Never Met a Republican
Well, I had the most interesting experience at work last week. I met someone who was my age who had honestly never met a Republican in his life. Seriously. For those of you not familiar with the Bay Area political climate, Republicans are a very misunderstood and rare breed. A lot of people are so ignorant to the point that they think that Republicans are evil villans who hate the environment, are opposed to all education, and must have been brainwashed by a certain president whose name I cannot mention here lest I get booed and hissed at.
So, when my fellow intern was joking around and made the comment that he felt he was better qualified to be president than our current one, he expected everyone in the room to jump in and rally around and throw out some Bush-isms and act generally supportive. Everyone did, of course (I am still in California), but I chose to just keep working on my computer & ignore the whole thing.
My fellow intern just assumed I didn’t hear, so he came over to me and tapped me on the shoulder, “Stephanie! Stephanie! I was just telling them about… I mean… don’t you think I would be more qualified to be president than our current one?” He stood gleaming, sure that he’d be the hero of the day. I mean, isn’t it great to think that you’re better than the president of a large country?
I looked at my web design that I loved doing, then looked back at my fellow intern & wondered if I should even start the battle, “Dude. Just leave me out of this.” All of the issues started swirling around in my head. Yes, I know I’m in “I hate Bush” territory. I know that I generally vote Republican, but not always (because not all Republicans are good Republicans). I know that some people think it’s okay to just lambast the President left and right while being otherwise unaware of any facts regarding politics or history. I don’t claim to know it all, but if you’re going to go off on hating the president at least have intelligent reasons why. I’m so tired of this Bush-hatred backed by no reason except “I don’t believe in blood for oil” or “He talks funny” or “No child left behind sucks” or other arguably uneducated responses. Again, I don’t want to get into a debate on whether or not you like Bush. All I’m saying is, please be aware of your reasoning and make sure it’s good reasoning before you have a strong opinion either way. Simple as that.
So, I finally said, “Dude… you’re fishing in the wrong pond.” He searched my face to see if I was joking. When I realized he was still standing there trying to understand me, I daid, “I’m a Republican.” He immediately laughed, because anyone in Silicon Valley who says she is a Republican must be joking. To end the laughter and get me back to my sweet web design I mumbled, “I’m serious.”
He paused and I’m pretty sure that the blood drained from his face. He mumbled, “Dude… she’s… she’s serious. Are you serious?” I nodded. He then said the words that have baffled me ever since, “I’ve never met a Republican before.”
The room stood in silence as my co-workers stared at me. Some were probably confused by it. Some probably held out hope that I was still joking. And still others were probably relieved since it explained some of my more confusing behavior.
Then, my fellow intern said, “Dude… don’t Republicans like hate babies and like dump oil in the ocean for the insurance write off? That’s just wrong man. I can’t believe you’re a Republican.” He looked at me in disgust, as though I was suddenly small and far beneath him.
As I picked my jaw up off the floor, I explained to him why I was a Republican, including simple comments like, “We like babies. We like the environment. We support the general concept of life in all countries. We just don’t think that government programs should pay for it all.” Then I added that things like war and whatnot are not just Republicans, that Democrats have their share of blood on their hands.
When I was done, one of the high school interns in the room said, “Wow. I always thought Republicans were evil. But you’re nice. That’s so weird.”
Interesting day. *Insert Steph’s long drawn out sigh here.*