Contempt for humanity
Those people at that diner are part of our human family. The differences between them and me are infinitesimal when one gets any kind of perspective on things. And yet the first thing that comes into my head when I read this was: all of humanity deserves to die. This kind of stupidity is somehow not just an indictment of the stupid people themselves, but of all humanity. I guess the logic is something like this: given that some humans turn out to be such ignoramuses, it really isn't safe to continue producing the model. Yes, many humans are pretty functional and some are even incredible. But clearly the basic design is deeply flawed and should be chucked.I went to the polls to vote today in a blue collar suburb in the Chicago media market, and what I saw afterward wasn't pretty. My mom and I got done pushing the button for Obama and decided to go to a Main Street diner for breakfast before reporting late to work. What did I hear? The following, utterly depressing "Quotes for the Day": "If he's the nominee, you know his running mate will be Farrakhan." "I had no problem with him until I found out he was a Muslim."I'm a pretty easygoing guy, and I often avoid confrontation like the plague, but that last one sent me straight out of my comfort zone. From my booth across the dining room, I piped up and objected, saying that he wasn't a Muslim, that it was an email smear, and blatantly untrue. I was prepared to deflect any bullshit defenses hurled my way. But I never got one. What I got in response was depressing (but expected) in its illogic: "Well, I can't take that chance."
And the sad thing is, those are probably good people spouting such ignorant crap.
There are plenty of reasons one might vote for Clinton over Obama. Many of them are good reasons. Thinking that Obama is a Muslim is not one of them.
If people are going to be bigoted about Obama, could they please have the good sense to be bigoted about something he actually is (e.g. black, a Democrat) rather than something he isn't (a Muslim)?
Anyway, maybe my expectations of humanity are too high. No doubt there are things I'm completely ignorant of, and others would be equally appalled at my lack of knowledge. Still, this kind of thing kicks up my alienation meter quite a bit.