I learned a long time ago you should never assume anything.
Oh, you might get away with it once in a while, but more often than not, it’s going to come back to bite you and many times in an embarrassing place. That old but wise lesson about assuming came into play last Friday although I am thankful I was not the one who was reminded of the vital lesson.
I was at the Banks County Parks and Recreation Department to cover another political forum. It seems there has been a record set for forums this year. There have been so many even the most die-hard political junkies like myself are getting a little road weary.
As I sat in the gym at the recreation department, an old timer (whom I have had political conversations with before) made his way over to where I was seated. There was no introduction. There was no greeting. I knew immediately where the conservation was going.
“I guess you’re happy,” the old timer snapped. “I see your man is ahead.”
“My man?” I asked.
“Yeah, your man,” the old timer replied, seeming a little puzzled by my question. “You know, Obama.”
“He’s not my man,” I replied. “Why would you think that?”
“Of course, he’s your man,” the old timer snapped back, a little fire starting to glare in his eyes.
“I’ve never said I was for him or that I supported him,” I said.
“Yes, you have,” the old timer countered.
“No, I haven’t,” I said.
“Who are you for?” the old timer asked, becoming more befuddled by the passing second.
“I’m for Bob Barr,” I told him.
“Bob Barr?” he answered with a question.
“Yes, Bob Barr,” I informed him. “You know, the Libertarian candidate for President. Like me, he’s tired of our civil liberties being taken away and he’s tried of having to choose to the lesser of two evils. I feel the same way. That’s why I am voting for and supporting for Bob Barr. In fact, we need you on board.”
“I thought your man was Obama!” the old timer said, more confused and frustrated than ever.
“I’ve written several times that I am supporting Bob Barr,” I said. “Perhaps if you read what I wrote rather than assuming it might help.”
The old timer did an about face and marched away, knowing his attempt to rattle me and shame me in some way had failed miserably. In fact, I think I heard him mumbling something about “Obama” as he returned to his seat.
For the record, I did not vote for Obama in the presidential primary when it rolled into Georgia. In fact, I did not even vote in the Democratic primary. I requested a Republican ballot to cast my vote for Texas Congressman Ron Paul. I don’t regret that decision at all, just like I don’t regret supporting Bob Barr now.
I know many Republicans are upset that Barr is supposedly taking votes away from John McCain, but it should be noted that Barr is drawing support from those who tend to vote conservative, liberal and those who consider themselves independent. It’s what makes his campaign so unique. So many people, like myself, are fed up with the politics of two-party system which offer nothing new, just the same old line election after election.
So don’t assume that your friend or neighbor who normally votes Republican in presidential elections will do so this November. Ditto for those who tend to cast their votes for Democrats. There’s a strong alternative this political season and his name is Bob Barr.
While I doubt we’ll have the support of the old timer from the Banks County political forum, we are going momentum with each passing week.
Chris Bridges is a reporter for The Banks County News. Contact him at 706-367-2745 or e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.