2012-09-07 – Rode the train home from La Crosse with a guy named Bob. Seemed like a nice guy. My age. A retired member of the UAW. Good sense of humor.
It’s five hours from La Crosse to Chicago, so we had plenty of time to talk. Several times the conversation turned to politics in one form or another. Bob thinks Romney is a total liar and is not inclined to vote for him. But he’s heard stories about Obama that have him dead set against voting for him. He’s looking for a third party candidate to resolve his dilemma.
Let me make one thing clear. Bob’s antipathy toward Obama is not racist, at least not in a direct sense. He is not an angry white guy. His friends and family are a diverse bunch. We’re quick to call people racist and there is plenty of racism in our society, but not everyone is racist.
At least not overtly. Covert racism is another story. You are covertly racist and so am I. By covert racism, I mean subtle biases that exist in your mind that you would never act on. It’s like when you think of murdering the guy who cut you off in traffic . . . but you never do it. The idea arises in your mind, but you know better. It is the voice that competes with your better self.
And though you would never intentionally act on these fleeting racist thoughts, they may make you more susceptible to believing lies about Obama that you might consider to be transparently false if he were white.
Bob’s story came from a preacher he greatly respects. The preacher told the story that, when President Obama goes to speak in a church, his people insist on removing crosses and images of Jesus from the church for the duration of his visit. This is greatly upsetting to him. It would be greatly upsetting to me (even though I am not a Christian).
If it were true. I see this as total baloney. I see this, not only as baloney, but contrary to Obama’s whole character. I told him so.
My problem with my liberal friends is that they write guys like Bob off. To them, he is not even worth talking back to. So he really doesn’t have much of an opportunity to hear the other side. Only some random guy who accidently sits next to him on a train.
At the end of the ride, Bob told me he was a born-again Christian. I sorta had that idea already. He told me (I hope I have this right) that scripture says that Jesus will return in 2017 and that the rapture is scheduled for four years before the return, namely 2013. I observed that his schedule means that the rapture is only next year and wished him luck on that. He laughed.
Maybe there’s something to it. If our nation of sinners elect Mitt Romney, he will take office in 2013, initiating a four-year period of suffering and tribulation. And then God help us.