Monday, April 09, 2007

A difficult conversation

Several weeks ago, in a moment of sheer exhaustion and stress, I pulled my Jeep out of the garage while leaving the driver's door open. I bent the door all the way back, and wrecked the frame of my garage at the same time.

I brought my truck into the shop last week and was able to pick it up Saturday. The shop's owner, a Republican, has 2 sons in Iraq, as well as a daughter that may be sent there, as well.

When I came in to pick up my truck, he noticed my "Impeach Cheney First" button that I wear on my army coat. He said, "ahh, but he's such a nice man." Even though I knew he was a Repub, I was taken aback by that comment. He was serious.

I really like this mechanic and his wife. They are good people. I kept that, and their children's situation in mind while we proceeded to have a semi-lengthy discussion about Iraq.

They went on about how the media isn't reporting all the good things that are happening, about how Halliburton isn't all bad, and how the new oil project that is underway is going to help all of the families there.

This was a tough one. I did my best to counter with the facts, but the look in their eyes made it very hard for me to lay it on.

It's heartbreaking.


M said...

They need to keep telling themselves that so they can deal with their kids being sent over to that hopeless situation. You handled it well - sometimes you just have to back off in the spirit of kindness to other humans.

1138 said...

It is Lizzy.
I have a neighbor that is just a couple of years away from completing his military carrier and he has started explosives demolition training by his own choice.
He's been over there once, probably wouldn't go back (if he hadn't volunteered for the training) but he's determined that something good come of all this.
The moment he's completed his training he is going to be sent back - leaving his wife and three young children here to worry about him and maybe bury whatever is left of him.
They put all of their faith in God and this disAdministration.
They are nice "good" people.
But they've decided that two or more wrongs do make a right and overlook treachery like Feith's office and Cheney.

What's been done to men like these and their families by Cheney and company is absolutely heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Awkward. I also have lots of awkward conversations like that. I'm really not into arguing politics unless it's with somebody I know well enough to have an agree-to-disagree relationship with. Most of my family, and a lot of acquaintances, are conservative, so there are lots of those stilted, walking on eggshells kinds of conversations.

Jim Marquis said...

Sounds like you handled it well. He's an adult and entitled to his own opinions.

Lizzy said...

Thanks, guys. It was really tough. I did my best to bite my tongue, but when he brought up 9/11, I had to put my foot down. He mentioned 9/11 and Iraq in the same sentence, so I said, but you know they had nothing to do with each other, right? He said, yes, I think they did. That's when I had to say, NO, they absolutely did not.

With Limbaugh on the radio in the background, I knew to just leave it at that.

Snave said...

Ow! I bet your tongue will be swollen for days! I would have had difficulty in your situation, but I probably wouldn't have done much but said something like "well, some of us like him and some of us don't" and then gone into a waiting area and seethed while I read a crappy old cop of National Review... or maybe I would've just asked how long did he think the repair would take, and then maybe have gone off for a walk or an errand on foot.

Engaging arch-conservatives in conversation is sometimes good to do, other times not. If they are polite, I try to match their politeness and find areas of common ground. If they are belligerent, I butt out and find something else to do!

Sounds like you did a great job, though!

PoliShifter said...

Very tough situation.

I don't know that I would be able to keep my mouth shut.

Especially as it is getting clearer every day that we our sending our military to Iraq to fight and die for Chevron, BP, Shell, and Exxon.

We are subsidizing their oil exploration.

Further, we're NEVER going to see a return on our investment. We won't see cheaper gas or cheaper oil.

Very tough call. That's the danger of Limbaugh. He can lull people into a false sense of security and comfort with their own thoughts.

The other day Cheney was on Limbaugh claiming Al Qaeda, Saddam, Iraq, and 9/11 did have a connection. I'm sure you're mechanic heard that interview and was working off that.

That very same day The Pentagon released its official report saying there was NO connection between Iraq, Al Qaeda, 9/11, and Saddam.

That's how evil Cheney is. These are the people he dupes and preys upon.

In a way I think we do a disservice by not educating people about the truth.

On the other hand, as j. marquis said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But I have a feeling if many people in this country could or would open up to the turth, their opinions would change dramatically.

Wreckoning Force said...

You have to keep it very simple with folks like that!

Damien said...

Yeah I'm still not understanding how folk can honestly look at everything thats going on and come to the conclusion that all is well? Very selective people, nice folk, but selective... hmmm check your brake lines (just kidding).

Lizzy said...

Actually, that was also in the back of my mind when I was discussing all of this with him, Damien. Come to think of it, my brakes and steeling wheel do seem a little "off."

Now that a few days have passed, I keep thinking of the things I should have said, guys. However, I don't think it would have made any difference. How do you argue with someone that has bought the whole dog & pony show hook, line, and sinker?

If the discussion had been with a 28 year old armchair chickenhawk, that would have been another story. Believe me.