Monday, December 12, 2005

Somebody's Getting a BIG Lump of Coal

So I'm at Field's this evening doing the Christmas thing with my family and happened to run into my friend Rep. Osterman with his family. While we're talking, some guy in his mid-30s who I don't even know decides to interrupt us to pretty aggressively chastise me for 'never voting with taxpayers'.

When I ask the guy to give me an example, he couldn't, but just said that he was sure that I didn't 'vote right'. He brought up the bill that temporarily capped property taxes, but when Osterman pointed out that the bill actually helped our individual constituents, he tried to change subjects.

He recognized me, so I assumed that he must know something about politics, but I was quite wrong. When I gave him several more examples of why he was wrong, he basically refused to acknowledge them. He then told me he was a Libertarian, but could not discuss any specific platform issues with me that made him one.

After ruling out option one (tossing him over the railing next to us), and option two (having Osterman do it for me), I invite the guy to come to my office any time to talk about my record and any issues he wanted to discuss with me. (Why? Who knows? Seemed like the right thing to do and I figured that it would result in a much lesser sentence than options one or two.) But in response, I get "I don't know if I'll have time to get around to that."

So he has time to cluelessly come at me while I'm with my family at night, but not to come meet with me to try to have an intelligent talk? Politically correct or not, I have to say that some people are just rude and ignorant. Damn, I wish I knew where his chimney is.

And spare me any attitude issues on my part. I assure you that if somebody approached you in the manner that this guy did, and you didn't have to worry about public repercussions, your reactions would have been much less subdued than were mine. And yes, I'm a public figure, but there should still exist some level of decency in interpersonal contact. Okay, I'm done venting.

7 Comments:

At December 13, 2005 at 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are sounding crazier by the moment. You should applaud this guy for actually being interested in government and politics. So he is not as "smooth" as you are.

 
At December 13, 2005 at 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably the hardest part of working in politics and government is having to deal with high degree of ignorance among the average person. Most people don't know the difference between a state Senator and U.S. Senator.

 
At December 13, 2005 at 10:19 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

I DID appreciate his interest, that's why I sincerely invited him to come meet with me at my office. He, however, had zero interest in engaging in conversation, but simply felt like teeing off on me. Call me crazy if you want, but I stand by my comments.

 
At December 14, 2005 at 2:12 AM, Anonymous Black Libertarian said...

You are a big government kind of guy, which is fine if that's what your constituents want (I personally don't, but I'm not one of yout constituents), but I agree that I'm more surprised that someone would recognize you in public. I'd bet less than 1/10 Illinoisans would recognize their state rep or senator in a non-governmental or non-political setting.

And as a Libertarian, let me say that the rudeness of that individual should not be taken to be representative of us as a whole. We're usually pretty nice people.

 
At December 14, 2005 at 11:48 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

BL,

Trust me, I did not intend to portray his attitude as being the result of his party affiliation. In fact, most of the Libertarians that I know are pretty intelligent and thoughtful individuals, even though we may disagree on some topics. I'm chalking his issues up to upbringing or perhaps being dropped on his head at an early age.

 
At December 15, 2005 at 10:12 AM, Anonymous Edward Bryant said...

Well, I have to agree that this guy sounded pretty rude to approach you in that way and then to not take you up on your offer to come to your office to talk more.

I am all for publicly confronting a public figure when they are the type of person that dodges and avoids those people that might not agree with him/her. Such a person leaves people witgh little choice. However, you did offer to talk more with the guy and you purposefully engage in things like this blog, so I have to say that you don't seem to be the dodging-type and so deserve more consideration on being ambushed in public, especially by the apparently ill-informed.

 
At December 18, 2005 at 2:59 PM, Blogger JJ Glendenning said...

I was always taught as a child if you don't have the facts, don't get involved.

I gather my facts before my attacks, I calmly discuss differences, rather than point out you are wrong, you are wrong without getting specific.

I agree with you on this post.

As a note I would recongnize everyone of my Senators, Representatives and even most of the Senators from other states. You should know your congressman.

 

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