Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tea Party Taxi

Today I left the city and took a train to the Mineola social security office to attend to some unfinished estate business. That task accomplished (I hope this time, finally) I jumped into a cab at the station stand for the twenty minute ride home and within seconds knew that it would not be a quiet one. The radio was booming with some commentator and the young driver immediately began doing an overlay on the conversation, all having something to do with the Democrats using blacks to advance their cause of government control of the totality of our lives and the formation of a globally conspired system of oppression, all because they want to control our salt intake. "Some people like salt, I don't like bland food, the government has no role in my salt, I don't care what they do."

Me --- "Who's that on the radio?"

"That's Rush Limbaugh."

"Oh, that's Rush Limbaugh.

"Yeah, some people don't like him."

"That's where I fit in."

Without a comment the driver turned the radio down and kept talking. He was intense, young, white, soul patch, powerful looking, loud but polite, and I'm not sure when he had a chance to breathe, opinions coming on all subjects. It was passionate opinion chaos in the cab. Joe Biden's gaffes were somehow turned into insults to the tax paying citizens of this country, Michelle Obama's garden was obviously a tangible threat to our eating habits, Mayor Bloomberg's willingness to allow a mosque in downtown Manhattan was heresy, Communists were still allowed here for sure, it was a libertarian rant on behalf of his view of the real oppressed of this country while at the same time a shrill demand to control or kick out people with different opinions or backgrounds. "I know the other side. I grew up in a poor neighborhood and sometimes the blacks at my school had names for me like evil whitey, I got into fights, and my family didn't even come to this country until the late 1800's. We had nothing to do with slavery, nothing to do with the Civil War. I know the other side but it's the blacks that are always the victims, the Democrats want it that way."

Me --- "You are saying so many things that I may disagree with you or sympathize with you from one sentence to the next. I know that you are upset with our government and our country but what are you for, who are you for? You know that where we are today is the result of many years of government participated in by both parties and not something that's all happened in the last year and a half, don't you."

Driver manchild didn't miss a beat, agreed with me, and then went into needing an independents, independents in general, to run the country, get all of the people that have been in out, out of the way. And then he said something that was so right it startled me. "But you know back in the thirties many Germans felt the same way and look what they ended up with, Hitler. It all went wrong."

We arrived at my neighborhood and focusing on the twists and turns was necessary. He thanked me for the civil "conversation" saying, "some people curse me, can't have a conversation where they disagree and behave in a good way. They just yell."

Me --- "It's a good thing that you have such an interest in everything. Be for something, not just against."

"Thanks for the tip."


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