Friday, February 03, 2017

February 3, 2017--Once More, Jack

Though a number of friends recommended I not answer the phone when Jack calls, when he rang me again the other morning I ignored that advice.

I'm not exactly sure why some of my friends were offering such counsel, but I suspect it's largely because what Jack has been saying about me and my fellow Democrats rings truer than any of us would like--that we are in large part the source of our own political problems. That we didn't do enough to help Hillary Clinton get elected. That we took her victory for granted and spent more time talking about the election than becoming directly involved.

Thus far only one person I heard from, "Gala Girl," appears to have done well on Jack's parlor game challenge, Who Do You Know? She claimed to have friends from all of Jack's categories, except that she doesn't know any coal miners!

All the other readers and friends who either called or wrote to me confessed that for the most part they knew as friends very few plumbers, policemen, or waitresses. Some who disagreed with Jack about our being out-of-touch with Americans who elected Donald Trump, had no problem with the fact that they didn't know anyone currently serving in the military or working as a lab technician. And thus, like them, I should ignore Jack's jibes.

"Things are bad enough without us beating ourselves up about the results of the election," one said.

Jack on the other hand said, "I see you have a new obsession."

"How so?"

"With all the things going on this is what you're paying attention to?"

"What might that this be?" From his attitude I was already beginning to regret that I didn't let his call go to voice mail.

"With all that's going on from the immigration ban to Trump's on-going obsession about how many popular votes Hillary secured, you keep coming back to railing about congressional Democrats gathering the other night on the steps of the Supreme Court."

"I'm all in favor of activism of all kinds. In fact, we need more and more of it right now to show Trump that there will be political consequences for his words and deeds. Really, he needed to alienate the Australians? One of our loyalist allies?"

"I agree. But what seems to be sticking in your craw is the fact that that geriatric group of your congresspeople opted to sing This Land Is Your Land. What's with that?"

"It underlined for me how impotent and out of touch my party leaders are. Nancy Pelosi who can't sing is tottering around on her last legs and Chuck Schumer looks like he's ready for Weight Watchers or needs to check into a care facility. These are the people who are going to lead the opposition and help elect Democrats two years from now? I don't think so."

"I watch some MSNBC," Jack said. "That might surprise you, but I want to check out what Rachael is up to and your version of Bill O'Reilly, loud-mouth Chris Mathews. I want to listen in on what the left-wing opposition is saying and plotting. From my perspective, I'm happy to see not much to win over Trump-type voters. Though at least some of them are recognizing that progressives need to get out into the country to find out what's on voters' minds. You know visit some of those 21-percent counties."

"What are those?"

"Like the ones in Iowa and other swing states that voted for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012, giving him 21 percent margins but then this time around voted equally overwhelmingly, by 21 percent, for Trump. There's a whole lot to learn in those places. And there are quite a few of them.

"If you're looking to start a business, consider setting up a tour company that buses Democrats for overnight visits to these districts. Especially tell them which diners to go to to have breakfast with the locals."

"In some ways we're agreeing. Which brings me back to the other night at the Supreme Court. Not only are our leaders totally out of touch and self-involved, but This Land Is Your Land? This old hippie song? I mean, I like it. But do they think it appeals to millennials and Latinos and the working poor? I don't think so. If anything, they made themselves seem irrelevant and ridiculous."

"On top to that," Jack said, "I noticed that they didn't even know the words. They had to read them from a handout."

 "And meanwhile, back at the White House, Trump was firing people and on the phone talking to the Mexican president, warning him that if the Mexican police don't do a better job of securing the border he might just have to have American troops invade Mexico because there are 'bad hombres' there."

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Blogger Gala Girl said...

It's tricky to feel like I can have a REAL conversation with the plumbers (Jimmy); the electricians (the entire Jennings family who all work in the family business and live at the end of our dead end culdesac); the manager (John) at my favorites farm from which to buy my apples (and THE best apple ciders donuts in the world); or our truly trusted mechanic, Mike who has a wife from Puerto Rican and hunts with her young sons from a previous marriage and goes to gun shows whenever he can with his Dad; and the list goes on. I always have the most pleasant and polite conversations and visits with these folks though we never ever talk politics. (maybe they sense my leanings given the fact I drive a Subaru and wear designer sunglasses which I must add I bought at a huge discount at the local TJ Maxx as I never "pay retail"!).

However the other week when I was in Mike's shop for an oil change, we were shooting the breeze while on the TV in the background we could hear coverage of the Women's March happening in DC and elsewhere that day. Mike stopped and said, "it's terrible--I heard they wouldn't let a pro life group march...." to which I had to swallow hard but then added, "well that's not right as everyone's voices should have a chance to be heard at a protest." I wish though I had more of the really hard facts about the work groups like Planned Parenthood are doing because I bet Mike and Jimmy and John all think they just perform abortions... and frankly the right to choose is as important as a right to own guns. But we left it there... after I got home with my new oil and rotated tires I went to Planned Parenthood's website and signed up to be a volunteer at my local center. Maybe by the next 3,000 miles I'll have more to share with Mike ...

February 03, 2017  
Blogger Steven Zwerling said...

You exemplify everything I have been attempting to say for almost two years--that we need to have a diverse set of friends of the sort you have sought and find ways to become directly involved in preserving the things we believe in and work to change those that we feel are threats to ourselves and our country. Enough talk and complaining and more action!

February 03, 2017  

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