The first of several episodes occurred at a Barnes and Noble signing. A man fondled my novel , professed love for Florida books and appeared sure to buy one. Then he asked me did I vote for Obama. When I admitted I had, he set down the book and walked away. When I told him that was pretty fascist of him, he turned and said, “I just don’t want to expose myself to your writing.”
There you have it: self imposed, willful ignorance from a belief system too fragile to withstand some words from an unvetted source. He’s an addict enjoying so much the drug of narrow-mindedness that he won’t risk coming near the cure. But the pattern has been established. Every so often someone feigns intention of buying a book from me before asking my politics (only “conservatives” do this). I have a theory to explain the behavior, though I grant myself the luxury of not exposing myself to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show long enough to find out if it’s correct (three minutes is my limit). The regularity and similarity of these events lead me to believe he is exhorting his minions to go out and negatively reinforce “liberals.”
Last weekend’s was a stealth attack. The woman acted like she probably was a wild and crazy “liberal” and assured me she was a buyer, just couldn’t decide which book to get. She even went and got money from her husband. Then she made her move, slyly inquiring about the characters in Paradise Interrupted. “Liberal?” she asked. I said that really wasn’t a factor either way. “How about the source then?” she said coquettishly.
“Me?” I said. “I like to think of myself as a liberal person.”
“So,” she said. “You like to think of yourself as liberal.”
Suddenly she becomes a hideous fiend, snakes pop out the top of her head, she slams down the book and screams, “Ahaah! I’m conservative!!! I can’t support you.”
The fact is, she got it all wrong. I wasn’t asking her to support me. I already support me. I was just out there selling my damn books. It’s simple – either you buy one or you don’t. I expect some of each. These people don’t seem to get that. I wonder if they pursue the same line at the grocery store check-out.
“Before I pay for those carrots, did you vote for Obama?”
I wonder what they do then.
I started to respond to the charge but she rudely waved me off as she stalked away, triumph in her bosom, a blow struck for the Dittohead way of life, maybe only the first of many that day; me devastated, punished by my politics, the one to blame for this lost sale which probably would signal my financial ruin, ruing my foolhardy attitude and determined to spend the rest of my life as the only kind of American who deserves to live, a conservative.
Wow! I never could have guessed that bulk wasn’t Limbaugh’s only claim to greatness. Since becoming conservative, I have flourished. Nobody wastes my time pretending to buy a book and I worship Rush Limbaugh for giving me what to think, thereby freeing up my mind for more important things. And I appreciate Republican politicians for the pitiful, mentally mangled, out-of touch with life, uncool people they appear to be, and the struggles they must have endured to bring into prominence those characteristics. And I think I ‘m actually learning to disdain OBama because, well, he just really isn’t white enough, is he?