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I work with a guy who is not exceptionally smart, but who is usually a very friendly and nice person.  This guy is always laughing and making jokes with everyone and is generally pleasant to be around.

That is, until you talk with him about politics...

Bob (not his real name) is your typical tea bagger. A sixty-something undereducated white guy who has been totally brain washed into believing that Obama is the 2nd coming of Stalin. There is no fact that can be presented to him that can penetrate the teabag bubble. Nothing.

For example, if I talk about how the unemployment numbers have steadily improved, he brings up Solyndra out of nowhere. Then he whines about how Obama won't let us drill for oil and when I point out that we are drilling more than we did under Bush, he exclaims, "but not on federal land!" He is a veritable hooplehead echo chamber for the GOP memes.

I usually don't engage him on politics much, but I asked him today about how he liked his nominee.  He SAID that he liked Romney because he could win and that we really needed him to win before the country goes off the cliff. Then he leapt into how Obama was spending us into the poor house.

I was obligated to point out that it was Bush's wars, tax cuts, and recession that led to the high deficits. Then, as he continued to cry about Obama's spending, he said that he would support tax increases if only there would be spending cuts to go along with them. I reminded him that spending cuts were already scheduled to be triggered that would cut both entitlements and defense spending, but that the Republicans were trying to back out of the defense cuts. He said at that point that he agreed that we shouldn't cut defense spending. Of course.

When I brought this utter hypocrisy to his attention, he started muttering about how we needed a strong defense because we may need to go to war with Syria and North Korea. I then reminded him that bombing the shit out of other countries had never really endeared us to them and usually they end up hating us for it. Undeterred, he continued the argument.

In an effort to suggest that because we have an abundance of wealth in our country we are obligated to police the world, he asked me, "Would you agree that God has blessed our country?"

I was stunned for a moment.

He then repeated the question, "Would you agree that God has blessed our country?" and this is where things got really interesting. I replied, "I don't believe in God."

Holy Shit! That about made his head explode! He jumped up and pronounced that he could not even talk to me because he had no respect for anyone who didn't believe in God and he left the room.

Weird.As.Hell.

I guess that Bob is totally eaten up with his rampant conservatism and religiosity. It's a shame too, because outside of politics, he is a pretty nice guy.

As for me... it's kind of lonely being a progressive in the South. I have to defend liberals almost every day here. At least I am getting pretty good at it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fight the Good Fight (7+ / 0-)

    Sometimes, it can seem like the fight isn't worth it, but from all of us in more liberal territory, hang in there. At this rate, Fox News will kill off it's own demographic in no time. Once Obamacare actually kicks in in 2014, can you imagine just how hyper virulent Fox News will become? At that point, we'll see medical costs decrease dramatically, because 35% of elderly people will not want to use any medical facility because of death panels. In a sick way, Fox News may just be the tool needed to fix the deficit. Nobody to pay Social Security and Medicare too, problem solved.

    I really hate those douchebags.

  •  Conversation: (noun) (5+ / 0-)

    1. the interchange through speech of information, ideas, etc; spoken communication

    Since it's impossible to have an interchange of ideas with someone who refuses to hold a rational discourse, or whose mind cannot be changed no matter what is said, attempting to hold a "conversation" with a Tea Bagger is akin to teaching the proverbial pig to sing.

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:13:52 PM PDT

  •  I can sympathize (16+ / 0-)

    I live in AZ and know a lot of nice people who are wingnuts of one kind or another.

    I chip away.  Most of them don't like the Citizen's United SOTUS decision and are surprised to learn it was a conservative ruling.

    My fave is asking them if they think the country's better off then it was 30 years ago.  Of course they all say no (vehemently).  I remind them that that's when Reaganomics began and they get stumped to explain how that all works.

    I wave my patriotic flag (I love the US! --that's totally true) and tell them conservatives been ruining our country.  We were first in world in everything (like education, healthcare, standard of living, contentment, manufacturing) before Reagan starting gutting all the programs.  Now we don't even make the top ten in a lot of things.

    I also like to point out that if Reagan hadn't stopped all of Carter's alternative energy R&D programs, we'd be leading the world in renewable energy and no one would give a shit about the middle east cuz we wouldn't need their oil.

    Hang in and just keep chipping away.  I do this all with a friendly smile and never raise my voice.

    If I don't actually change their minds, it does make them shut up and that's OK too.

  •  you are lucky God did not strike you with a (9+ / 0-)

    lightening bolt or plague or the pox or something else.  Stupid people are made not born so Bob has been 60 years in the production and nothing like a few facts are going to alter him.
    God and hatred give him reason to hate those who succeeded while worshiping those to the manor born.  He has to explain his failures.  They are either his own fault or it is God's will or Obama's chicanery or the Easter Bunny mucking up the eggs he gets in life

    Bob needs to take responsibility for his own actions but if he did that, he would not be Bob now would he?

