OK

I stopped to pick up some groceries on the way home from work tonight.  It had been cold and blustery most of the day and I work outside. I really just wanted to get home, peel off all the layers of clothing and crack a beer but I needed to pick up a few things including cat food.
I stopped at Meijer which is a big box store; yes, I know.  But Meijer is Michigan owned, is unionized and has a very respectable selection of organic produce as well as locally baked breads.   Lately they've been expanding their gluten-free line of products too.
I'm a very political person.  I spend a lot of time here (although this is my first ever attempt at a diary), I read the Nation and Mother Jones, I listen to progressive talk in my truck all day at work and I keep up with the important events shaping our world. I hear and read Obama bashing every day and I try not to let it get to me.  I just wasn't prepared for the anti-Obama diatribe I heard from the cashier as I was checking out.

The cashier was an older white woman and she looked like she'd had a hard life.  I often feel bad when I see older people still working when, in a just society, they shouldn't have to. Obviously I don't know her story but there she was checking and bagging groceries, a job which keeps you on your feet for hours on end, at 8:30 on a Friday night.
She started making small talk with the lady in line before me and out of the blue said,
"Of course Obama says there's no inflation.  I don't think the man has ever had to buy groceries in his life.  He probably gets his employees to do it for him.  You know, buy his arugula?"
The lady in line made some sound of agreement which didn't come across as heartfelt to me.  Maybe she agreed but didn't want to get into it, maybe she didn't agree but didn't want to get into it.  Most likely she barely heard what the cashier was saying and just wanted to get home.  I don't know.  She paid and split.
So the woman begins checking out my groceries (including the arugula) and starts in with me about "that man, that elitist" in the white house having "no idea" what it's like for regular people out here.  On and on.
My anger was building up to a boil; I mean, I just wanted to get home to that beer and who knows how many people before me had to hear this crap?  
So after I was all paid up and everything was in my cart I said to her,
"I suggest you keep your political opinions to yourself when you're standing there because you never know who's standing here.  I don't appreciate hearing my president trashed like that.  That's all I'm going to say."
Her eyes flashed with anger and realization that I must be one of "those people".  She drew in a breath, about to say something and I said,
"If you say one more fucking thing I'll go find your manager and all three of us can discuss this."
At that, she suddenly deflated.  Now the look in her eyes was fear.  She looked down and meekly mumbled "Ok.  Sorry sir."
I left then, proud of myself and still full of anger.

By the time I got to the car however I was starting to have mixed feelings.  This lady was clearly a low information voter, concerned about rising prices and was only repeating something she heard Rush or Sean or whoever spout off about and I had just threatened her job.  It's something I've never done before in my life and, well, it made me feel kind of shitty.  I will never be able to understand people who do that kind of thing for a living.
I know around here people always say we progressives shouldn't be afraid to speak up
and I'm glad I did.  I just wonder if I went too far.
I guess that kind of defines the liberal quandary in a nutshell doesn't it?

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