So soon after in another restaurant I happened to ask the waitress what she thought about 9/11. You mean the phone number she replied. I said no the attacks on the trade center in New York. She then went on to say, matter of factly, that she thought the government did it. I asked why she thought that. She said because when she saw it on TV it looked liked a building blowing up in a movie. I asked her if she ever heard of Alex Jones she said no. Then she said she had to go check on her other tables. She gave me a peculiar look as she walked away.
My next opportunity came at a gas station when I asked a man at the pump next to me how he thought the war in Iraq was going. He laughed and said he didn't really know. That TV said one thing and then said another so who knew. I then asked him what he thought the war was really about. He said he at first thought it was something about the old government there and then he said he really thinks it's about the gas we're putting in our cars right now. I asked him if he knew what PNAC was and he said no. I asked him what he thought of Guantanamo and he said he thought it was where the US was keeping dangerous prisoners. He didn't really offer much when I asked him about the Patriot Act and the Military act. And he wasn't too sure what Habeus Corpus was. He then asked me what was up with all the questions. I told him I wasn't sure but I was just wondering what people were thinking about this stuff. He said Ok but to be honest he didn't think about it much. He then said nice talking to you but I gotta go get the wife, she wants to go to WalMart. You like WalMart I asked, he said it's mostly crap but whatever makes the wife happy was fine with him.
I had a few more conversations with others but they were either just not interested or just didn't know. I suspected that a few just didn't want to talk to a stranger about it. I could see the look of distrust in their eyes and it was obvious that they just wanted to get on about their personal business. The best conversation I had was with a fellow who simply said hey, what are you gonna do? I got to drive so I'm going to pay for the gas. The government went to war and now the country is stuck with it.
I learned a lot these few days simply talking to people. I recommend it to anyone who thinks they have a "pulse" on the public. I think you will be surprised at how simple they see it. You will find that everybody hates and distrusts banks, government and lawyers and that all politicians are liars. I think the people know what the highly educated, partisan pundits are afraid to state unequivocally. Or perhaps they, the professional pundits, are just unwilling to bite the hand that feeds them. The people will just say it directly without the whining and beating around the bush with acronyms and arcane double talk. Some people anyway. Perhaps just living trumps politics.