30 October 2008

Mind boggling

I was chatting with my neighbors last night, and the unthinkable happened. The male half of the house admitted that it "looks like your guy's gonna win." wow. I couldn't believe it - he even seemed calm when he said it!! Could this be a break-through??

Then it happened. He went on to re-assert that Obama is a muslim. And he was educated in a madrassa. And he's going to take away our guns. And he will raise taxes on more than who he says. And he will raise the capital gains tax on everyone, including old people that are downsizing. But I think the cherry on top was that Colin Powell is a turncoat. See, that aspect of the "discussion" was amazing. I commented that Powell's still a Republican, and that it would be really great if he were an advisor/cabinet member because he would bring a wealth of information to the table, and what an advantage to have for the new President. The answer I got was that Powell "had no foreign policy experience." HUH? He was Secretary of State, for goodness sake! "3 years? That's nothing. Nothing." How does 3 years of being Sec. of State count as "no foreign policy experience?!?! "The guys' got nothing."

OK, Army General for 20 years, oversaw 28 military "crises," lead Operation Desert Storm (1991), was National Security Advisor (under Reagan), was foreign policy advisor in the 2000 Bush campaign, and Secretary of State during Bush 43's first term (including during 9/11). Yes, I'm sure that there are people in this world who might have more foreign policy experience than Colin Powell, but come on!! I think he's got an enviable resumé that is loaded with foreign policy experience.

Later, I sent my neighbor an email with a couple of links from Obama's website, detailing his view of the second amendment, and another outlining his tax policies. I don't know if it will help or not. The problem isn't that the information isn't out there, or that he hasn't seen it. The problem is that IN SPITE of the wealth of information, he continues to believe otherwise. When confronted with things like factcheck.org, snopes, campaign website info, etc., they are disregarded as bullshit. "The guy can say anything he wants, but that doesn't make it true."

Now, in all fairness, this man is no different than about 75% of Collin County. If I had a nickel for every person who had told me or emailed me about a disproven fact regarding Obama, I'd be rich. And I'd gladly pay more taxes on it, too. This is a college educated man, as are most of the other people who think this way. Why is it that people continue to deny the truth/facts when given mountains of evidence that proves they are wrong?

The "muslim" story has been kicked around forever, and disproven every time, but it keeps coming back. I even asked my neighbor how it could be possible for Obama to be muslim, yet be one of Rev. Wright's minions for 20 years. He can't have it both ways - either Obama's muslim or he's a prodigy of a southern baptist whack-job-preacher. He got a knowing smile, and nodded wisely, "You see? That's what I'm talking about. He's got a plan." WTF?!?!

I read recently that you can't reason with someone who has reached a conclusion by way of something other than reason. For instance, if he has formed his opinions based on fear, hate, racism, childhood trauma, or anything else, then reason won't change his mind. That makes things alot easier to swallow. Otherwise I'm stuck with the thought that all these friends, relatives, and acquaintances that I had assumed to be very intelligent are actually just sheep.


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