Wednesday, April 15, 2009

At the Mad Hater's Tea Party

After my radio show today, I picked up my leaflets and headed out to the tea party. I thought it would be an open mike kind of thing, and had my "the original tea party was protesting the corporate influence of the East Indies Tea Company on the King of England - an anti-corporate agenda" speech planned in my head.

I get there and a man in a suit is leading a prayer to a group of people in America-kitsch-themed t-shirts waving flags. There was no sound system - not even a megaphone. Well, that sucked.

After the prayer, they split up to go wave signs and teabags at the passing cars. No speeches. I talked to the suit, and he turned out to be a member of the Constitution Party. I told him that the Green Party holds an event every July 4th where we read the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. He shook my hand and thanked me for coming, so I gave him a leaflet, and then went to hand the rest out to the sign wavers. Luckily, my old IT guy showed up and watched my back. (Thanks, Dave.)

Dave introduced me to a guy in a wheelchair and his wife. The guy in the wheelchair handed me his leaflet, but announced that Dave was a liberal, so he wheeled away, I guess to avoid contamination.

I'm left talking to the wife, who was quite out there. She was extremely concerned about the fetuses. Luckily, my leaflet had a picture of an injured Iraqi child on it, so I kept waving it in her face and appealing to her concern for actual born humans. She really didn't care much for born humans. She looked at the injured child and said, "She was given the right to life" I said, "But then American bombs took it away." She said "But the original right was when she was born". I said, "But then after she was born and her parents nutured her and fed her, then American bombs injured her". She said, "We liberated them!" OK, we were getting nowhere. Eventually, she asked if I was an atheist and I allowed that I was, and she totally freaked out! She had to remove herself and go swoon somewhere else.

Interestingly, I read her husband's leaflet and he believes that Obama has declared the USA to be a socialist atheist country. If they believe that, why did meeting a real atheist cause her so much surprise and distress? If I had read the leaflet before, I would have proclaimed myself a socialist atheist. But then I probably would have had to do CPR on her.

Then I headed out to the annual peacenik event at the main post office. There were four people (and I made five) handing out War Resistor pie charts showing where our tax dollars go. Probably over half of the people took them. Many said they knew where their tax dollars went. I tried explaining that a pie chart made it much more accessible. One guy refused the leaflet and then bought the USA Today! I pointed out that if he didn't like pie charts, why was he buying the USA Today? He still wouldn't take my leaflet.

All in all, I've had a pretty productive day, and I haven't even gone to my paid job yet.


Skyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Be honest though-- did you really expect to change any minds (or even encounter any) at this sort of thing?

Anonymous said...

Hey wage laborer, thanks for doing this. I had the same thought myself but didn't. I am struck by the real lack of self interest these people have. They don't want single payer health care, they support unending military no bid over the top contracts. They engage in the class war of them (If "them" would just either leave the country or get up off their asses). They look upon the few social programs we have, social security, medicare, medicade as "entitlements" instead of human right issues. They in a few words are clueless. By the way someone of them should have told them the American revolution was just a class war... the rich didn't want to pay taxes so they worked up everyone else into fighting for what they call freedom. Thanks again, you rock.

David G said...

Yes, you must be given full marks for your efforts.

It's a shame that the old saying that 'pearls before swine' applies so much in our modern world.

But we who care, must continue to do what we can!

Mike B) said...

What a hoot!

These people can understand nothing because their brains are so packed with aprhoristic dogmas which are like landmines. You step on their dogma and they blast you with their militant ignorance. Truly, cognitive dissonance will rule in the house of the Lard forever.

Pangolin said...

One of these days we will know enough about the human brain to nail down the fact that conservatism is a mental illness. These people are remarkably resistant to a fact-based reality.

I wonder if there is a cure.