A fox in the hen-house: a neocon visits the Good Food Store

Thomas Livoli wrote a letter to the Missoulian on Friday about his "reception" at local organic supermarket and liberal haven, the Good Food Store:

Good Food Store patrons are close-minded 

I am a right-wing neoconservative combat veteran who served in Iraq. My car (incidentally not a Subaru) has a Bush 2004 sticker and an American flag proudly displayed on the back. Recently, I have been shopping at the Good Food Store. I do so because I like the fresh produce, cheap protein bars, and supporting the local economy. I usually go in there after I work out when my military tattoos are visible for all to see.

The employees of the Good Food Store are always courteous and helpful regardless of how they may feel about my political views. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the majority of my fellow shoppers. Most of these folks consider themselves enlightened and open-minded. The dirty looks and comments, however, tell a different story.

When I was stationed down South, the woman I dated was black. We would get very dirty looks from both blacks and whites who obviously did not approve of our interracial relationship. Now I get the same type of looks and rude comments from many of the store's patrons. The only other place in Missoula I have come across this type of behavior is the University of Montana.

As a PhD student in anthropology, I am proud to say that some of my closest friends are liberal. Really! Even they are embarrassed at the way conservatives are treated by Missoula's "progressive" community. I have been around the world, experienced myriad of cultures, places and people. It's sad that one of the most intolerant and hypocritical communities I have encountered is in my hometown of Missoula.

Look. There's a big difference between being stared at because you're in the deep South and dating an African-American, and being stared at because you pull up to a liberal watering-hole in a car plastered with Bush/Cheney stickers.

In the south, people are staring because they're bigots. In the GFS, they're staring at Livoli because he supports an imbecile who got them into a war they didn't want, tortured, lied, spied, supported higher arsenic content in their water supply, and piled up a ridiculous public debt. In other words, at the GFS they're staring because of your actions.

The Constitution guarantees our freedom of speech, but not freedom from responsibility for our speech. If Livoli wants to support an unpopular president, he should expect some latent hostitility.

There's been a recent little splash in the Montana blogosphere about polarity and insularity in the blogs, as if being a partisan was a bad thing. It's not.

Bottom line: politics matter. The "partisanship" you see is people actually caring about issues. The elections matter. The candidates are important. The country is heading in the wrong direction, and some of us are actually a little angry about it.

  1. It’s the old “You’re being intolerant of my intolerance,” hogwash. And, very good point that people aren’t shooting dirty looks at him because of his race or sex or any other involuntary characteristic, but because of what he presumably believes. Just because he’s using progressive language (and some of his best friends are black people!) it doesn’t mean he’s an ally.

  2. It is not just politics; it gets pretty darn personal when you see your friends, family and neighbors starting to pay the consequences of a lot of Bush’s self serving really terrible bad awful rotten policies.

  3. Yeah, I was going to mention things like spiraling health-care costs…but the post was turning into an angry rant…

  4. Huh, I would suggest not really worrying about the folks at the Good Food Store, nor anyone else for that matter.
    I mean, who cares really? Shop somewhere else.
    “Most of these folks consider themselves enlightened and open-minded.” No, not really. They consider themselves “more healthy” perhaps. Regardless, they will die just like you and I, and then it really will not matter anymore. There will be “Bush” now, and there will be others like him in the future. And folks will meander about, renting movies and eating bunny-hugger food complaining about it. So, who cares?

  5. Um, I care. Unfortunately I have children. And giving up to the Bushes of the world only ensures that they exist. Fighting them may be hopeless, but it beats sitting on the couch and watching television.

  6. Who are any of you to condemn the “neocon”? I am not a Bush defender, but I am also not out to Bush bash.

    You people who condemn Bush and his supporters:

    Are you any better?

    Do you love God with all of your heart and mind and soul and strength?

    Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

    The problem is with us and with our sins, not with anyone else, ever. Just some things to consider.

    See our website: http://www.thepathoftruth.com

  7. Well, according to that logic, no one has the right to criticize anybody. But what about “By their fruits, ye shall know them”? Can’t we criticize a man who starts unprovoked war, actively and knowingly contributes to poverty and hunger, who approves of torture, whose policies lead to environmental contamination?

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