I volunteered last night not for OFA but for our local non-commercial jazz radio station down at Cal State Long Beach. They are having their annual summer pledge drive to raise funds to keep the station on the air. Anyhow, I was sitting at a long table of volunteers each of us with headsets on taking pledge phone calls when I hear to my far left, this very very loud male voice say, “OH! I See you have an Obama button on. Do you think he’s going to win? I don’t think so at all. My father and I voted for him in 2008 but we won’t be this time because he just hasn’t accomplished anything, and there’s all this fighting going on in the House and the Senate. He just can’t get anything done and I can’t vote for him again.”
Since I didn’t have any Obama gear on myself, I turned to my left and looked down the length of the table to see who this man (DOOFUS) was talking to. Apparently a woman with an Obama 2012 button on had started her shift and was sat right next to him so he could train her on how to answer the phones for the pledge drive. Even though I was on phone calls myself, I could still hear him in the background, loudly and ignorantly pontificating repeatedly that besides getting OBL and health care, our Pres hasn’t accomplished anything and the Congress was preventing him from getting what he wanted to get done and he just wouldn’t get vote for him.
I couldn’t hear what she was saying back to him because she was speaking to him in a very calm, low, steady voice, but I heard him say (loudly, naturally) once to her, “Lilly Ledbetter Act? what’s that ? Is that the health care law?” I KID YOU NOT.
By this point, needless to say, my blood pressure was on the rise. In addition to having to hear this ignorance, the fact that he was saying it at such top volume was making it difficult for those of us at the table to hear our own phone calls. He wasn’t belligerent, just LOUDLY OPINIONATED and IGNORANT as some loud opinionated folks tend to be. Unfortunately, because I was sitting 5 chairs away I couldn’t reach down the table and rip his larynx out. At one point as I was just finishing up a pledge call, he was saying AGAIN how PBO couldn’t get anything done because of Congress blocking him and that’s why he couldn’t vote for him again.
I’d had it. I said in a very loud voice (ok, I yelled) down the table, “NO SIR, THAT’S WHY HE NEEDS A SECOND TERM!” Things got quiet quick.
The woman with the Obama button turned and looked at me down the table, I gave her a thumbs up, she gave me a wink. The people in between us kind of smiled to themselves. My phone rang again just at that moment and I was back to taking pledge calls. Later when there were a lull in the phones and Mr. Loudmouth had apparently gotten up from his phone, I walked over to the Obama button woman and handed her a stack of Randi Rhodes’ “Obama’s Top 50 accomplishments” wallet cards (remember those? 😆 ).
I told her that whenever I encounter these uninformed folks I just drop one of these on them, shuts them up right quick. She thanked me, chuckled and told me that she was a Summer Fellow for OFA and that my outburst seemed to have subdued him a bit. BTW they are looking for volunteers in the South Bay offices, Long Beach and the Crenshaw office that just opened yesterday.
Also ran into Mr. Loudmouth in the lunch room later while I was getting something to eat. He was avoiding eye contact so I walked up to him and said, “look you appear to be an intelligent man, and I’m sorry for yelling but I simply cannot tolerate this kind of mis-information. If you don’t want to vote for the President fine, but at least get a better understanding of WHY you won’t vote for him by informing yourself with facts of what he actually has or has NOT done. And lay off the Fox News will you please? They are doing you a disservice.”
I handed him one of Randi’s wallet cards and walked away. Anyway, towards the end of my shift, several other volunteers came up to me and thanked me for speaking up and asked me for the wallet cards as well. I handed the rest of my entire stash out to them. Mr. Loudmouth actually pleasantly said good night to me when I left.
Did I convert him? Who knows? But, I just can’t have people talking shit about my President in my presence.
The moral of this story is:
1) Carry these cards around with you. You never know when they are going to come in handy. (See link above for Randi’s card, also see Tien Le’s ACA wallet card)
2) Get out and Volunteer, for crips sake! There are still people, even in this “blue safe state” that are STILL woefully uninformed. Have a good day everyone! Off to enjoy the Cali sunshine!
President Barack Obama talks with Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication, and Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau, in the Outer Oval Office, Jan. 13, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)