This past week I was on business in the US. Due to weather my connecting flight was cancelled and I spent a night in a red state city. As a guest in your country I avoid political discussions. This was my first face to face conversation with a tea party person.
With my flight cancelled, I was on a shuttle bus over to the Hilton where I was being over nighted compliments of weather and the airlines. I took my seat and shortly thereafter a woman (probably in her eighties) sat down beside me. We greeted each other (she could have been anyone's grandma with the sweet face and all). She told me that every year she and her husband traveled to meet his buddies from The War (I assumed she meant WW II). She asked where I was from. I told her I lived in Toronto but spent a great deal of time in her beautiful country.
The light banter was gone with the mention that I was Canadian. Immediately she said 'oh, you have that socialized medicare'. I said yes indeed we did have government health care and it is one of the benefits that Canadians cherish dearly. I told her it was great to know that no Canadian would ever go without medical treatment for lack of money - that no Canadian would ever be forced to sell their home or possessions in order to pay for medical treatment to save a loved one or provide for their ongoing healthcare.
That was when she seemed to go off the deep end. Telling me that Romney was a great man that would lead the country back to the right direction - had made his money honestly - paid his taxes regularly - was a good family man and was certainly not the man that was being portrayed in the media as a liar and a job killer. She then asked me an interesting question, 'are your parents still alive'? I said that my father had passed many years ago but that my mother was still alive - age 96 and in excellent health requiring no medication or assistance.
Wow is all I can say regarding her response to this. She questioned if I was afraid to leave my mom and travel out of the country. I said no and asked why she thought I should be. She thought I should be very worried about my mom's advanced age and what would happen if she were euthanized in my absence. Jaw hits chest.
I told this lady that one reason my mother is in such good health is partly due to the fact that our health care provides preventative care and not only care when illness hits. She told me that the reason so many of the older people in her country were frightened is that Obama is:
- a black man looking for revenge on white people
- is a Muslim
- is planning to make the US a Muslim country with Muslim religion and law
- will send death panels for people like her and her husband
Being a guest in her country and not wanting to further agitate her already volatile state of mind, I simply assured her that a closer look at health care in Canada and other countries around the world would demonstrate that it was viewed by citizens of those countries as a good thing. She remained stuck on the Death Panel issue.
Thank God it was then that we arrived at the hotel.
How do liberal thinking individuals live amongst these people and still manage to remain calm and sane? I could tell from the look in her eyes and her body language that she was not open to any discussion. She had all her facts and they probably came from Faux News because she sure had all of their talking points.
As reassurance, I arrived home and immediately called my Mom. No death panels came a callin' while I was away. Mom is happy and healthy.
About my Mom at 96 - she still has an Obama/Biden poster from the 2008 election (on her kitchen wall) that I brought home for her from California. She is an Obama admirer and I think has a secret crush on Joe. She has requested that I get her a new 2012 poster stating that 'I wish it could be a bumper sticker but they won't let me drive anymore'. Love that lady.