"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Heroes, and messy democracy

Young Americans
The three of them stood there, holding three hand made signs, protesting Trump. as a constant stream of all kinds of people flowed by, heading for the rally inside the Oklahoma City convention center yesterday.
Two of them are students at Oklahoma City Community College, the other a student at Mid-Del High School. 
I spotted them as I rounded the south side of the building, curious about the types of people and the event. No, I didn't have tickets and intended to hold up my own protest sign, hoping to find others.
They were the only ones,  there of their own volition. Two were registered Republicans, one wearing a Tea Party shirt. The other was too young to vote.
Their courage inspired me  and since my sign was disrespectful compared to theirs, I just talked with them, watched from a respectful distance, and then had my photo taken with them.
They were polite and respectful, greeting passers by with "Hello, how are you?" Sometimes saying  things like "Don't build walls," and from one sign, "He's a fake conservative." The youngest one, always ended the conversation with "feel the love."
A few passersby who stopped got into respectful conversations.
But more of the people just flowed by, or were rude. 
Rudeness, cussings, fingers
One dumpy, frazzled woman, when greeted with "How are you?" wouldn't make eye contact, and replied "Better than you, go home."
Another 30 something, on hearing something about the wall, said "He's not going to build a wall." One of the protesters replied, "But he says he is." 30 something replied, "He's not going to build a wall." Reply, "Are you calling Trump a liar?" That got them a finger.
Worst case was one rough looking, big buckle, cigarette, who started loudly cussing them as he walked by, including the "F word," in easy sound of smaller children. (His Momma didn't teach him any manners)
I said to them, "Great vocabulary," and one smiled back at me, "Trump sure attracts well-educated, doesn't he?"
Another snipped from them: "It'd sure be nice to have a rational conversation with these people."
Others were outside too, passing out leaflets, selling campaign signs.
I saw one guy with an old campaign hat on, with a sign scratched on cardboard: "When tyranny comes to your house, it will come armed and in a uniform." We smiled at each other.
Another group (all men), one in an American flag shirt, was passing you pink sheets, urging women to vote for a candidate.
Teachers were everywhere, getting people to sign the petition for the one cent sales tax.
One young couple had driven up from Fort Worth and were passing out fact sheets on Trump, polite and smiling, unaffiliated with any campaign. They cared--they had information on how much money he'd given to politicians in both parties, including Hillary, and several who had voted for Obamacare. In addition, his past use of, and support of illegal immigrants. Here's their link: http://goo.gl/ochUxm if you care to see the research they did.
Most disturbing were the people passing out an eight page leaflet, "The Pope's Secrets," attacking Catholicism and the pope as part of an international conspiracy controlling the IRS, FBI, Mafia, and more.
Here's the first sentence: "The Vatican is posing as Snow White but the Bible says she is a prostitute, "The great whore." a cult (Rev 19:2.)" Oh and by the way, backing up  the claims are Bible references, but you're urged to use only the King James Version.
I went home and looked up the author, Tony Alamo, "World Pastor, Tony Alamo Christian Ministries."
Turns out that Alamo is not his real name, and he seems to have some trouble with the law. He moved from California back to his wife's home state in Arkansas. But in 2014 seven women who say they were sexually abused by him as minors were awarded $525 million.Church tycoon.
There are all kinds of tales, including an FBI raid on his Fort Smith compound in 2008. Fort Smith raid. Google some more and you'll find arrests and stories of child abuse.
I just wonder if all those people passing out the Pope article, calling the Vatican a "cult" knew any of this, or were deluded..
(Snarky comment about deluded people hinted at but  suppressed.)
Democracy and The First Amendment are messy.
Back to these three protesters -- I'm so encouraged by them, not because I agree with all their politics, any more than agreeing with my young family members supporting Bernie. 
What stands out is their commitment, their courage, their involvement in this Democracy--hope for the present and future.
Oh, the messages on their signs:
"Republicans Against Trump"
"Build a wall around his house"
"Trump is a fake conservative"
"A vote for Trump = A vote for Clinton"
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power
Then this world will know peace."

Their parents have done a great job, and should be proud--they have manners, conviction, and courage. They're a real contrast to all the anger and negativity of this campaign. I think that also is grounds for being proud of a still great America. Thank you, Americans.
Proud to pose with some dedicated conservatives

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