Saturday, February 17, 2007
Hillary's Dark Prince
One day when I was managing apartments in Euless, TX, just outside of Dallas, this kind-of-hot sales rep came by the office with an offer for some new phone plan. And since she was kind-of-hot, and on a sales call, I said something along the lines of, "Aren't you supposed to wine and dine me to get the account?" Before you knew it, we had a date for after work, and I was feeling pretty smooth.
Until we got to the bar where we were going to have drinks and the first thing she asked me after ordering an iced tea was, "So, are you a Messianic Jew?" Now, in general, there are only two types of people who use the term "Messianic Jew": Messianic Jews, and evangelical Christians. And given that my nickname for Euless was Jewless, it was a pretty sure bet she was the latter. Which made it pretty clear that, wherever else the evening might be headed, there were certain outcomes that could be ruled out.
Well, I managed to contain my urge to find an excuse to leave immediately, and we went on to have a conversation about evangelical Christianity, which I've found is what most evangelical Christians have conversations about. Which was fine, because I can get passionate about evangelical Christianity, in an academic sort of way, especially with a couple of beers in me. So the evening turned out to be pretty enjoyable. Or at least less unenjoyable than I had any right to expect.
Now, this lady was a real, dyed in the wool fundamentalist. The kind who, when I asked her what she would say to the Muslim tenants from the apartment complex I managed, who were just as convinced that Allah was the true name of God as she was that it was Jesus, replied, "That they're wrong."
So when the conversation came around to politics, it came as no surprise that she was a die-hard Dubya fan. Bill Clinton, according to her, was evil. To which I replied that I preferred a Bill Clinton, who you got the sense fell down on his knees every Sunday to beg forgiveness for his failings, to a George Bush, who I picture looking up at the altar with a smirk on his face as he gives thanks for his triumphs. (This was back in 2003, when it still appeared like he'd had some.)
Her response, I think, shows why Hillary Clinton is going to have a tough time come 2008 if she ends up winning the Democratic nomination. "Yes, you might be right," she said. "Bill Clinton was a good Christian. But not Hillary."
And here, in a perfectly unself-conscious gesture, she leaned a bit closer and lowered her voice, before dropping the clincher. "Hillary works for the Prince of Darkness."
Not the Devil. Not Satan. The Prince of Darkness.
Now for all I know, she might be right. After all, her phone plan ended up saving us some dough. But one thing's certain. You can forget about convincing her, and the thousands like her, that they're wrong. And that's a problem.