Engaging a Zombie

Recently, I shared a story about the impossibility of breaking through the mental lockdown of an Obama supporter, a virtual zombie. (But don't worry, you needn't have read that piece to follow this one.)

Since then, I've had another opportunity to engage this person. In an attempt to break through the cement wall of "thinking," I used the idea behind a brilliant YouTube video called "Honey, You Didn't Build That." (I highly recommend checking out the video. It is well worth the 2 minutes of your time!)

In the video, a school girl proudly shows her parents a replica of the Washington monument that she made in school. The replica was so well done that her teacher gave her an "A." Her parents respond by pointing out that she didn't really build it and begin to pepper her with questions about the construction materials: Did she make the popsicle sticks that she used on the outside? And so forth.

After going through a litany of things the formerly beaming and now deflated girl did not make, the parents move onto her grade. They suggest the grade is too high and that it should, in essence, be downgraded so it could be shared with others.

You see where this is going....

OK. So back to my encounter with the Zombie-Like-Mentally-Locked-Down-Obama-Supporter (ZLMLDOS).

In speaking with this gentleman, I must admit that I was ranting. It's not my usual style, but I felt pushed to my limits and before I knew it, I was screaming talking points. When I hit upon "You didn't build that," he interrupted me and said, "What you're suggesting is not what Obama meant. He was referring to roads and infrastructure."

After pointing out that we the people pay for roads and infrastructure, I remembered the YouTube video and here's how the rest of our exchange went down:

Me: "Think about this. Your grandchild makes something at school she feels very proud of. And she shares it with you with pride, enthusiasm, and joy. (At this point, the guy was smiling because he obviously could relate to this scenario.) Do you respond by telling your grandchild that she didn't really make it because she didn't make the paper, the crayons, the glue, etc?"

ZLMLDOS: With an expression of reflection: "hmmm"

So far so good.


He let the little light that flickered in his brain get snuffed out, at which point he returned to his baseline Zombie-Like-Mentally-Locked-Down state.


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