Saturday, April 16, 2011

Questions about the Tea Party rally and participants

1. Why are their signs so lame? The left unquestionably has better signs. Is the right unable to be creative? Can they not think for themselves? I'm trying to not be snarky, but part of the fun and energy of all the rallies at the Capitol has been the great, creative, and often very funny signs. I see few of those at the rallies put on by the right.

2. How come they all get shuttled around in buses? Maybe I should be happy that they are not contributing to downtown traffic congestion, and I understand that Madison can be a confusing place to drive and park, but it just all seems so staged.

I was coming back from the Isthmus Green Day event, and stopped to talk to a group of people waiting to get on the yellow school buses staging in front of the Municipal Bldg. I asked where the buses were going, and how come the rally participants didn't stick around and spend some money/support our local small businesses. I think some of the people thought I was spying on them, and they didn't want to answer. But one guy said that, "Last year, the businesses wouldn't serve us." Which leads me to another question:

3. What kind of BS stuff is right wing radio and Fox News telling these people? When the guy said that they had been refused service, I asked him where. He said, he heard it on the radio. So I asked the crowd, "Who here has been refused service at a local business?" Of course no one raised their hand. I told the crowd that I was certain that any local business would be glad to take their money, and we always welcome people supporting our local businesses.

One guy suggested that I then support Johnsonville Brats. (Referring, I'm sure to the suggested boycott of Johnsonville and Brat Fest for supporting Walker.) Well, for one things, they aren't a Madison business. For another, that is a bit different than eating at a restaurant or shopping on State St.

4. Why do all the conversation I have with the right wing rally goers end up degenerating into talking points from talk radio and Fox TV on their side? And I'm not even trying to talk about politics. Besides asking them where the buses were going, and urging them to stick around and spend money locally, I stopped to thank a pair of women who were picking up trash at the Capitol. Honestly, I saw they were wearing buttons, and I assumed they were typical Madison anti-Walker protesters picking up after the Tea Party rally. But they had on Sarah Palin and other Tea Party buttons, so I thanked them for cleaning up.

They said, "Of course, there shouldn't be any trash." I replied that yes, that was one of the great things about all the rallies throughout this ordeal: that people have been very clean and neat, always cleaning up. They replied skeptically, "Oh, yes we've seen how clean it is." (I think they were being skeptical and snarky, and not honest, but maybe they were being truthful.) When I said, "Oh, have you been up here for other rallies?" they replied, "No, we've seen it on TV." Uh huh. What makes me think that they mean Fox News has been feeding them a bunch of lies about how trashed the Capitol and grounds were? I told them, no, really, it's been wonderful. Much less trash than any of the events, like Art Fair on the Square.

Another guy who did engage me, calmly at first, but then more stridently when I wouldn't bite, asked me, "If working is a right, how come the right to life sin't a right?" He wanted to talk about abortion, and somehow got sidetracked onto asking if I supported women aborting their fetuses that were the wrong gender - in India and China. The conversation had started on the topic of the buses and supporting local businesses, so I'm not sure how we ended up within 90 seconds on abortion, but it seemed that it was another case of using the right wing radio/TV talking points.

5. Why did Vicki McKenna immediately give me a shooting headache? OK, this might have been pure coincidence, but I was buying some cheese at the Farmers' Market when she came on stage. The moment her voice came through the loud speakers, I got one of those headaches that is a shooting pain in your temple, the ones that make me think I'm having a stroke. (Am I the only one that gets those? Should I be worried? It's been happening most of my adult life, and I'm still alive and healthy, so I've mostly been ignoring them, but I always worry that maybe my body is trying to tell me something.)

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