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November 03, 2004

I have been lax, but I'm happy

Despite seeing all the Kerry/Edwards signs, and inhabiting a workspace where I am looked at somewhat like an alien, for having no use for Kerry, unlike the local masses, I was only tired today, not tired and depressed.

And it was easy to find the other happy people. I'd forgotten the small cadre of geeks downstairs with whom I get along famously. Turns out it's more than simply geekiness. We had a small celebration in the cafeteria restaurant this morning. And two of the three are black, to boot. Geeks are smart; race doesn't matter.

I wasn't terribly shocked to find the Korean shopkeepers all extra happy today too. I hadn't ever talked politics with them before today. Today I couldn't resist asking if they were happy. Both to whom I posed the question lit up with smiles. I'd suspect it would be the case, the immigrant thing, but another important reason hadn't occurred to me. Mind you, both of these are guys who speak english with strong accents. I see them reading Korean papers. I wouldn't have expected them to be terribly aware of American politics... yet.

But the one downstairs who runs the little grocery and sandwich shop spelled it out: "As a small businessman, I know." Doh! Of course. We often hear that immigrant communities tend towards conservative, and that Asian ones tend to be aware of Vietnam, Islamic rebels, etc, which makes them side even more strongly with the more conservative party. But I don't see mentioned often, and it hadn't clicked in for me, that these communities are also predominantly small business owners and operators. And they embody the American dream of work hard, build, earn success. They know better than most native-born Americans how hard work pays off here.

I have developed friendly relationships with these folks, parents and kids, over the last (almost) year. We joke around a bit, chat, and exchange smiles. But I have a feeling our relationships just shifted more than a little. Now we're allies too. They also know they live in predominantly hostile territory. They know DC is the liberal heart of the country. They know the media is liberal and biased.

For me, I'm glad they're on my side. The girl with the ragged jeans and sandals with the Kerry/Edwards sticker on her pack was blonde, slim and cute, but I suspect I have more in common with Koreans who struggle to get their more complicated thoughts out in English than I do with the glib who've drunk the Koolaid and drool the liberal talking points without ever really considering the implications, or measurable results, of the policies they tout.

To all who voted for W, imperfect as he is, I thank you for reassuring me that America remains America, not a European colony.

Posted by dan at November 3, 2004 06:04 PM | TrackBack

Glad you found some real people in your area. I met a man in Gloucester, Mass. this summer who owns a dive shop/museum. He had three pictures of "W" on his wall. One in his flightsuit, two with his wife. After we got to talking, he said he was one of two Bush supporters he knew of up there. He also seemed glad for the conservative conversation with my Dad and I. I forget that there are such large pockets of confused people who will follow almost anyone with a slick promise and a handout. Makes me glad I have to work for a living. Thanks for the post and eye-opening reminder.

Posted by: Michael Hull at November 4, 2004 07:17 PM

I was getting concerned and came near phoning to see if your were ill. Missed your blog for the past week or two. Here in Indiana, we made some strides forward in governing figures. I can't get over the media's bias and downright misrepresentation. Conservatives need to "invade" their ranks and provide a balanced view of the news. I a few remarks from Mom.

Posted by: Ruth Scheltema at November 7, 2004 02:02 PM
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