Background: I live in a building inhabited by a lot of seniors. When they moved in they were younger mid 50’s Democrats. Now, they’re aging Democrats and fear and wincing registers across their faces as if they were wearing — not a yellow Star of David, but something worse, much worse. They’re suffering the humiliation of wearing a fading blue D encased in a circle, which best describes their voting habits.
For most of their lives, they’ve been encased in their own little blue circles, carefully shielded from conservatives. I don’t need shields. Some months ago, when I saw a notice posted in the mail room that a ‘discussion’ group would be forming to talk about local, topical, political headlines and concerns, I decided I would try it out for size. At that time, the give and take was, to use the term, “fair and balanced.” The moderator moderated and even was more than happy to share the direction and scope of the discussions with my input.
I was therefore looking forward to the first post election gathering (we’re about 15-25 people who meet twice a month) as a time to sit, listen and, yes, gloat a little to myself. Sadly, gloating was impossible when the moderator began by reading pure, unadulterated drivel from a “left wing rag.” That just got me mad. When I suggested that it was inappropriate, I was firmly told “don’t dominate the discussion.” Mr. Moderator went off the deep end. (And NO, I did not dignify his reaction with a comment at the time, but waited until the meeting ended and announced to friends of mine and within ear shot of Mr. Moderator’s wife just how incredibly rude and disgusting his behavior was.)
Not only did the Moderator hijack the discussion, which made me angry, I simply didn’t have the heart to gloat at the political “wake,” or in this case, since they were all Jews, a “shiva.” The most appropriate response to the group would have been to bring along a basket full of those black buttons mourners wear. They were beside themselves, blaming the loss on black voters, who did not turn out for Joe Sestak in Philadelphia, etc., etc. How quaint, how predictable. They’re beyond consolation that Pennsylvania went Republican.
Have your ‘blue’ friends and co-workers been exhibiting more/less passionate outbreaks of aggressive behaviors? Are they in need of a crisis management team? Are they stooped over, head held low staring at the tops of their shoes? And do you, like me, have the mildly compassionate urge to hide your gloating and send them a get well and get over it card.
[Bookworm here: To which I’ll add that, though we are too good to gloat publicly, I hope that we never become so compassionate in the face of their despair that we’re willing to abandon our principles just to make these weenies happy. Thanks for the lovely post, Sadie.]