  •  How many kids (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob

    sit at the dinner table or in church with parents like 'Bob' and wonder "are these people full of it or am I crazy?" They are being bullied into conformity despite their doubts, and despite the bullying some manage to break away. Providing support to questioning minds is what education does, hence they hate it. Support public education and you support the doubters. This battle will be won or lost on school boards and in the minds of little kids wondering "WTF, really?" as they watch the behind closed doors abuse and hypocrisy every day.

    According to the 'Tree Climbers' I've talked to, doubt and self-loathing is rife inside the sacred precincts. You might ask 'Bob' if he has ever seen someone Praise the Lord on Sunday and F the Dog on Monday?

    Not every believing family is like this of course,  not even the majority, but within their ranks lurk 'Bobs' by the millions and  I'm not perfect either, but I don't claim to have access to Ultimate Truth.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:38:58 PM PDT

  •  Show him this quote from Rev John Leland (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, devtob, fumie, Iron Spider

    a Baptist minister and champion of freedom of religion.  We were founded deliberately as a secular society with no established religion since our rational founders realized that due to the great number of religions all claiming to be God's only truth, religious conflict was ridiculous, they wanted true freedom of belief and nonbelief to defuse religious conflict and keep it out of the public arena so the b problems of the country could be worked on rather that waste it on irrational belief debates.  Leland worked with Jefferson and Madison to pass the Virginia Relligious Freedom Act an is one of my favorite thinkers of that age.  Madison in particular thought both government and religion would be purer due to this separation.

    Disdain mean suspicion, but cherish manly jealousy; be always jealous of your liberty, your rights. Nip the first bud of intrusion on your constitution. Be not devoted to men; let measures be your object, and estimate men according to the measures they pursue. Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. It converts religion into a principle of state policy, and the gospel into merchandise. Heaven forbids the bans of marriage between church and state; their embraces therefore, must be unlawful. Guard against those men who make a great noise about religion, in choosing representatives. It is electioneering. If they knew the nature and worth of religion, they would not debauch it to such shameful purposes. If pure religion is the criterion to denominate candidates, those who make a noise about it must be rejected; for their wrangle about it, proves that they are void of it. Let honesty, talents and quick despatch, characterise the men of your choice. Such men will have a sympathy with their constituents, and will be willing to come to the light, that their deeds may be examined.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 09:09:31 PM PDT

    •  I should have mentioned that this is from a 1791 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, fumie

      sermon with a great title.

      The Rights of Conscience Inalienable and therefore Religious Opinions not cognizable by Law:Or, The high-flying Churchman, stript of his legal Robe, appears a Yahoo

      my tag comes from this sermon

      Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

      by J Edward on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 09:15:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a talk with a ditto head today (11+ / 0-)

    I was talking about how the price of diesel peaked in July of 2008 at 4.71 and it has now only gotten to 4.17.  He could not dispute my facts since we both have to know this data for part of our job.  I then talked about how it was said that 40% of what we pay is due to speculators.  He surprised me by immediately agreeing with me and going off on the speculators and how they had no right to gouge us like that.  I was a bit shocked.  I will say, though he is a right winger and Drudge addict, he doesn't watch Fox.  I went on to explain that the Frank-Dodd had included a requirement that would stop speculation.  The rule needs to be finalized by the head of the Commodities Futures Regulatory Board which was supposed to happen last July.  I went on to explain that a few Senators were getting pretty testy with this guy because of the delay.  The ditto-head listened with rapt attention.  If I had told him it was Bernie Sanders who was fighting this fight, his head would have exploded right then and there.

    Now the Teabagger in my office was treated to a little education from me on the North Dakota "oil field" that will "solve all our problems for 100 years" about 6 months ago.  I showed him how it had been known for a while but it wasn't profitable to get it out until the price per barrel went to $100.  He seemed to believe me.  Anyway, yesterday I saw an article about how the banks negotiated a deal with gas stations where swipe fees are tied to the price of gas per gallon.  Of course as the price goes up, the swipe fee goes up along with it.  I was pretty furious and went over to tell him all about it.  He was properly disgusted too as we both realized who pays that extra swipe fee and again, how the banks are ripping us off.

    I like to think I have been infecting the Borg hive mind a bit and it will send out trojan facts to other Borg.  Eventually, they will all have their heads just explode.

    One nut-job at a time...

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 09:26:24 PM PDT

  •  I somehow feel that there really could (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, celdd

    be a lot that is in common with the TBs and OWS crowd, and that so much could be accomplished......

    ......then religion gets in the way.  And with that, as in your story....

    ......nothing gets accomplished.

  •  I hope Obamacare contains Mental Health Benefits (0+ / 0-)

    Because these Teabaggers are really going to need it in 2014.

  •  Impressive..... (0+ / 0-)

    Many of the above counter arguments are smokin' excellent.  I'm saving this diary for a reference point.

    My own encounter w/ an older Tea Bagger ended w/ him screaming "get out of my garage, get out of here".  All I did was bring up the 8 year Iraq war.  They are very touchy when you start talking about Iraq.

    He's a retired military man.  From the way he acted I thought he was a 4 star.  Turns out he's a Chief Warrant Officer.  His grandson spilled the beans.

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