Everyone, at times, gets the feeling that they are alone in the world. I, however, am feeling especially alone professionally, socially, and politically.
I am an independent, progressive, atheist small business owner.
As I continue to age, (I’m 48) I watch as so many of my friends and family have succumbed to the old adage that “you should be liberal when you’re young and get more conservative as you grow older”. It blows my mind to see these people, none of them in any better financial and social situation than middle, middle class and some of them far below that, click “like” Mitt Romney on Facebook and vote against their own self interest and the interests of everyone they know. The whole idea of getting more conservative as you age, to me, is counter intuitive. In my brain, as I get older, I gain more knowledge and thus become more progressive. Conservatism is obviously not the thinking man’s game.
Then there’s the atheist thing. I do not have a voice in the government or on the Supreme Court to protect me against the intrusions of religion into political decision making. I was thrilled to hear that the DNC Platform left out any mention of god, only to be crushed again by spineless politicians and the Faux News 24 hour revival. Our founding fathers would cry if told that religious groups are special interest groups. That the first test for any president or governor or senator is their Christianity. This will be a tough election for Republicans. They have to decide which they hate worse, Mormons or blacks. My guess is that they will convince themselves that Mormon is close enough to Christian to hate the black guy more.
I opened a small pizza and rib shop in April. As a small business owner, people automatically assume that you are a conservative. Liberals don’t walk into my establishment and start talking politics let alone hate and vitriol towards a sitting president. But conservatives, who automatically assume that I am conservative because I own a business, don’t have any problem with it. The worst part is that I can not disagree with them for fear of hurting my business while conservative business owners can talk politics all day without fear of retribution. Liberals do business with conservative business owners every day, but piss off a conservative by disagreeing with them politically and you’ll never see them again.
Another small pizza shop opened this week near by and many, many people have come through my door and in the creepiest way want to talk about “the new competition”. It’s like they can’t wait to rile me up or watch us go after each other and try to kill each other. I don’t want to put the new guy out of business. I am not in competition with him. I wish him the best of luck. There is plenty of pizza business to go around, especially if more independent operators move into the market and push the Pizza Huts, Dominos and Papa Johns out.