I don’t understand nastiness.
I try to keep politics off the blog, but that’s hard since I’m working for the Obama campaign. But this isn’t really about politics, as such; it’s about the way we treat each other in regard to politics.
Every Saturday, we (Obama for America) have a table set up at the local farmers market. This is Northampton, which might be the most liberal town on earth, lesbian paradise, green crunchy granola hippie town. We get lots of thumbs ups and thank yous.
But we also get nastiness. One guy, when I asked, “Do you support the President?” replied, “If by support you mean I wanna put a bullet in him.” A guy today told me, “It’s all you young people and Mexicans who are ruining this country. You always have your hand out, expecting the government to give you everything.”
If that’s the kind of nastiness we get in an overwhelmingly liberal town, I don’t want to imagine what it’s like in other places. I don’t understand the hatred.
Don’t get me wrong–I hate Romney’s policies, but in my mind that’s a different thing. I don’t go around saying he’s a terrible person who ought to be shot. If Romney volunteers had a table, I’d probably go start a political debate, but I wouldn’t get nasty. There’s a difference between expressing political opinions strongly and being mean or threatening. If people don’t support Obama and don’t want to have a dialogue, that’s fine too. Just say no thanks or walk on by. I’m not going to chase you down the sidewalk and beat you over the head with my political opinion stick.
In cool news, though, today at the farmers market I ran into the woman who taught me to knit. She teaches at the arts workshop at Riggs, but she lives in Northampton. She said she thinks about me a lot, and there hasn’t been anyone who’s as good a knitter since I left. I had no idea she lived in Noho, so it was really cool to run into her.