Or so I thought...
The conversation made me long for a large white flag and a pole from which to wave it.
(With a little poetic license)
Me: (brightly and slightly conspiratorially) "Have you been following the political news lately?"
Student: (eagerly) "Yes, I'm sooo excited about it all"
Me: (Feeling happy about evidence of political activism in the youth) "Cool, what parts?"
Student: "Well, I think it's awesome that we have a woman running for VP. She's going to be awesome."
Me: (back peddling in my mind) "Hmmm? Interesting....so, do you find her views on the issues convincing? What things do you like about her?"
Student: "It's just really important to have women- they would change stuff, and make things better.."
Me: "Hmm....So what kind of stuff do you think she will change?"
Student: "She's going to make things.... better and she'll be great for women's rights"
Me: ('polite' voice) "Umm....Ok... Well, you do know that she's very pro-Iraq war, pro-gun, anti global warming as a concept, pro-life, anti-gay rights etc. right?"
Student: "Yeah, that's true but she's a woman and I think that's cool. We really need that right now."
Me: (smiling tightly): "Interesting....well, it's going to be.....interesting"
And then I slunk away....
It's working! Oh god, it's working!
Now I'd like to think I'm sufficiently open minded not to judge people for their political views. Some of my brightest students have been conservative in intelligent and thought provoking ways. But this is just not very smart, is it?
It bothers me that I did not try to gently disabuse her of those notions- but its hard to do without sounding condescending, patronizing and rude. No wonder the dems are bafflingly polite in the face of blatant lies.
Another day, another reminder of the 'jackass problem' in democracies, as a professor once eloquently put it.