Last week, my son, Daniel, and I flew to Orlando to visit Disneyworld. We set out to hike the various theme parks for 5 days with me pushing the wheelchair, carrying our backpacks and duffle as needed. During those 5 days, my excellently calibrated pedometer registered slightly over 55 miles. My eyesight is superb, thanks to Lasix surgery, and I had a very scientific poll in mind. I wanted to count every single Obama t-shirt, ball cap, hat or tattoo that I saw. Now, with that fixation, I was constantly scanning the crowd, morning, afternoon and night, as we passed thousands and thousands of people from all over the world, a vast collection of races, creeds, colors and political persuasions.
We covered the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom twice—each—and Epcot Center once. I wore my Vietnam Veteran ball cap and had literally scores of well-wishers come shake my hand, including many fellow veterans of the various wars, and I got to talk with many active duty military personnel, recently returned, getting ready to depart, or in between tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. What magnificent group of people! One impressive young GI, gave me a "salute" I'll never forget. He said, "Thanks for going before us!" That brought tears to my eyes. I thought I need to build on that and say to them, "Thank you for keeping the faith and keeping us safe!"
During those 5 days, despite looking hard, I didn't see one solitary person wearing any piece of memorabilia celebrating the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. Now, that is simply an honest evaluation of what I saw. I must add that I fully expected to see such manifestations "everywhere." Nothing!
What does it mean, scientifically? Maybe they wore their shirts out too quickly. Or maybe Obama wore out too quickly.
The closest I saw were scads of people wearing Eeyore t-shirts, hats and likenesses. Given that the donkey is the symbol of the Democrat Party, that Eeyore built his house of sticks which came tumbling down, and he's fundamentally droll with little understanding, I may have stumbled onto the new symbol. But I hope not! I love Eeyore. I'd never read Winnie the Pooh as a child nor had my parents read the stories to me. When I finally returned Stateside with my family, following the final tour in Vietnam and a tour in Hawaii, my wife started reading Pooh stories to my children as we drove from Los Angeles to the Air War College in Alabama. I was fascinated. Even if they tired of hearing the stories, I insisted she complete story after story about The Hundred Acre Wood. So, I really don't want to think of Eeyore in that light. He's so innocent that it doesn't fit.
Well, I don't want to overextend the significance of my poll. However, I also included Denver International and Orlando International Airports, going and coming, in my observations. Nothing there, either!
It seems to me that when George W. Bush won the Presidency in 2000 and 2004, we Bush supporters sported our "W" shirts, hats, bumper stickers and pins throughout the first term and much of the second term. It just seems odd that the Democrats aren't showing the same level of pride in victory, if my poll has any validity.
They hated Bush so thoroughly and were so completely overjoyed at defeating anything with Republican attached, what happened? I'd frankly expected to be bombarded with and outpouring of affection and jubilation for the next four years. Exactly 5 months have elapsed, and I didn't see one t-shirt of ball cap. That's astounding to me.
So, that's the extent of Curt Dale's "shirtified" poll. It could be of great significance. It may be totally meaningless. Make of it what you will.
© Curtis D. Dale, PhD, June 2009 REPRINT