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The scene: Outside of very Right Wing voting Colorado Springs, (53% who vote, vote straight Republican regardless), is a small liberal, eclectic, religiously irreverent and vibrant town called Manitou Springs where once a week the local Chamber sponsor's a community woodwind and brass band. It is much more than a few amateurs comprised of retired Air Force, Marine and Army band members plus performing professionals and music teachers where it attracts over a three hundred or more to a city park. Each week the free musical event gathers under a roofed band shell constructed as part of a New Deal NRA project at a city park alongside a mountain stream where they play everything from Sousa marches to Boston pops and a few classics like Beethoven or Mozart.

Once a year there is an ice cream social and pie making contest that precedes the concert, where the crowd swells to over 500, that was what was scheduled last night. Naturally most of the patrons are over 65 years old but there are many young families, middle-aged tourists, and those who simply appreciate well performed music assemblies---that are free! Our patriarch performs at the age of 83 so each week our entire family comes to applaud the person who once was a Tommy Dorsey Big Band member, probably only a handful who are still performing. Many of the regular attendees bring their own lawn chairs since the New Deal benches were the original uncomfortable seating design as to repel over night homeless sleepers. Therefore those seated in their own chairs were squeezed into small groups are in close company.

Last evening before our area got a desired monsoonal-type rainfall event there was a 65-ish old, well-casually dressed woman seated closely behind  me who proceeded to spout off loud enough that anyone within ten feet could hear her clearly above the crowded din of her political beliefs. She was volunteering that she just came from a local Romney campaign event that featured small businesses. Specifically she described that a local CO Springs businessman, owner of Angler's Covey, (it is a fly fishing and camping equipment purveyor in CO Springs), where he was profiled as the featured speaker at his store.

She then bragged that "Dave performed admirably" as he was "so offended by Obama's assault on entrepreneurs". Having been an entrepreneur for over a decade myself, her conversation immediately piqued my interest, I physically turned my camping chair noticeably to better hear the woman in what was a non-private conversation describing the local event.

My best recollection quoting the unidentified woman:

"As Dave said", (evidently she was on a first name basis with Angler's Covey's owner), 'we create the jobs!  Because of our own hard work you know!'" The woman continued and said, "Dave went on with a strong statement saying, "Not because a government program builds businesses or anything like that, it is just because we worked hard!"  It was beautiful and something that has to be said often."
Then the unidentified man who was sitting next to her, he too dressed as if he just came off the country club golf course and similarly aged between 65-70, responded;
"Yes they need to know this country was built by business and not the government bureaucrats or socialists."
{SOCIALISTS! This is interesting, I though to myself}

The conversation will continue under the squiggles, it remained civil in its volume but not so much in its tone or intensity...though I will add I was complimented by those seated around that soothed the fearful emotions of my family as we had to evacuated because of flash flood conditions...

UPDATE COMMENT: thank you for the comments and recommendations...the point is this to most of you commenting and recommending. Courage. Be respectful and knowledgeable when engaging even deferring superficial personal respect but don't let up. The RW likes only to talk to themselves and not be challenged. They know when they are lying and cheating. I will write up a follow up as how to do this. The importance is not trying to persuade the RW, they are lost souls, it is those around you who are deciding what they are going to do.  

Unidentified woman continues:

"Dave took that little business and tripled its size and now has doubled his employees. He did himself with no help of any government. That guy who those Alfred E. Neumann ears and that Hussein name just doesn't ever get it!"
Now allow me to reveal something before I describe how I cut in. On my Blackberry about twenty minutes earlier I read a tweet from Denver's Channel 31 (KWGN) about the very story the unidentified woman was now describing behind me. The tweet was titled:

"Colorado businesses saying ‘We did build that’ also got government loans" , where then the link described how Dave Leinweber received a government backed SBA loan to expand but then in an interview still wailed on government regulations. So I had to cut in and inquired in a deadpan, respectful manner.

"Excuse me, Madam, were you referring to today's presser with Dave Leinweber?"

Unidentified woman replies, "Why yes do you know Dave?"

I smile as I usually do dispassionately though as my wife has learned condescendingly, answering, "No, but that is not important. What is important is that you left out an important piece of information regarding your story...

Her companion interrupts, "and what would that be, were you there as well?"
Taking the smile off my face consciously I then leaned forward, simultaneously eyeballing my young adult aged daughter who often believes she is the moral center of the household and actually is a political intern. She also knows I relish engaging in public discussions with unsuspecting persons, especially political or science conversations. She has now noticed I am about to engage with these seemingly nice strangers whom we are now supposed to sit close to for the next couple of hours if the concert would go on as planned. She is displaying that indignant look of her's---but too late I engage. I continue with the conversation.
"No I was not there but I just read a tweet and link of the presser from KWGN in Denver that was curiously titled: 'Colorado businesses saying ‘We did build that also got government loans.'

Now my question is; let me be precise with your friend Dave's quote. Was it something like? '[n]ot because a government program builds businesses or something or else like that, it is just because we worked hard'---am I correct, so then how does that square with the notion that without a government backed loan, how does this friend of yours, expand and build his business?"

