So, I was at Firestone Tires this morning.....
by colebiancardi, Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:12:27 PM EDT
I took today off to get some work done on my car - blech - it was more work than I had expected. How long are rotors supposed to last anyway? It seems I replace them every other year!!
At any rate, I was at Firestone for 4 frigging hours. I was outside, moping around, when another customer walked up to me and started talking to me. He was an elderly gentleman, I would say in his late 70's. Very nice man - he also got hit with more repairs than he had expected and we were complaining about the high cost of parts. Which led to gas prices, which led to who is to blame.
He blamed Bush for a lack of energy program. He mentioned JFK and how when JFK stated we would put a man on the moon in 10 years, damn it, the US did it. He stated why didn't Bush make a statement about energy independence and spurring the growth in research and development sectors.
I mentioned Reagan, telling him about the solar panels that Carter had installed in the WH and how Reagan tore them out. He hadn't heard that story before and asked rhetorically "Why did Reagan take them out?" We talked about global warming and how it would be a cultural mindset change in the United States, as everywhere you go, everything seems to be bottled, packaged, wrapped, and shipped in plastic.
This nice man began talking about Obama - he was scared of him. He felt that Obama was a very intelligent man whose claim to fame was his really wonderful speeches, but was scared of and didn't buy into all of the "change" and "yes, we can" speeches.
I looked him in the eye and stated "you know, I voted for Hillary in the primaries." He responded "I did as well". And I went on stating that we talked about the cultural mindset change about habits with oil and plastic products. I mentioned that I didn't buy into all of the rhetoric, but Obama did inspire a lot of people. He retorted by stating "By justing stating the word change?" I replied, well, Obama is more than just words - sure, it started out like that to me, but I have read up on his plans, and although I may not agree with some of them, he does have ideas. And just as JFK inspired people, I reminded him of his words earlier to me, Obama inspires a lot of folks as well, and that hopefully, will enact the mindset of changing our culture.
He nodded and stated, yes, Obama was a hell of a lot better than McCain, and if Obama tries to push something that is unpopular, the Congress will push back. And I grinned and stated that is the beauty of our system. Checks and balances.
We chatted some more and I felt good about talking to this man - a person who voted like me in the primaries, has some doubts, a little nervous, but in the end, we both felt good about the democratic nominee - even if he wasn't our first choice.
I am not the best spokesperson for Senator Obama, as I stated I am an unenthusiastic supporter. However, I think this was a plus today. I was not an eager beaver, not spouting talking points, expressing my disappointment over Hillary's loss, but I was able to bond with this man because of that. I know that both he & I will vote for Obama this fall.
The point of this story? Perhaps the way to reach people like him is to have people like me share my story with him. Sometimes, really enthusiastic supporters can turn off a person with doubts and the way to reach them is to have someone who has the same backstory and can provide the empathy and bond over the loss and to bond together in our support for the democratic nominee and to win in the General Election.