Sometimes it's hard to not get discouraged
I just got back from an early morning run to the gas station. I like the guy that runs the place, and of course, as another customer came in, the talk turned to the incredibly high price of gas. The owner said he wasn't even selling at his break even point and showed us a sheet of what he was paying for gas. The cheapest grade was at $2.49 a gallon.
I said that someone was getting rich, even if it wasn't him. I then mentioned how the Bush family has had strong ties to the Saudis going back decades, but to my surprise, he didn't like hearing that at all. He immediatly shot back that CLINTON was the one dealing with the Saudis, which was so bizarre and out there that I chose to just ignore it and restated how the Bush family and the Saudi royal family have several links in many ways, business and otherwise and are very tight. To this he shot back instantly that AL GORE has more money invested in oil that George W. Bush, "And that's a fact." he assured me.
I again said that the Bushes have had ties with the Saudis going way back to when Sr. was CIA honcho, but the owner had yet another card to play to defend his dear leader. He said that most of the gas he gets is from the United States and the Saudis don't have much say about things at all. The American companies could tell the Saudis what to do, and should. (I hated to tell him that there aren't too many American oil companies left.)
At this point, I realized that this guy was a 100% Fox News watchin', Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity lovin', Bill O'Reilly believin' utterly uninformed zombie who would never let reality intrude into the little world they'd constructed for him.
To his assertion that the Saudis don't have much to do with the price of oil, I just half-heartedly reminded him of OPEC and how they had the entire US wrapped around their finger back during the oil embargo as I walked out the door, but by then my heart wasn't in it. The depth of his ignorance was simply too much for me, and I was dejected and demoralized.
Sure, I could have stood there and pointed out that, even if it was true (doubtful) that Al Gore has more money invested in oil that W, was he suggesting that Al Gore, the guy who literally wrote the book about getting off the oil economy and developing alternative energy sources, was more involved and committed to the oil industry than a guy who's family business has been oil for generations and a V.P. who ran one of the largest oil production services companies on the planet?
I could have systematically shown him the folly of his thinking, but why? It's futile. The right wing noise machine had filled him chock full to the brim with it's idiotic, distorted, and false, but easily digestible and emotionally appealing tripe. And he could recite it like a machine. He was fully programmed and ready for duty.
These sorts of encounters are devastating to me. It fills me with so many emotions, and none of them good. I'm sorry for the guy, I'm furious that anyone could be that ill informed and ignorant AND SO DAMN CERTAIN OF THEMSELVES besides. It makes me wanna hollar when someone like this guy, who is GETTING SCREWED by Bush's policies is so devoted to him. I despair for how pervasive and ubiquitous the right wing's massive propaganda campaign has been, and mourn it's massive success. And most of all, I fear for the future of this country, it's people, it's economy, and perhaps most of all, it's future generations.
I'm sure I'll snap out of my funk and get back to being my happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care, incredibly charming self before too long. But damn, running into one of these Bush-bots face to face is really, really depressing.