Why is it that some people yell about First Amendment rights but don’t want you to exercise yours?
Yesterday, I participated in a honk and wave for Bernie Sanders. It was a lovely autumn afternoon here in Sonoma County, and about 20 of us, armed with our signs and enthusiasm, staked out a corner where the freeway ended and let out onto a busy intersection. People were honking and waving and hooting, and it was a great way to spend the afternoon. Oh, there were a few people who gave us the thumbs down; one guy stuck out his tongue as he sped by (how mature!), and a few people threw us the bird. My response to things like that has always been to blow a kiss in their direction.
So there we were, doing our political action thing when all of a sudden this guy came up behind us and started screaming. He had been driving by and was so incensed that we were out there that he felt compelled to stop and tell us a thing or two. It was like being tuned in to Rush Limbaugh. Only worse, because he was right there and we couldn’t turn him off.
“No socialist country has EVER succeeded!” he yelled. “Look at Hitler. Socialist! Stalin. Socialist!”
He employed every idiotic, mindless right wing talking point he’s heard from that batch of corporate shills he’s addicted to, and he did so while his face reddened with indignation and the veins on his neck stood out like purple ropes.
Some people in the group tried to reason with him. Ha! He never shut up to let anyone get a word in edgewise. I just told him several times to go away, although I seem to remember throwing out the names of countries like Sweden and Denmark that have successfully employed a socialist system. That didn’t work either, because facts don’t apply with right wing true believers. Finally, the man in the picture above holding the poster about the 99% stood in front of the angry man, who was at least a head taller and about 30 – 40 pounds heavier, put his poster right up against him and backed him up the sidewalk until he finally gave up and went away.
But he still was fuming. I know this because once he got back to his car and went to drive away, he was stuck at the light just across the street. He decided to use the time to continue yelling at us. The light changed and he threw us the bird.
My mother had a saying: You can’t argue with ignorance.
She was right.
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things. Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web