On Overhearing Republicans at Restaurants


I can do this type of punditry too.

Actually, if I were a pundit, the "I overheard people of the other side saying stuff that confirms my biases" post would be the lamest and least credible thing imaginable. But since I'm not, you can take or leave, believe or disbelieve, what I say. It makes little difference to me, and nobody's paying me either way. But if you think I'm generally honest, accept that I'm telling it roughly as I remember.

At lunch the other day, I was sitting across from some Republicans, whose conversation could not be avoided. Primarily, it was an older man and a much younger man speaking. The older man was disillusioned with Trump. He had a problem with Trump "acting like a badass" when he'd never served, and thought that Trump was just all about himself (true). He had voted for him the first time, he said, but January 6th was the breaking point. He was quick to add that he was no liberal, and he believed Joe Biden was too old to be president -- he wished there was someone he could vote for, but neither was qualified.

The younger guy, who prefaced everything by saying he doesn't watch most of the news because it's biased, and social media because it warps peoples' minds (ironic, given what he was about to say), clung to the old chestnut that if Trump's only in it for himself, "How come he gave up billions of dollars to become president?" (The presumption there is that Trump actually was a billionaire businessman, and that he hasn't milked the presidency for cash at every opportunity, while keeping his businesses.)

Trump, he said, puts America first, and made it so other countries paid us more taxes. Plus something something THE BORDER, to which the old man asked what a humane solution would be, to which the younger man responded that Obama put people in cages first, then something something Fast and Furious. And of course the young man claimed he had actually voted for Obama and been disappointed, which...I dunno, seems unlikely.

When the old man asked the young man what he thought of January 6th, he didn't offer an opinion, but said, "See, see, I can show you footage of police letting people in to the capital that day! And there were undercover FBI in that crowd agitating people to riot!" (So they went in peacefully, but if they actually didn't it was because of the FBI?) He started going on about how there's a lot of footage that didn't get out there. A female voice chimed in that Trump told the crowd to be peaceful and go home.

The old man replied that he saw it live while it happened, Trump told them to go and "fight like hell," and he didn't tell them to go home until two hours later. Old man reiterated he's afraid we're going to have another civil war. The young man asked what it was liberals wanted, what they fought for. Old man said he didn't know; he's not a liberal.

Anyway, this is what people are saying and thinking out here in the California desert.