Monday, April 10, 2017

Lunch With The Kool-Aid Drinkers

Thank goodness the pot luck part of the meeting only lasted a half hour. I know this area of the world is majority Republican, which party I left many years ago when the Democratic Party became the one to push for civil rights, but I had no idea what it was like listening to a whole table-full of extreme and extremely vocal right wingers.

At first I couldn't seriously believe what I was hearing. It's not that I haven't heard all the wild-assed conspiracies before, or at least most of them. These were die-hard kool-aid drinkers. I'm talking obvious Fox viewers, sucking up every nutty assertion of actually fake news as the real thing. You know, like all the people Hillary killed, how she and Obama conspired to (insert list of about 18 to 20 crazy things here), how one rape perpetrated by a person from a particular minority meant that the whole of the group behaved that way and didn't belong in this country.  Sharia laws were ruling our public schools now. The Black Lives Matter movement was responsible for all the cop killings. Thousands/millions of dead people voted for Hillary. And on. And on.

I've heard all that crap. I've also gotten the debunking. I'm old enough to remember history that is definitely different from what was now being touted, and read the Constitution enough to know why certain things were illegal and against the principles of our country.

I'm particularly tuned in to the garbage after sitting in the spa pool last night listening to some guy from Wisconsin expound on how the 10th amendment was a conspiracy by the Koch Brothers to ... well, nevermind. All I needed was a calendar to debunk whatever it was he was trying to prove. I know even those guys aren't that old!

So when today's nonsense started, I checked one of the women's statements."Excuse me, did I really hear that you believe....?" She did. More people chimed in. Topics broadened, crazy ruled the conversation. I decided I didn't need to do anything more than concentrate on my lunch, just shut up and marvel at these people, and not in a good way. This wasn't punking, not joking, but anger at all the things they believed were happening in the world and whom they held responsible.

I recalled a previous conversation with the woman who started off the crazy. We had been talking about something completely non-political, and I mentioned Minneapolis. Her response was to express her unease (putting it mildly) about there being a concentration of Muslims there. I calmly agreed with her about the numbers, since there is an area with a concentration of Somali immigrants. I went on to inform her I had worked alongside a number of them, had some good discussions during slow work times about how our cultures differed, and ended with my assessment that by the most part they are a strongly family-oriented community. That ended our conversation as she quickly excused herself and relocated away from where I was sitting.

Thank goodness!

But today I was stuck at this particular table, and simply had to be content that the club business meeting would soon start and they'd have to put away the kool-aid for an hour or so, after which we could all go our separate ways.

But OMG! Really?

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