|Every few months I have my hair cut by Sophia, a neighbor who styles hair in a local beauty salon but also has a small shop in her home. She is a lovely woman but completely unaware of what is occurring in the country and the world. We had never talked politics until today. |
While she was washing my hair she happened to mention that virtually everyone in the salon where she works 'loves Obama', and it's becoming difficult to get them to talk about anything else to the customers. I asked her what they generally say about politics, and she responded, 'I don't usually pay much attention, because I'm not interested in politics, but the things I remember are':
(1) Obama cares about the American people
(2) Bush and Cheney were crooks who just wanted to make money and help their rich friends
(3) Romney is a Mormon and a womanizer
(4) Santorum doesn't really know anything about how government works and he wants to 'keep women down'
(5) People won't get good healthcare unless Obama is re-elected
First of all, I don't know where the 'womanizer' thing came from, but I imagine the rest of the allegations came right off the talking point lists of the DNC/ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN.
Secondly, even though I was sitting in a little private beauty shop owned by a woman who 'doesn't care about politics', I literally felt physically sick, hearing firsthand about a group of people in my own area who have unanimously swallowed the leftist swill, who are dispensing that swill to others, and whose votes will count every bit as much as my own.
After regaining my mental composure, I reminded myself that fretting over things that are out of one's control is never a good exercise, and I said to Sophia, 'How do you feel about what they are saying?' She responded that she really didn't have enough knowledge to know whether their comments were right or wrong.
I spent the rest of my time with her (about a half hour), gently trying to tell her that 'caring about politics' nowadays really amounts to caring about her children and grandchildren. That the current administration does not have their best interests at heart, and that the foundations upon which America was built are in danger.
She asked quite a few questions, such as, 'Why do all of my co-workers believe these things if they aren't true?', so I attempted to give her a brief, ten-sentence overview of the bias of the mainstream media.
In my job, I often have conversations of a political nature with others -- most often 'preaching to the choir' conversations in which we simply re-affirm each others' views, but also with people on the opposite end of the spectrum, whose opinions are every bit as strongly-held as my own. The latter conversations/debates can occasionally become heated and result in nothing more than raised blood pressure.
But I don't often talk with someone who has no political opinions to speak of, and yet who is open-minded and interested enough to listen to me express mine. I know I didn't turn a woman whose world does not include a desire to understand the political situation in America into someone who is now thirsting to learn more. But I do believe I did provide her a small foundation from which to at least question the claims she hears day in and day out during her workday. And I suspect that we will talk about politics and the world situation more frequently than we used to (which amounted to never), simply because she was very interested in hearing 'the other side'.
One of the discouraging aspects of this kind of experience is that it is difficult to know where to begin. The left has such a long and lurid history of offenses to liberty, and has enjoyed such a successful campaign, along with their cohorts in 'higher education' and the media, of covering up their real motives and disguising them in altruistic masks and platitudes, that it is difficult to know where to begin to educate someone who is a blank slate. I firmly believe, that, when the opportunity to do so arises, we must seize it. But we must be careful not to overload or preach, basing the amount of information we offer on the continued receptiveness of the receiver.
And yet, for everyone we meet who is like Sophia, there are dozens who are falling prey to the leftist propaganda, who believe their opinions are well-informed, who will disseminate their 'knowledge' as if it were written in stone, and who will not be swayed by reason or common sense.