A relatively short time ago I was confronted by a man who told me that it was imperative that I listen to him because our country was on the verge of disaster. I tried not to be distracted by his appearance and to listen to his words. Looks don't matter, I teach my children that.
It doesn't matter that you look like Elmer Fudd or that your voice resembles Yosemite Sam. What matters is what you say and what you do. I know that and I tried hard, so very hard not to be distracted. I didn't say "what's up doc," or call him "colonel" or use any of the many other goofy expressions that floated through my mind.
It took a moment to gain my composure, but I did it. And I am fairly certain that he never noticed that for a moment I wasn't all there because he never took a breath. Once he started speaking he plowed ahead like a freight train. And he did so with all of the grace of a bull in a china shop.
So now in paragraph four you have to be asking yourself what it was that he said and why I haven't repeated it. That is because it was gibberish. It was unadulterated nonsensical ranting about how the leadership of the country is bankrupt and the people are stupid and how our doom is at hand.
In spite of my proclivity for self deprecation I do have common sense, the ability to focus and an education. Those three things provide the foundation for determining if what I am being fed is factual, relevant and important.
So when you start crying about the problems and challenges the country faces I will ask questions. I'll ask you to tell me why you don't like socialism. I'll ask you because I am curious to hear your opinion and because I am curious to find out if you actually understand what it is and if so, can explain why it is problematic.
I'll listen to what you are saying and try to figure out if it is based upon fact or emotion and whether it is important to really pay attention.
And I should add that my opinion is not going to be swayed solely because I am a member of the same group, whatever group that may be as you. I need a little more substance than that.
With any luck the next time I get involved in one of these conversations I won't find myself wondering where you stashed your rifle and waiting to be asked to help kill that "wascally wabbit."