Confidence is an admirable thing but in my humble opinion it’s fragile to be so sure of your opinion that you can’t even hear what the other guy is saying, especially if you’re wrong.
I, one of the cognitive dissidents, so to speak, was sitting at an outdoor table at a cafe enjoying a macchiato after church when an old acquaintance approached me enthusiastically.
I leaned back on my chair, school age derelict- like, not out of habitual social distancing but out of a real desire to not get what he has.
He lifted his shirt confusedly searching with his hands and his eyes to indicate to me the turquoise Band-Aid that was ultimately and obviously on his arm.
“I got my shot.”
“We have to save the species.”
He laughed and then was silent.
It was unkind, I will confess, but I decided to provoke him, after all I had not broken any HIPPA laws and asked him about his medical history.
“You got the Trump- vaccine?’
“The Trump vaccine; Operation Warp Speed, all that?”
There was a momentary multi-car pile-up behind his eyes,
But then the programming kicked in.
I could see the foam dampen his mask as he burst into a tirade of tired old tropes beginning with voter fraud and ending with something incoherent about the environment but he summed things up with something like, “the human race is a plague on nature and the only way to solve all the problems of the world is the annihilation of Western culture and mankind.”
It seemed pointless to point out the conundrum. As with all religious zealots, he was perfectly able to hold two conflicting realities as true, and confidently give me a good Newspeak oratory hassle.
Then, in frustration, he left. Was his mind changed? No. But at least I easily rid myself of his presence.
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