The conservative underground

Do you remember how, before the election, I blogged about the fact that I had a very rare sighting in Marin:  a car with a conservative bumper sticker?  My post was short, so I’ll reprint it here:

I saw something rare today:  a car that not only had a discrete McCain/Palin bumpersticker, but that also had a big bumper sticker saying “Freedom vs. Socialism – November 4, 2008.

As I was standing there admiring this sight, the car’s owner hove into view.  I stopped her politely and said, “I have to tell you, I really love your bumper sticker.”

She smiled at me and, in a thick Russian accent, replied, “I don’t hear that often.”

I bet she doesn’t, but her accent explains precisely why the charge that Obama is a socialist resonates so strongly with her.  She knows socialism up close and personal, and she knows that a move in that direction is a simultaneous move away from a free society.

Today, I’m in the aisle at the local craft store (not a place I frequent but, sometimes, as a mother you just have to go there), when the beautiful blonde woman next to me turns and says, in a thick Russian accent, “Don’t you have children at X school?”  Well, I don’t anymore, but I did, and we realized that we’d met before.  I also realized that she was the driver of the car with the bumper sticker.  So, after we chatted a moment, I said, “I was the one at the parking lot who complimented your bumper sticker.”

You could have knocked her over with a feather.  “I didn’t know there was another conservative at X school,” she said.  I told her it’s not much better at my kids’ current schools.  We commiserated for a few minutes about the loneliness of being a conservative in Marin, and I mentioned to her the parties my friend throws for those of us who need a quiet place to talk about politics without rancor.  The Russian gal was excited.  She says her friends know she’s a conservative (how could they not, with her bumper sticker?), but there’s a tacit agreement that political talk is off limits.

As she and I were talking, I noticed a woman in the same aisle glancing at us repeatedly.  When she opened her mouth, I steeled myself for the inevitable attack.  Instead, she said, “You know, I’m a conservative too.  I just want you to know that there are more of us out here in Marin.”  She too agreed, though, that it’s better to keep silent.

A little more chit-chat and she remarked, “who would have guessed that there would be three conservatives in one aisle in the craft store.”  At which point a fourth woman who had wandered down the aisle held up her hand with four fingers, “Four,” she said.  “There are four conservatives in the aisle at the craft store.”  She too agreed that it’s not something you want to talk about.

It was a giddy moment for all four of us, and we left the store feeling less alone.