Gloria and I had lunch Friday at a nice little restaurant in the neighborhood. It’s a café that has an extensive wine list and, as this was the start of Gloria’s weekend, she decided to have a glass of a Chardonnay which she said was delightful.
Gloria’s in her early sixties and is a blackjack and Pai Gow Poker dealer at one of the local casinos. That’s how I met her. We’ve been friends for the last several years. Her husband passed away and her children are grown and live out of state. So Gloria, and her cat Essie live together.
My friend is a very thoughtful and intelligent person. As we finished the salads we had ordered for luncheon, our conversation turned to the Presidential election. Frankly, I didn’t know whom she was supporting in the race but I expressed my view on the subject. I looked for her reaction when I said that I was supporting Romney, trying to gage her reaction. There was no need for that.
Gloria said that she was very depressed by the poor job that President Obama had done, though she had voted for him four years ago. But she was afraid to vote for Romney because of the thought of the possibility of riots should Obama lose. I was startled at this statement.
“Who do you think is going to riot?,” I asked her.
“The people who view Obama as a savior and who are afraid that Romney will cut off their benefits,” was her answer.
Sadly, I’ve heard this kind of thing before – so it is certainly not my friend’s unique opinion. We live in a violent society. I understand how a single, elderly woman living by herself might be concerned for her personal safety. And the neighborhood in which Gloria lives has seen an influx of ne’er-do-wells who have been preying on the residents, many of whom have lived there for twenty years or longer and are elderly. Her concern is not based on her imagination but is an opinion formed by reading the police blotter.
I related to her how I had been mugged while I was in college and how my parents wanted me to move out of the neighborhood to a place that was “safer”. I remember having a heated discussion over this with Mom and Dad. I understood their concern for my safety – but I refused to move – perhaps out of youthful arrogance – but I like to think more out of principle.
My argument to my parents was, “There are good and bad people everywhere. But if all the good people move to a place that is ‘safe’, then that leaves no one behind but the bad people there. And since the bad people have nothing to steal from each other, they will turn their attention to other more opulent areas where the former residents have moved.”
In other words, as the lyrics of the old gospel song state, “There’s No Hiding Place Down Here.”
What I explained to Gloria was that eventually the rioting which she feared might happen – whoever gets elected President. The simple reason is that we cannot indefinitely sustain the kind of mindless spending on programs which enslave people by allowing them to live, but only at a level of poverty. At some point, sooner or later, the spigots will be turned off because there will be nothing more for them to pour.
Based on our conversation I think I made an impression. She decided that she was going to vote for Romney – and purchase a small weapon to defend herself should the need arise.