Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How I Got a McCain Supporter to See the Light

Last night, I was able to catch up with an old friend at my favorite restaurant in the world, Friday's. We sat at a table in the bar area and did quite a bit of chatting. My bud asked me who I liked in the upcoming election. I said I was an Obama mama, so to speak (pictured below with General Petreus in Iraq earlier this week).

He said he liked McCain. I was quite curious to find out why. Turns out he had been listening to a lot of talk radio while at work, radio which in most cases leans to the right. I asked if he had a problem with McCain's age. He said he didn't. How would I get this old boy to see things my way? Instead of being a blowhard like, say, Hannity, I thought, "Well, let's talk about the issues that typically separate Dems from Reps". I asked him a series of questions in a non-judgemental way. Herewith is a very close approximation of how our conversation went:

Tom: Do you think that abortions should be legal?

Friend: Yes and no. I don't think they should be used as birth control, but if a woman were raped, she should have the option of getting one.

T: Well, if you want to ensure that abortion stays legal for those rape victims, you'd wanna vote Democrat since they have no intention of overturning Roe v. Wade unlike the Reps.

(BTW, I don't see Roe v. Wade being overturned anytime soon. The Republicans didn't do squat about it in the early 00's when they were in control of both houses as well as the Presidency and now they're not in control in either house and may lose the Presidency as well. It makes you wonder about all the people that voted for Bush expecting him to do something about abortion. That something never happened.)

T: Do you think everyone should have health insurance?

F: Definitely. Why should someone who's poor or doesn't have a job not be able to get insurance? What should having a job have to do with getting it, anyway? It doesn't make sense. (he got really fired up on this one) Somebody dies because they don't have insurance. Or some people with insurance don't go to the doctor because it costs too much. It isn't right. But how would it work?

T: Well, Massachusetts already has it. Most of our allies do as well, such as Canada, England, France, etc. We're actually one of the last first-world countries to adopt it.

F: Do you think it would really pass, though?

T: I see many people frustrated by the system the way it is now. Your life savings can be blown by getting sick and I don't think that's right, either. You're a Democrat on this issue, tough guy.

F: Hit me again.

T: When do you think the US should get out of Iraq?

F: I think we should already be gone. How many people have died already?

T: 4,000 US citizens to say nothing of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, children of God who were victims of indiscriminate bombing. You lean Democratic on this as well since McCain wants to stay there until we "win".

F: What does that mean? Win?

T: Beats the shit out of me, but I bet it will take a long time to do. We've already been there five years.

F: I need a beer. (to the waitress) Could I get a Bud Light with Lime?


Mags said...

We don't have free health care in MA. We just have manditory health care.

Thomas said...

Thanks for setting me straight, Mags. I shoulda realized that having universal health care doesn't mean it's free. I shall adjust my post accordingly.

Coconut said...

Yes, another convert! Keep up the good work :O)

Thomas said...

Thank you, Coconut.


Anonymous said...

You should really try converting someone who isn't already liberal-thinking/leaning. Duh! Next time you want to give yourself a pat on the back, try to truly accomplish something that requires effort.

Rocketstar said...

Good job soldier, keep it up. I think this election is as simple as this:

Obama = change (we can debate the level of change, but it is change none the less)

McCain = business as usual and I don't like the current business.

SARAH said...

nice work! regardless of the person's "liberal lean", you changed his vote for mccain into one for obama. to me, that's good enough.

Thomas said...

Anonymous, tis true, it's not like my friend is an archconservative. I just really wanted him to see that his feelings on various issues didn't jibe with a vote for McCain. If he were anti-abortion, for staying in Iraq until the 20teens, I'd totally understand him going for McCain. Same for you if that is how you feel.

Rocket, I see it the same: Want more of the same: McCain. Want a bit of a change: vote for the 40-something.

Sarah, thanks for stopping by. I love your blog and have just added you to my 'roll.

duchess said...

Overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn't make abortion illegal, it would be left to the individual states to decide.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I'm surrounded by Reps at the moment, therefore, I'm a bit scared to bring up politics.

And you would be really jealous of me-my friend's BIL is the GM of the local Friday's and her brother works as a waiter at another one about 20 minutes away. ;)

Thomas said...

Duchess, thanks for the clarification.

Sil, in regards to being surrounded by Reps, "I feel your pain..." And yes, I admit to being a bit jealous of your Friday's connections. :)

disestablishingpuritanism said...

Thomas, congrats on converting your friend. My situation is very similar with my best friend who was raised in a Conservative environment. But he's more on top of environmental issues than I am. We've also discussed at length various issues, and I think he's also just fed up with this Republican brand. Let's find some more.

Thomas said...

Dis, thank you. I read an article recently that said it is very difficult to get a Dem to switch to being a Rep and vice versa.

Here's an excerpt from it:

The problem is that people aren't rational: we're rationalizers. Our brain prefers a certain candidate or party for a really complicated set of subterranean reasons and then, after the preference has been unconsciously established, we invent rational sounding reasons to justify our preferences. This is why the average voter is such a partisan hack and rarely bothers to revise their political preferences. We are utterly ignorant of the argument taking place inside our head, clinging instead to the illusion of our rationality.

Thomas said...

Correction: Add

s.php to the above link.

houstonmacbro said...

Glad you have the patience to talk with died in the wool conservatives. Some of the ones I speak with are just wrong and don't want to even consider another point of view.

A good podcast you might want to tune in to if you haven't already is called Blast The Right (avaiable on iTunes).


Thomas said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the podcast, Houston. I also know a few dyed-in-the-wools who refuse to belive that their representatives can do any wrong. It's a bit scary...

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of people who are McCain fans. AND THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS ELECTION.

It amazes me, with so much on the line, how little people are plugged in. Yuck!