There is a Time and Place for Political Discourse: This Wasn’t It!
I love politics. Not necessarily in a party-centric way. I find politics to be the best reality show on TV and this year it's even more so. But not in a good reality show way, but in a very BAD reality show way. Like "Keeping Up with the Kardashian" bad.
Sadly, like Kim Kardashian on Instagram, it has begun to spread across our culture and permeate everything. You can't escape it. And that is not a good thing because there is a time and place for everything.
Let me digress a bit first.
I have a wonderful, intelligent, caring daughter who also happens to be very empathic. When other people are hurting, she hurts likewise. On Saturday some things happened in her life that resulted in her reaching an emotional breaking point. Many tears were shed and much consoling was required.
On Sunday, I went to her and said "You know what makes things better? Steak!" You see, her favorite restaurant is the Outback. She loves filet mignon (yeah, expensive tastes that one) and the seared ahi tuna (surf and turf baby). Her eyes immediately brightened and off we went.
Now, back to the point.
After being seated our server came up to us and started with the usual "How are you?" and "What can I get you to drink?" Then things started to go down hill from there.
Upon returning with our drinks, he said (and this is a near direct quote as best as I can remember): "Would you vote for someone who had committed 1,000 felonies?"
My wife and I looked at each other and paused. I guess we were both waiting for the punchline of some joke we didn't know. But he continued.
"Then why would anyone vote for Hillary Clinton."
I was stunned. Now, I love a server that is open and likes to start a conversation. It makes the dinner more enjoyable. But this... and it only got worse.
I looked up at him and replied "So you would rather we vote for a narcissistic, misogynistic, racist lying douchebag?"
I figured this would immediately let him know that our political leanings might not necessarily be in line with his. Oh no, that didn't stop him.
"That's called freedom of speech."
At that point I could see my daughter was becoming upset. Her hands were shaking. I know she wanted to say something, but she was taught to respect adults.
I looked back at him and told him that if he hoped to get any type of tip he might want to just stop there. After a few tense seconds, he went off to put in our order.
My daughter, visibly upset, excused herself to the bathroom and my wife followed a few minutes later to check on her.
At that point our server returned and without missing a beat said "You know, I think I'm a bit racist..."
I didn't even respond or look at him, hoping he would just stop. Oh, no such luck.
"I served in the military and was stationed in Afghanistan," he continued. "I did all the work and THEY (my emphasis) would just spend all their time on the computers."
Thankfully neither my wife or daughter was back yet. I didn't respond. After a few more seconds of VERY uncomfortable silence, he walked away.
I had enough.
I walked over to the host and told him that if that server came back to my table we were walking out. We didn't need to know what his political and social opinions were. The host was EXTREMELY understanding and immediately went to the manager.
Now some of you are probably asking why we just didn't leave. I will tell you why.
We love the Outback. We love the food, the appetizers, the steak. It's my daughter's favorite restaurant. I was not going to let this idiot ruin that.
You see, that is what some politically leaning individuals want. They want to push people out that they don't feel have the same feelings or thoughts so that their world is filled with just those that think the same way.
And by the way, this is a non-partisan rant - some far left leaning individuals are JUST as bad.
Fortunately, I will say that the management handled it perfectly. The host came up to us and apologized profusely and told us that a new server would be handling our table. That server came up, apologized, and was polite and helpful. Then the manager came up, apologized as well, explained that she had talked to the server in question and said that we were right - that this was not the place and time for that type of discussion. She also said they would make an "adjustment" in our bill.
So, this is not an attack on Outback. Still love the place and will still go again.
What this is an attack on is the current political environment and the animosity it has created.
What the current political situation has created is a sense of entitlement. That people are "entitled" to say whatever they want whenver they want regardless of the situation or people involved. Freedom of speech they will cry. But people, there is something even MORE important than Freedom of Speech.
It's not political correctness. It's called HUMAN DECENCY.
You don't know if the person you are talking to is struggling with serious emotional distress caused by a tragic situation. A situation that was created in part by the words and deeds of the very people you support.
Be aware of the time and situation. Know the people you are talking to. Understand that they might not agree with how you feel and then adjust to the situation. Stop and think before you open your mouth.
Or just shut up and go away.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did talk to my daughter afterwards. She wanted to say something (she is very politically savvy and even attended Girls State this summer), but didn't because she didn't feel it was her place. I told her that she should never fear being able to speak up in defense of her beliefs - as long as the time and situation is appropriate.