As people, in general. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of friends who are on the left side of the spectrum and are voting for Kerry next week, (although not very enthusiastically, it’s been interesting to note), and in my experience it’s mostly the younger sort, the 12-25 year olds, who are unable to control their reaction to someone who dares to disagree with them.
In my Kerry-Edwards shirt, I enter Red America certain that I am on the verge of inciting to rage a gang of angry yachtsmen who would soon be strapping me and my lefty leisurewear to their mizzenmast. Instead, I encounter only shades of indifference—head shaking, “crazy idiot” expressions from older, very wealthy, very white folks in Newport Beach; terse nods from the middle- to working-class citizens of Bakersfield, which seem to indicate that people here have much bigger things to worry about than whatever is on my stupid T-shirt….
Dressed to impress in my Bush-Cheney T-shirt, tote bag, and “W.” button, I first stop at Silverlake’s Über-cafe, the Coffee Table…. A fashionably dressed woman seated at a sidewalk table makes a disgusted face at the sight of me. On line at Psychobabble coffee house, another woman in a blue velour tracksuit rolls her eyes and grimaces at me with undisguised hatred. Realizing there are no seats but the one next to me, she stares intently into her cup, avoiding my polluting glance, until another table opens and she quickly relocates. Out on the avenue once again, I am gifted with my second “Asshole” of the day, this time muttered by a young man with bright dyed raspberry hair.
That sort of name-calling is pretty tame compared to what I get from both outraged Three Monkeys who see me as some sort of traitor and clueless lefties who simply don’t have any ammunition to use against me, but it pretty much corresponds to my daily experience. I do find it amusing, though, to see the look of shock on someone’s face when after they finish a diatribe against Bush, I agree with them because he’s far too statist, far too leftist and is leading the country into global socialist ruin….