OFF THE BLOCK
It was 50 cent wing night at the Easy Street Saloon last night. Like many Wednesdays, I’ve taken advantage of the chickens who lost their wings for half of a dollar. This time was a little different. While sitting at the bar an older white man entered the bar and stumbled upon a barstool. I glanced up and offered a slight nod. The bartender rushed over to greet him and ask what he’d be having. I wasn’t completely ear hustling at that point, so I’m not sure what he ordered other than the tap beer that she brought back to him shortly after. I did hear him ask was it often this slow during this specific time of the day because there were only a handful of people inside the bar at the time. Creating small talk, the bartender chuckled and said maybe it was because people were keeping an eye on the voting results and stayed in for the night. And that is when it happened.
Gosh Darn Socialists
As the silver haired Republican began to slur words from his mouth in between chugs of beer, I was able to pick up a few words. He started to rant about how the people of Michigan were idiots for voting for Biden and how the Biden/Harris administration would surely push us down the road of socialism in the next 10 years. He raved about how, under their administration, China would own us. And thanks to Trump, who he obviously endorses, we are controlling China and not allowing them to take control of our entire country and force us into socialism. I looked away and avoided eye contact as not to engage. I am certainly not the one to talk politics at the bar, especially with impaired individuals that believe the Biden administration would be capable of destroying a capitalist society that has sustained existence since the creation of American ideals. Capitalism, even at its worst, remains a constant fabric of America. His claims of a society headed toward socialism sounds asinine to me, but it wasn’t my conversation, so I said nothing. The fact that he was so adamant about a vote for Biden seemingly meaning a vote for socialism, was both amusing and frightening. Amusing, because the way large corporations have intertwined funding with political parties, the aspect of a “free market” seems to actually be manipulated by the government anyway. This may be due to the relationship between big business and government. These relationships become tarnished with government bailouts and big business funding in exchange for political favors. These things sound like state-controlled production, resources and a disrupted free market. So, not too far off from the socialism that the drunken Republican claims we are headed into. Amusing. In that same instance, though, it is frightening because of the masses who feel the same way he does about our perceived descent into socialism will act out defiantly because of the fear of missing a chance at superiority. Yes. A chance at superiority. Because we live in a society where laws, institutional oppression and loop-holes have been woven into the American Dream so tightly that if any of these concepts were to be undone, the fear of equality is a bit overwhelming for some. And the response of those who feel they will be at a loss if some sort of equality exists is what frightens me. Apparently not just me either, since businesses have boarded up their windows in anticipation of social unrest following the election. The unrest will undoubtedly come from Trump supporters who have tasted the blood of yesteryear when cotton was the pinnacle of free market trade and the black bodies used as field equipment were equal only to 3/5 of a human being and are not willing to give up that pleasure for the benefit of the common good.
Somehow after blabbering on about politics and people beginning to walk away, he caught me looking up from my wings and struck up a conversation about the good weather. Oddly enough, after I reluctantly engaged, he appeared to be nothing other than an elderly man who had a few too many drinks and was taking carry-out home to annoy someone there until he fell asleep. We exchanged a few joking words and he staggered out of the bar. Had I not heard him and his original rant, I probably would have never written this blog. I would certainly not have been trying to explain socialism or make people aware that trade wars with China have been going on since the 10th president John Tyler signed the Treaty of Wanghia. But maybe this conversation was necessary. Perhaps necessary to explain the right-winger’s mislead fear of losing control. Certainly necessary to understand that politics is all smoke and mirrors regardless of what party you associate with. I finished my wings and my Miller Lite while I thought of the Angry Drunken Republican and sort of laughed to myself. This is America….