The idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has been around in one form or another for probably, well, let’s just say a very long time.
Nonetheless, if the adage is cliche to one or the other then all I can do is provide a response with an acronymn, delivered in the phonetic alphabet, kind of like you hear fighter pilots do in movies. My phonetic message is: “SIERRA, ALPHA, TANGO, SIERRA,” which is short for “sorry about that s**t. In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover suits my needs insofar as this — hopefully — short post exists.
I stopped to talk with a neighbor upon returning from the store. After a few words or so, he launched into a discourse about how the elections in Virginia and New Jersey today should tell the tale of just how screwed up that blankety-blank Obama is doing.
Now I wrote a line or two about this yesterday saying I don’t think these few scattered elections are going to tell anything about how Obama is doing in office, the state of the Democrats or the future for the divisions within the Republican party. So, I told my neighbor I didn’t think the elections will matter one damn bit except in those states. He went just right along with his rant.
I have never discussed politics with my neighbor. He probably doesn’t even know I blog or have what some refer to as a “liberal” blog. I don’t particularly see EFD that way, but whatever works. I am a liberal in the good sense, but mostly a moderate and conservative on other matters and even libertarian on still others. The neighbor’s take on matters is rather obvious, a “watch Fox News all-the-time ultra conservative Republican.” This is obvious because he spouts the party line every time I see him.
What puzzles me is why he thinks I would like to hear his, mostly wrong, political opinion. Is it because I look like a redneck? I get along with some of the rednecks who live around here. I don’t get along with some of the crackheads. So is that why my neighbor targets me as a Limbaugh-boostin’ Obama hater?
The same happens when I am in the waiting room at the VA clinic. Some guy wearing a World War II GI-rene veteran ball cap — thank him for his service — comes in and starts blasting away at how Obama is ruining this universe, not to mention the Corps, Semper Fi! Of course, at the VA you’re liable to get some long-hair guy wearing a biker’s vest with Vietnam veteran patches who either starts saying the same type of thing, or else he goes off on the Republicans, which he blames all the way back to Dick Nixon.
Surely it isn’t just me. My past mental health counselor labeled me as having a narcissistic personality disorder, so that statement should be a sign of progress, yes? Well, perhaps not. The point is, why do people who you really don’t know that well or at all approach you and unload upon you with their opinions — or the opinions of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Limbaugh and Fox News?
The same goes for religion. I don’t mind having a rational discussion about religion but I don’t like people who get in my face and tell me I’m going to Hell when in fact they don’t know me well enough to know where I might be going. Nederland, Texas, for instance. I have had very civil discussions about religion with Mormon missionaries who neatly parked their bikes outside my place and were extremely polite. They even gave me a Book of Mormon, which I have somewhere.
But I am getting out of the octagon here. People approaching me about religion, I think, would be less likely based on how I look than politics. The truth is, though, I have to think that a good many people who give me their political outlook unsolicited do it because, well, I’m not sure why they do it. I guess the weather became to passé.
Some probably do see in me the look of a Limbaugh-Palin conservative: Shaved head, overweight, unhappy looking most of the time (although that is from chronic pain and not from figurative pains in the ass), known to wear ball caps with the Houston Astros logo. There you go.
If that be the case, then I wish people would cease and desist. Stop judging this book by its cover, or whatever the hell else it is that’s wrong with you!