Friday, October 15, 2004

Great Tale

About manning a Bush/Cheney table in the Big Apple. This appeared in the Washington Post, no less.


The need to fight the good fight motivated me to help man the Bush-Cheney table. I'd assumed I'd have to steel myself against endless ideological adversaries, and there sure were plenty of those. But it also turned out that a table marked "Bush" could be a small refuge, a shining red beacon in this blue urban sea. And so every now and then, we heard the startling words: "Thank you for being here!"

A gregarious Haitian woman named Natasha purchased some collectibles for friends and family back in Miami. "I love Laura!" she said in a thick accent. "Everyone I know loves President Bush." Equally supportive Norwegians, Russians, Irish, Indonesians, Poles, Australians and Dutch (some visiting and some living here) also stopped by -- reminding us that sometimes those with intimate experience of the world outside America make the best Americans. Then there was Livvi the dancing Estonian, who sometimes hung out on the corner and did a jig every time she said "George W. Bush." She would bellow toward the heavens: "God bless Republicans!" (Livvi said she thanks Ronald Reagan for her country's liberation.)

Still, the far more common shadow that fell across our table was definitely cast in blue. Like the man who kept saying, "I can't understand why you support Bush." When my friend Kevin replied, "If you can't understand why half the country supports Bush, you need to get out more," the man deadpanned: "I get out plenty. I'm a college professor." As our group laughed in stereo, he yelled, "Anti-intellectuals!" and stormed off.

Against the backdrop of encounters like these, it's gratifying enough for a New Yorker who's the new kind of red to meet a Democrat who actually treats us like people. Someone like Bill, the elderly Manhattanite who strode up to shake our hands and say, "I've lived here my whole life, and you're the first Republicans I've met."

All the more reason to stay, and help paint the town red.

I've also posted about my own experiences manning Bush/Cheney tables here and here. I'll be doing it again this weekend!

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