I briefly glimpsed the name “Pelosi” on a float passing by as I joined the back of a large crowd watching Napa’s Fourth of July parade. Assuming the best, as I often do, I started to cheer. I like Nancy Pelosi, and I think she works hard. We agree on most issues, and she’s a grandma. What’s not to like?
All around me, there was a strange stony silence. No one else was cheering or clapping or even saying a word. There was the heavy stunted feeling you get when a full elevator stops, and the large number of well-behaved people in it can’t do a thing to effect a change in their fate. Though you know that they wish that they could.
Why was no one else cheering or clapping? Didn’t anyone else like Nancy Pelosi?
My sweet Patrick looked at me with reproach. (Not for the first time…. *sigh.*)
Then he told me. “You just cheered for the Tea Party.”
I was aghast. What had I done? What should I do? How could I atone? My lone cheer still rang in the sultry summer air. (Warmer than last year and getting warmer all the time thanks to global warming thank you very much.)
I just hadn’t looked closely enough at the float with the word “Pelosi” written on it. Not that I could. There were quite a lot of people in front of me. And I’m short.
Parading groups kept going by. There was the float featuring people who want to repair some bleachers. There were the Special Olympics. And Equestrians. And the Lucky Penny Theatrical group. And a LGBT group wearing rainbow balloons a.k.a. fabulous-ness incarnate.
Americans exhibiting their right to free speech.
Maybe I could say I was cheering for that.