On the heals of my personal conversation with a Right Wing woman (Link here) that was widely received by this online community I got a phone call this afternoon from Romney's Colorado Campaign, they said it was El Paso County (phone number is 303-740-xxxx, though I am certain it is a throw-a-way cell phone number), but they now have an office in Colorado Springs at 205 Sutton Ln.
Some personal background: I was a Democratic Party State Party Official (State Central and Executive Committee elected member, 2009-2011, El Paso County Executive Committee elected member, 2009-2011 and have been a Precinct Committeeperson dating back to 2006) as well as a 2007-2008 Obama volunteer leader. I got on the Republican call list when back in 2008 I along with another volunteer leader picked up some McCain-Palin speech tickets when they came to Colorado Springs before the general election. Periodically during an election period (2008, 2010 and now this year I receive phone calls from the Dark Side). Beforehand it was push-pull surveys out of Washington State and today was my first live campaign volunteer call. When they call I am honest and responsive.
Caller: Hi I am a volunteer for Mitt Romney for President, is this RWN, how are you today?Interrupting me the obvious youthful male volunteer cuts in
Me: Yes it is and I am fine, but it is too bad.
Caller: What is too bad sir?
Me: It is too bad for you since you are volunteering for a bad candidate?
Caller: Excuse me? Romney is a great candidate.
Me: No is a very poor candidate.
Caller: Sir, you can think whatever you want! (his voice and inflection being both sarcastic and attacking)Below the squiggles I will continue the dialogue and then two succeeding conversations, one with the volunteer's paid volunteer coordinator and then the campaign's Regional Field Director.
Me: Of course I can think whatever I want, what the hell is that.
Caller: I am just saying....you can think whatever you want.
Me: I want to know what you are insinuating saying I can think whatever I want?Phone is transferred by hand as the original caller tries explaining his side of the story to his coordinator.
Snickering he snidely replies
Caller: I was just sayyyyiiiingggg that youuuuu can think whatEEEVVVEEERRR you waannt siiiiirrrrr.
Me: I want to speak to your uplink supervisor.
Coordinator: Hi this is Eric can I help you.
Me: Eric what is your role?
Coordinator: I am Mitt Romney for President Volunteer Coordinator.
Heard in the background the now openly laughing original caller is explaining that all he said was I could think whatever I wanted.
Me: Do you train your volunteers to bait and degrade voters they are calling to persuade?
Coordinator: I guess all my volunteer said was you can think whatever you want.
Me: Let me deconstruct this for you. I got a call from him where I said that it was too bad your candidate is not very good and his response was that I could think whatever I want in a sarcastic, condescending manner.
Coordinator: I am confident he didn't mean anything but that you are free to think whatever you want.
Me: Isn't that presumed, isn't it presumed that all citizens and voters in America are free to think whatever they want, so stating in response to a valid statement that Mitt Romney is not a good candidate, that he is flawed and ineffective is not something too far fetched isn't it? Aren't there Republican Party elected officials and leading party members who have made that statement, that Romney is not a good candidate, even recently?
More laughter now from multiple persons, an OMG is in there, I suspect I am now on a speaker phone or secondary listening headphone.
Coordinator: Sir, he was just saying you can think whatever you want and will be able to do so with Romney as president not like now.
Me: What? Are you saying I am not able to think politically what I want with the current President---how, where, when?
Coordinator: Sir you are able to think whatever you want, but not with this President.
Me: Give me examples.
Coordinator: There are many examples, but with Romney you would be able to think what you want.
Me: Give me one example, right now how this current president has squashed my freedom to politically think.
Coordinator: Let me give you to my supervisor.
Regional Field Director: Hello sir may I help you.End of call.
Me: What is your name?
Regional Field Director: Rory (Rory McShane, Rory@ColoGOP.org)
Me: What is your role with the campaign?
Regional Field Director: I am the Regional Field Director
Me: You have to retrain your volunteers and volunteer coordinator
Regional Field Director: Sir, they do a great job I have never had a problem with a call before.
Me: Let spell it out. I got a call from your volunteer where I said that it was too bad your candidate is not very good and his response was that I could think whatever I want in a sarcastic, condescending manner.
Regional Field Director: Sir, I know he was just saying you can think whatever you want.
Me: How do you know this, were you on the phone or in his head?
More laughter behind the scenes with conversations.
Regional Field Director: No but I am confident he was just saying what he was, he is a good volunteer.
Me: Now let us put this together. Is it not presumed that in the United States of America that it is presumed and does not have to be stated that every one of us can think whatever we want, especially in political terms is that not so?
Regional Field Director: Yes it is.
Me: So why was it stated in response to me when I said that Romney is not a very good candidate?
Regional Field Director: I am sorry sir.
Me: Then your volunteer coordinator gets on and accuses the current President of the U.S. that right now we are not able to think whatever we want and after two attempts to give me examples he couldn't so he gave the phone to you.
Regional Field Director: I am sorry you feel this way.
Me: What the hell is that, this has little to do with feeling. Are we not able to think the way we want to in the U.S.
Regional Field Director: Yes everyone is free to think the way they want.
Me: Okay let me tell you something, I am a Democratic Party official, I am unsure why you got my number but every election cycle I get calls from the other side and I am honest and see how you guys are doing.
A big breath....now in the background I hear a hush and laughter has stopped. I hear hush...
Me: Now you had better get your guys trained better. I am for civility in the political discourse and not the baiting and degradation personally when someone disagrees with a candidate or position and when I see or experience that kind of politics I am willing to drive a Mack Truck over those doing it. Do you understand?
Regional Field Director: I hear you.
Me: Now I see how you guys are operating and you had better strike me from you lists (I have said this in 2008 and 2010 so I know it won't happen), but I am going to report this conversation. BTW those who laughing and snickering need to find some new maturity.
Post Script: I interpreted the "You can think whatever you want" on many levels.
A) Any person on their list of potential supporters, who is not willing to jump, is considered a threat or worthless to the Romney volunteers. Because the Romney volunteers believe that they are superior people, they don't really believe in the Democratic process. They see the democratic process as a chore in their ascension to power to which they are entitled to..
B) They are untrained or unable to actually persuade or seek to find out why they are not getting support from their calls. When we worked for Obama in 2008 we sought information and responses to questions as to why there was not support and how and why a voter would support the candidate. Never would we ever insult or degrade them.
C) Now the issue that you can't think whatever you want with Obama as President. I am going to speculate here since it was not stated, but that was code. It is intuitive to see if I am cognizant of the code where I can't think in open bigotry terms. Yes I can't think whatever I want if I am a bigot in this society where a Black President is in charge. Get it. Thus he couldn't give examples.
D) They hushed when they realized I was from the other side and had baited them into a call where they were exposed. Now it is going on line and hopefully comes back to them.
Final thought: Before the power of the Internet and social networking this kind of conversation would stay in the house and they could continue going on as they please but if enough of those perpetrated by this kind of garbage get the word and make them pay a political price.