Change: one voter at a time

Yesterday a repairman came to fix an appliance. We talked, because I talk to everybody. He is a Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan, one of seven children, his mother is now dead, all his siblings live in the US. His wife runs a daycare (God bless her – that is something I would never do).

Since he’d been here for a long time, I asked him if he had voted. “Of course,” he exclaimed with all the enthusiasm of one who relishes that freedom so many Americans disregard. “For Obama,” he added.

I nodded neutrally, but he sensed I was not a big fan of our new President and wondered why.

“I just can’t vote for somebody who thinks it’s OK to kill unborn babies.” This is my stock line. It’s the truth, it’s succinct, it’s not politely evasive. I’m tired of being polite.

The man’s jaw dropped. “Obama thinks this is OK?”

“Well, yes,” I said. It hadn’t occurred to me that people just didn’t know all the issues. I remembered when I was a foreigner in a country where I struggled to understand the nightly news, where my conversational German failed me over lunches where politics were discussed. I doubt that I could possibly have resembled an educated voter, had I the opportunity to participate in elections.

“That’s against my religion,” he said. Of course it is. “Unborn…born…it doesn’t matter…it’s the same…to kill that life…” And he struggled, his vocabulary unable to wrap itself around such weighty concepts. I don’t think they include words like sacred in ESL classes.

Soon he was done, and he left. But I think he might start looking up new vocabulary words. And I think he might start paying attention to other news. And I think, maybe, in four years, he may vote for somebody else.

8 thoughts on “Change: one voter at a time

  1. Maybe I’m sleep deprived or hormonal or something, but this actually made me cry. That poor man! Can you imagine how sad he must feel? Really makes you re-think our voting system. We don’t have a properly educated electorate. This man was so poorly informed that his civic duty acted against his religious conscience, all unbeknownst to him. How can that happen!?

  2. I have always lamented how poorly educated our electorate is. But, I had never considered the emotional impact of finding out something like this after you’ve helped elect someone. I feel very bad for this man and others like him. And, hopeful, that <>we<> can change people’s minds.

  3. I had a similar conversation with my own Dad! This man who has always been so pro-life just assumed Obama was pro-life (for the life of me I can’t understand how he could have assumed this, but my Dad is above all things honest). I actually felt sorry for him when I pointed out his mistaken idea. Lesson learned: don’t just assume everyone knows where a candidate stands on abortion. Not everyone reads up on every issue. This can even happen in our own families!

  4. Michelle, I just had these same thoughts as I was making my lunch: 1. you’re exact line for why you didn’t vote for Obama for the exact same reason and 2. if each prolifer just change one person’s point of view… that’s quite a change.

  5. It might be you’ll only need to educate just this one man, because it’s possible he will go tell all his friends what he learned, maybe…

  6. It amamzed me through out this whole thing that people, who were so supportive of Obama, had no idea just exactly what his policies were. Good evagelizing. 😉

  7. Good for you for speaking up. A great lesson for me, who normally tries to say things in a round about way….

  8. Just Sunday at Mass our Priest stood up and made a great Pro-life sermon. He stated… nay, he YELLED and shook his fist at the fact that we have the most pro-abortion President and Congress in history. He was angry and he was asking his congregation to do something about it-write your state politicians.I couldn’t help but sit there and be sad… you see, he did not say one peep about this when the campaign was going on.I wonder how many people in our Church voted for Barry without knowing what they were doing… without knowing what it means to be a Catholic and protect life-all life.If only he had said something before November… if only all of our voices were louder.Good for you for being ever vigilant.

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