"Get out of Boulder!" Those are words that were said to me today at Alfalfa's Market by someone, based solely on her ridiculous assumption that I support Trump's presidential candidacy due to the fact that I was whistling a Beatle's tune while standing in line to order coffee. The woman and I had had a heated exchange of words after she heard me whistling. She said, "The only people I know who whistle are Trump supporters." I thought she was joking. I said, "Oh ya?" But then she got angry and said, "Well, are you?" I could see that she had a hate and an anger in her, and she thought she was somehow something special. I told her it was none of her business who I support in American politics. She then said to the clerk at Alfalfa's and another customer ,"This guy here is a Trump supporter!"
I think in her mind she wanted them to riot against me and break out their pitch forks and torches. I told her to fuck off (and I said it loudly, which, it turns out, scared the cashier). She said, "You know, you're a fucking asshole" into my face (and, conveniently, so the cashier couldn't hear it), so I told her that she was ugly on both the inside and the outside.
Later, this woman got the store's manager involved in the hopes that they would kick me out. That's when she told me I should 'get out of Boulder'. Think about that. Think about the hate and the anger and the fear and the ignorance in this woman's life for her to say something like that because she thought I was a supporter of Trump. Now, it truly is none of that woman's business, but I don't support Trump's candidacy. However, even if I did support Trump, the very idea that this woman thinks that anyone who disagrees with her should be kicked out of town is absolutely disgusting. That's no different than white bigots telling black people to 'get out of our town' based on the color of their skin. It's no different than Christians telling Muslims to 'get out of our town' based solely on what they believe. Telling someone to 'get out of our town' because of their political ideology (even if it's only your own unsupported assumption about their political ideology) is part of the problem with this nation. It's exactly that kind of ignorance and hate that has allowed us to get to the point where we may actually have a presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We can do better as a nation. We can be more accepting of our differences while using reason, argumentation, and compromise to find a way forward.
Sure, this is just one situation that happened to me (and the plural of anecdote most certainly is not evidence), but we've all seen this happening around the nation: die hard conservatives hating on liberals, using terms like "libtard"; people opposed to firearms automatically assuming that anyone who owns guns or is opposed to certain forms of firearm regulation are somehow "gun nuts"; Democrats and Republicans swapping insults of character as opposed to thoughtful considerations of positions; and the continued division of this nation through our politics and media.
I most certainly won't "get out of Boulder" to assuage this woman's fears, nor should anyone in this nation be told to 'get out of our town" if they are contributing members of society. This stupidity and arrogance, driven from the very depths of our ignorance and fear, needs to be replaced by intellectualism and humility. I'm still pretty angry and frazzled over my altercation with that woman, but I won't let that drive me down to her level. If anything, it's just another indication to me that the time to work towards a better nation, steeped in education and enlightenment, is now.