Monday, November 26, 2007

The American mindset: we can't even imagine a peaceful world

A few months ago when I was getting a flat tire repaired, I had an unexpected discussion about peace with the mechanic. It began when he saw the Kucinich bumper sticker on my car, and asked "Who's that?"

Now, I'd never been to this shop before, and I didn't know this guy. But he was really very sociable, and more talkative than some mechanics I've dealt with. He was kind of short and stocky, and had the shaved head look, which looked a little bit military to me, but who knows. Of course you can't judge a person by their looks, but in general I just didn't get the feeling he was a raging left-wing liberal — you know, like me.

So when he said "Who's that?" I tried to get a read on whether he was being serious, or making a joke about the long odds of the Kucinich campaign. I said, "Oh, he's just some guy running for president." The mechanic responded that he'd never heard of him, and he asked me a little about him. Well, again, I didn't feel like getting into a debate, but it seemed pretty open-minded of the guy to ask about Kucinich. So without going into great detail, I told him that Kucinich's basic platform was peace.

What the mechanic said next floored me. He said "Well if there was peace then I'd be out of a job — see, I'm in the National Guard."

"But there will always be floods and hurricanes," I said. "There will always be natural disasters here at home that will need the National Guard."

He looked up from his clipboard and said, "Huh, I guess you're right."


krazy kat said...

oh, my :(

Sue J said...

I know. It kind of leaves you speechless, right?