There's an unwritten rule about jobsite radios. He who brings the radio
calls the tunes. Or talk as the case maybe. A few weeks ago I arrived to do rough in (basically the pulling of wire and setting of boxes/raceways). The electrician had a clock radio going, and he was listening to Glenn Beck
and Rush Limbaugh
. You know, two of radio's support group
s for cranks.
But I'm really getting to old to argue. I want to get my work done, not fight. And ideological conservatives aren't particularly interested in reality. That's why they watch Fox and listen to guys like Limbaugh. They don't want information, they want their prejuidices reinforced. They want to be sure they're better and wiser than we are. Don't want to hear they might be wrong. Don't really want a clue. There's really no point in debating. So I concentrated on work.
On Friday I returned for rough in. This time the radio is playing Morning Edition, on NPR. Actual news. Content. I breathed a sigh of relief. The same electrician is there, but also his boss an electrical engineer from Bulgaria, now pulling wire just like I am. We speak a bit in Russian, and the rust flakes off my grammar. But then I hear another voice in the background.
It's the other electrician, the guy who likes Glenn Beck, the guy from the hard right.
He recited those two names, over and over again like a catechism or a mantra. Quietly, but loud enough that everyone can hear.
It's nuts to me, insane, almost like he's building up for something, reciting the two together over and over like they really were related. But in his eyes, the two men probably are. They aren't conservatives. One bombed America, the other wants to lead it in a direction away from the one he would choose. Both are destructive acts.
Osama, Obama . . . .
What's he buliding up to? What's he wanting to do? Is he just doing this to annoy us? Or is he really losing it. And then I remember the right wing tracts I've seen, the angry rants ad calls for money with too much bold type.
He's probably not the only one out there, and then I realize he can't be the only guy out there doing this. There must be thousands of them out there, reciting their bloody mantra. And I realize they're going to try and kill him. That when Obama recieves the nomination they have him so associated with Evil that they can't see this as a political assassination, but an act of positive good, the dethroning of a tyrant who would ruin their McCarthyite fantasies.
Probably they won't succeed. Hopefully they won't succeed. So far as I know no one has taken a shot at Dubya, and it isn't because everyone likes him. I wonder if the Secret Service has become so thorough that getting close enough to him is all but impossible. Of course I do remember at least one attempt on Clinton where another right wing crank tried to crash his light plane into the Oval Office. He failed of course, but there were plots. Surely they won't stop trying, particularly if a black man rises to lead our nation.
But it takes only one slip. And the right has something we don't, most of the ex-military types, the most hardcore. When he blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City Timothy McVeigh wore a t-shirt with a picture of Abraham Lincoln on it with the motto Sic Semper Tyrannis right below, a shirt right-wingnuts bought in droves following the bombing.
And I begin to wonder if the man pulling wire in the next room might not be the guy with the rifle.