Just a thought... You can give a person knowledge, but you can't make them think. Some people want to remain fools, only because the truth requires change. [Tony A. Gaskins Jr.]
I haven't mentioned it here yet, but a very Happy Hanukkah to you and yours. Now, to switch lanes: you've heard of the Gift of the Magi, right? They're the Three Wise Men and, of course, are a huge part of the story of the birth of Jesus. Well, meet my own Gift of the MAGA: three stories of not-so-wise-men that we've encountered in just the past week down here in California. Here we go.
MAGA #1: The other night as we took our guests to the Cheesecake Factory in Cathedral City (named for the nearby canyon - Cathedral, not Cheesecake) we parked our car near a beaten up old Subaru that had a bumper sticker on it that read: If you still support Hillary, Back UP. I don't trust your judgment.
I don't know if whoever drives it still feels that way at this point in Trump's presidency, or if taking the sticker off would pull off the bumper, but it still made me shake my head. Like her or not, Hillary was warning us about him being a Putin puppet until the last vote was cast. And every day she's being proven more and more correct.
MAGA #2: During their all-too-brief visit here, we took our friends Ian and Anita to a local weekend favourite, the market at College of the Desert. Lined with vendors offering clothes, hats, fishing excursions in Northern BC and lots of food, we were drawn into a store that had the loveliest plush-lined light pink spa robes. I was looking seriously at buying one until I saw that near their embroidery machine were two hats. Both of them black, they had the call signs of every legitimate TV news outlet like MSNBC, NBC, CBS, CNN and more sewn on...surrounding, in big letters, two words: FAKE NEWS. Guess which broadcaster wasn't there? You got it: FOX.
Now, there's a chance that the man who kindly greeted me as I entered the white tented store was only selling the hats to make the $20 that other hat vendors at the fair were making. But - probably unreasonably - I decided that I didn't want to give him my money for that soft robe that had beckoned me to begin with.
Why unreasonably? Because if he had a hat that said "My Daughter is the Best Kisser," "No Fat Chicks," "Beer Makes Even You Look Good" or something equally tasteless, I'd ignore it and keep shopping. But because what those hats of his say is so egregiously similar to what comes out of Cheeto Mussolini's mouth (unfortunately I didn't come up with that nickname, but I wish...), I couldn't even consider supporting the guy who would sell those hats.
MAGA #3: Driving to a restaurant along a busy six-lane road in the dusk, I could see into one of the many high-end car dealerships. (Need a Lamborghini or a Bentley? Palm Springs is the place to be. Oh my....) There, in the brightly-lit but empty showroom, I could see a TV on and the face of Tucker Carlson. If I was a potential car buyer, I'd tell whomever was on the front desk that I didn't trust anyone who believed FOX News, turn on my heel and leave. But I guess when your demographic is "old guy with too much money," you fish where the fish are. Come to think of it, why not have an aquarium channel on? This fish would be looking for another place to feed.
Clearly, this winter I have to learn a lesson in "live and let live." Perhaps that's what I'll take away from this time in a foreign country that is having heightened civil woes. And I'll continue to hope that every decent person of Canada, where hate crimes have risen noticeably since Trump helped make America openly racist again, fights this trend on every front. In my home country, I will stand up and I will be heard.
On Twitter last Friday, I retweeted a comment commending PM Justin Trudeau for calling the US President by his first name at the G20, just as Trump does to Trudeau and anyone else he feels he can belittle, whenever he pleases. When someone tried to tell me that Trump deserves respect and Trudeau should have shown it, I straight out said no.
Well, bright and early Saturday morning, at least two Proud Boy wannabes were calling me out and responding with personal insults and swearing about JT. I guess a simple retweet not hating our Liberal prime minister is all it takes for the vitriol to come out in a bilious torrent. But it was fun to block them. Is there a way to apply that ability to everyday life?
Something to ponder as we head into another day. May it be a peaceful one all around.
(@erindavis on Twitter)