Trump has done is exploit that truth for his own personal gain. Donald Trump has never done a damn thing for anybody whose last name isn’t Trump. He doesn’t have a philanthropic bone in his body. With all the money and resources at his disposal, he’s never done a damn thing in his 70 years to take care of anybody. Why would he start now? He hasn’t even donated to his own charity in years. He’s just been spending everybody else’s money and putting his name on it. Donald Trump is simply tapping into your wokeness, if you will, with regards to the fact the Republicans have never been there for you. And he’s playing you just like those same Republican politicians have done all along.
You want real change, real progress; you want somebody who has pent their lifetime fighting for women’s, children’s, minorities’ rights; somebody who has battled inequalities, racism, sexism, discrimination; somebody who has broken barriers, shattered boundaries; want somebody who has taken it on the chin and just kept going; you want a real fighter; you want somebody whose resume is where her mouth is? Hillary Clinton is your candidate.
There’s still plenty time to get woke, folks.