Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Brawl at the Farmers' Market
I almost came to blows at the Farmers’ Market. And I’m not proud of it. But I blame it on Kenny Chesney and the Barbershop Quartet Convention/Brawl. On the Fourth of July around 3:00, Laura and I were headed to downtown Nashville to help Obama people register voters. Once we reached downtown, we found swarms of (white) people. They were going in all kinds of directions. It wasn’t until later that we found they were there for the Kenny Chesney concert, the fireworks, and the Barbershop Quartet Convention (Did you know there’s an ongoing argument between the traditionalist and the contemporary-ists?)
When we tried to park to do our part to register voters, we found that parking alone cost $15-$20. We were not prepared for that, so we went back home. But my loving wife agreed to go to Farmers’ Market the next day, at least to greet the Obama people who were there again to register voters.
The next day, we finally found the “booth,” staffed by Pat Meadows and Thelma Kidd. So this guy walks up. He’s talking to Pat and Thelma, and I hear him say ”Well, I’m a Republican.” I tell him “ You can still vote for Obama. I’ve got a 'Republicans for Obama' bumper sticker on my car.” He proceeds with “Well, we weren’t better off under Clinton.” And when I remind him that no Clintons are remaining in this race, he tells me “They’re all the same. They’re all Communists. They want to tax the rich, They are into redistribution of wealth.”
The emotion is welling up in me, and I realize that this man, who is perhaps twice my size, is all up in my face. I back up. He follows suit. And I realize I’ve embarrassed Laura, terrified Thelma and Pat, and perhaps caused a scene at the normally sedate Farmers’ Market. Not to mention that I’ve done no good to the Obama campaign. Somebody save me from myself