Silence...oh I just love these golden in moments where the Right Wing, are caught off guard, just like how Michael Moore caught Charlton Heston in "Bowling for Columbine"...silence. Do you know that crooks and liars don't like to be caught red-handed, it is psychologically troubling for them. So I continue.
"I myself owned and operated a number of businesses, applied for both straight up commercial credit and SBA loans, I know that often an SBA loan is the last chance to get credit because essentially the Feds' co-sign it and take all the risk while the bank administers the loan and makes all the profits---which is really closer to socialism as you can get---I mean socialize the risk but privatize the profits---right? Boy this sounds much like that business owner in New Hampshire who was the star of that ad about "I built it" but was outed taking many government business hand outs. LINK

So my last question is? Why would you omit such a critical piece of information about Dave's business expansion, is it that it doesn't mesh with Romney's political narrative that is so obviously transparent and prejudicial? No not prejudicial, how about just mendacity---that is it, deception."

Now my daughter is standing next to me and cuts into the conversation saying: "Dad that is enough, this is not the place or time for this."

But the unidentified woman is undeterred and tells my daughter she can take care of herself. She then proceeds to say,

"Maybe Dave got an SBA loan and maybe he didn't, but it was hard work and if you were a business owner you would know what hard work is..."

I interrupt uncivilly, as I display my Blackberry with the article cued up, saying: "Dave admits he got it [SBA loan] right here in the press, and as for hard work, whether I worked for myself or worked for someone else or the government I always work very hard."

Waving me off the she continued,

"It was Obama (said in the most sarcastic manner) who said it was not business people who built their businesses, (and then goes on to quote Sinunu), where he just doesn't understand the American way---he is after all a foreigner and..."
Just then her companion tapped her on the knee and said honey don't say something you will regret." I wonder what she was about to say?

Afterwards my visiting sister-in-law said my face at that moment resembled the smile in the movie 'Grinch that Stole Christmas' , gosh I love to engage the misinformed, the prejudicial and the simply partisan uneducated, I then ask politely:

"May I respond respectfully. First, the President of the United States did not say what you believe he said, that is a misinformed and uneducated (yes baiting purposefully) interpretation stoked by campaign efforts to inflame the prejudicial. Allow me to read verbatim from the speech what specifically President Obama said, (I love wireless Internet access),
My daughter cuts in, "Dad..." Just then my wife comes over with an ice cream cone as the threatening thunder and lightening open up with a downpour.

Reading from the Blackberry:

"Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own.  You didn't get there on your own.  I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there..."
The unidentified woman impatiently interrupts my reading, "You are not going to read the entire speech are you?" in her best middle school cutting rendition.

Not looking up I say,

"No, just this important paragraph it makes the point---please bear with me:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you've got a business -- you didn't build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn't get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

She was now openly ignoring my reading with repugnant body language.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."

Lifting my finger, the point is:
"That you and the entire Right Wing including the Romney campaign, Limbaugh, Fox News and whatever, continue to take things out of context in a deceptive way, now what does that say for you, you as an individual, and for the campaign and the entire Right Wing---because you did it right here tonight---being deceptive. In part---how a campaign operates itself is a reflection of how they will govern---is that now so?"
Now I have insulted her (as I intended) as she gets up and exclaims, "He is calling me a liar!" My wife knowing that I have a habit of not only going for the throat but continuing to bite at a person's psychological juggler where people can get very angry even strike at me, says "That is enough, apologize right now."
I sit back in my chair, "for what?"
Just then the police department takes the stage and informs the assembled hundreds now huddling under the pavilion shelter and crowding everyone, "The Fire Chief has declared that this event be closed and evacuated as there is a flash flood warning in effect." I turn and begin folding up the chairs and help get our family's stuff together as those in denial want to wait it out.

Post Script:

The unidentified woman would not leave without the last word and as she carried her chair into the deluge of raindrops with her two companions.

"You, you, you liberal socialists think you are going to win again, let me say this, your guy that Muslim foreigner is going to lose and we are going to take America back again."
I reply as she is within a foot of me in the crowded pavilion.
"Again let allow me to politely inform the uneducated, first you call our President a Muslim and foreigner, ironically his father was actually a Seventh Day Adventist, where he and Obama's grandfather were converted and educated by missionaries whose family founded Texan Christian and where one of those heirs sponsored Obama's father to come to the US. President Obama identifies himself as a First Congregationalist, a Christian so where you get this Muslim thing is simply bigotry. But let us be real here, your code words for foreigner and Muslim is just racism, transparent to everyone around you---meaning who cares what a bigot says.
"BOB!" Exclaims my wife....
And I continue, "as for being a liberal, that is what I am proud to be, so now go and use the public roads, sidewalks and all other socialist things America has built."  But the interchange is over they walk off into the rain.
Now my wife and daughter begin to scold me like a teenager who had borrowed the car without asking but I was saved twice. First an older couple, definitely in their 70's approached and said she wanted to shake my hand. He was wearing a veteran Navy cap with a ship's name, she was in better physical shape than he, where said for all my family to hear:
"I want to thank you for what you just did. I am proud of how you handled her and yourself, what she was doing. We need more people to come forward and begin challenging those people. May I ask you is it really true that Obama's father was a Seventh Day Adventist? And what is TWEETS?"
"Yes," I reply, Obama's father and grandfather were converted by missionaries," where then my daughter said she had to the research for many Colorado constituents." The older woman said, "why is that not out there, it would put so much to rest."  I reply to her, "no, people want to believe what they want to believe, just look at the stupid birthers. As for TWEETS"...my cuts in, "it is more Internet stuff...just e-junk".

My wife is still giving me the look when another anonymous person came forward and said, "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. Thank you for being so informed and I am an independent and wish all the current political discourse was a as cutting through the BS as you cut through it. Are you political or something?

"No", I reply, "merely informed."

The rains came. Mudslides in the Waldo Canyon Burn area, flash floods throughout the county and my lawn is green.

 

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