As I was driving through the heart of downtown Sarasota on Highway 789 on my way home from Lido Key beach, which is a heavily trafficked six lane road full of multiple turning lanes, merges, and construction, some dude felt the moment was ripe to yell at me out his open car window. He said (and I quote) “Obama.” His single word utterance of the president’s surname was accompanied by a tongue-waggling raspberry sound and his thumb gesturing vigorously in a downward motion out of the opened car window of his silver Ford Taurus. I’m guessing he’s a Rush Limbaugh listener.
His erudite expression of matters of political import was clearly an effective way to engage with me on the issues of the day, and his succinct commentary certainly swayed me to agree with his position. My entire viewpoint on Obama’s foreign policy, for example, has been updated to fall in line with this gentleman’s cleverly presented argument. I can’t believe how blind I’ve been. My misguided and sophomoric understanding of U.S. politics simply needed some redirection from a total stranger hanging out of a car window making mouth noises and gesturing wildly with one opposable digit. I don’t know how I could have been so wrong. Thanks, random sir, for schooling me up in the middle of heavy traffic.
You may be asking yourself how I knew (given the number of other cars on the road at that moment) that this individual was attempting to communicate with me. I confess that I can’t be 100% sure since I was one of many vehicles in the sight line of said raspberry; however, I do have an Obama bumper sticker on my car and he did seem to be rubber-necking in my direction. He was several lanes away and a number of car lengths up from me so it was a little hard to tell but I am convinced he was “talking” to me.
My small bumper sticker so moved his political passions that he felt compelled to engage with me on the topic, but for whatever reason, the most he could think of to say was to read half of the sticker out loud (it says Obama/Biden) and stick out his tongue. He did not express any opinion on old Joe so perhaps he is less driven to road rage over the Vice President’s policies. It was hard to gauge the Taurus owner’s feelings given the brevity of our conversation. I should probably mention that I didn’t actually reply to the man since the totality of the discourse took place while he was merging right onto Highway 301 and I was four lanes over merging left onto Highway 41. Also, he had no comment on my Human Rights Campaign sticker so I’m still a little unclear about his stance on gay rights.
It’s a real head scratcher: What was this guy hoping to achieve by making his gesture in the middle of heavy traffic? Did he truly believe his self-expression would change my political view? Did he think I was unaware that not everyone shares my opinion? Did he just want attention? I really don’t get why someone would yell out a car window. Perhaps he is just an old southern white dude who secretly wishes his silver mid-2000s Ford Taurus was actually a bright orange ‘69 Dodge Charger with a confederate flag painted on the roof. Cue the Dixie horn.
In summation, my opinion of this person, based on what I know about him from our brief interaction is that he’s uneducated hick, because seriously, who does that?