Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm a tea bagger!

I inadvertently showed up at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, which was in the throes of the Glenn Beck rally preparations.

Thought it was an MLK thing. Wrong-o.

I have been up to my eyeballs in Spain preparations so I had no idea that this rally was even going on. I wanted to take our au pair to Washington before she left so she could see the city, and so we made a quick jaunt down there Thursday evening, and made it to the Lincoln Memorial late yesterday afternoon. Greeting us were a lot of banners nonspecifically proclaiming "Restoring Honor," half-constructed scaffolding for sound systems, and gigantic video screens, with no real evidence as to who or what was responsible for any of it.

I made the supreme mistake of asking the person who had offered to help me get Henry and the stroller down some stairs, "hey, is there something going on here?" The guy got all wide-eyed and almost fell over with giddiness over this entirely unexpected sudden platform to the point where I thought maybe he might drop the stroller. "Is there something going on here? Only the biggest thing ever to happen on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial!!!! It's probably going to be, like, a million people here tomorrow!"

"Wow, I guess it's a good thing we're seeing the Memorial today, then, huh?"

"Um. You do know that our country has been taken over by tyranny, right?" (Cue crawling suspicion I'd stepped on a hornet's nest.)

"I, uh. Well, that's an interesting way to see it."

"And a nicer bunch of people you'll never meet. Try getting someone to help a mom down the stairs some other time, huh, huh, huh!"

At this point I was finished. I mean, c'mon. Tyranny? How is it tyranny when the guy was elected by a clear majority? And all the laws that have since been passed were also done with a majority? How is that tyranny? Do you ever understand what the word means? And I have had many people help me with the stroller, including a homeless black guy and some Mexican guy who seriously carried the stroller AND my computer bag down FIVE flights of NYC subway stairs when I got stuck at a stupid subway stop that didn't have an elevator, and then declined the tip I offered. So the self-righteous sanctimony was not sitting well with me. But I'm figuring now was not the time to point that out, considering he was currently holding up one half of my son and his stroller. I mumbled a thank you and we parted.

I then bought a gatorade, wandered around the reflecting pool getting more and more agitated, muttering all the things I wished I'd said to that guy until I seriously just had to leave.

What an affront to the brave words of the emancipation proclamation so gloriously etched on the wall on the memorial.

3 comments:

Cara Russell said...

This post made me laugh. People take such extreme viewpoints sometimes. I've had plenty of people help me carry my stroller up and down stairs before, and none took the tip I offered either. Looks like you did step into a veritable hornet's nest; good job handling it though.

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