Last weekend, my boys were napping, R was off to the store, and I was in the middle of the final battle scene in X-Men 3; I’d been waiting all week to put it in the player. And, wouldn’t you know it, the doorbell rings.
I debated the pros and cons and headed for the door, already a bit upset that the “Children napping, please do not ring the bell” sign was ignored. Once there, I recognized the person immediately; it was my representative (we’ll say “Mr. Smith”). Of course, it’s that wonderful political season.
We’d met numerous times before; I’m not the sort to sit idly by, if that’s not yet apparent ;-). He clearly didn’t recognize me, though, and started in on the speech. Did he notice the wagon in the yard? Is that why I’m getting the schools talk? Am I too cynical?
I stopped him, “Let me step outside; my kids are sleeping.”
I wanted to cut to the chase (Get back to the movie ;-)), “We’ve met before, Mr. Smith. My name is Scot Everyman.”
His memory was sufficiently jogged. “You’re angry with me aren’t you, Scot?”
Finally! It had started to seem each of our meetings were the first for him. Some background: Mr. Smith had supported the so-called marriage amendments and I’d made my position clear on that, of course, but I received no response to my letters. So I tracked him down a couple times and we talked a bit each time. I’m grateful he’d talk with me, but always felt, with his body language, that I made him eager to be interrupted.
His campaign manager had asked for my help on his campaign this month, and I turned them down and told them why. I suppose the word spread.
“No. I’m not angry.” I answered and I honestly was not; I’ve a hard time keeping angry even when I should.
I motioned to our home, “But I’ve got a lot to defend in there.” I went over a couple of the legal problems we face, and my reasons for marriage equality for society at large. He listened politely.
Once I finished, he offered, “I just hope you understand it’s my religious belief.” That’s it. That's the explanation.
“Oh, let me apologize then; that excuses everything, has for thousands of years. It’s some get out of jail free card for any wrong. You just have to have faith and you can do any horrible thing to your neighbor.”… I thought, reflexively ;-).
But no, “I do understand.” I said.
I do. I just feel helpless about it.
“I just hope you understand also why I can’t give you my support.” I said.
“Certainly.” He tried to pin me down, though, as to what "support" meant, “You know my opponent is no more friendly to your causes than I am and I’m sure we see eye-to-eye on other issues.”
He’s right. I’m better off, even on gay rights issues, with this representative. My pragmatic side, if given enough time, will nearly always undermine its opponents. Typically, in a situation where I can reasonably predict the results of the election by the polls, I’ll cast a protest vote if I'm unhappy with either "choice". I do kind of love the Libertarians :-). That way my disapproval is registered somewhere. But when it’s close, I have to go with the lesser of the two… I don’t want to say "evils". How about "poor candidates"?
He reluctantly has my vote, and I told him so.
At that, he tried to reconcile and said something like, “We only disagree on this one issue.”
Oh, Mr. Smith, you lost my vote right there. You’re “one issue” is large, far reaching, numerous, and directly practical for a lot of Utah families.
But [sigh], you were right the first time, Mr. Smith. I want you to beat the other guy. You still have our vote, and I’m left with no hard feelings. I do think you’ve done a good job in other areas. But, hear this, nary a campaign sign of yours will pierce my lawn, and don’t dare expect me to canvas or campaign. :-)
Just then R drove up. We finished our conversation politely and I actually wished him luck.
Once I turned to go back inside I saw a light saber jutting out from around the corner. B was up, and listening.
“Who was that little boy, Papa?”
Little boy? Maybe my tone I was too strong? :-)
“That wasn’t a little boy, bub. He was our representative. He makes laws for us.”