Friday, November 05, 2004
Wednesday I had a workplace experience reminiscent of Ralphie’s.
I live in a very liberal town, so the vast majority of my patients are life-long Dems. This is especially so among my older patients who think they’re still voting for FDR and probably never had a conversation with a conservative nor read a conservative publication. Needless to say, I’m in the closet as a right-winger. (When two years ago a patient offered me an American flag pin to put on the lapel of my white coat, I thought very seriously about it, since it may alter the neutral, professional image I try to maintain. I finally decided to wear it and will do so until Islamofascism is crushed.)
I take my duty to care for all of my patients very seriously and always try to project compassion regardless of my personal feelings. It’s not just that I take the best care I can of Democrats. Some of my patients have been adulterers, criminals convicted in Federal court, addicts, and general miscreants. I always try to leave my judgment of their behavior at home and give them the best care and advice I can.
But Wednesday the Dems really bugged me. My patients that day were universally sleep-deprived and depressed. They came in for their various ailments, but were sleepy, miserable, and coming to me for comfort and encouragement, assuming that I was in the same boat. Of course I was sleep-deprived and jubilant, and I had to somehow figure out how to comfort these confused losers. I’m not sure I did a good job. “Well, at least you (we?) got Boxer!” I offered one patient. “Yeah, all of my patients are having a very rough day,” I said to another with my best I-feel-your-pain smile. What irritated me isn’t that they came to me for support; that’s part of my job. What irks is the automatic assumption that I’m in their camp. Did they even consider for one second that I’m ecstatic? Could the wealthy 70-something female activist who bemoaned Daschle’s fate imagine that I sent Thune $75? Beneath the therapeutic exterior was a happy warrior yelling “You are clueless and defeated! The nation is done with you! Pursue your private pleasures in your dark-blue counties and torment America no more!”