At 3am on Tuesday morning, my alarm went off signaling it was not only time to get up, but it was time to go wait in line for hours on end to get a book signed. I can assure you the only thing that roused me from the pillowy comfort of my bed was the fact the man signing the book was the 43rd President of the United States of America.
I got up, dressed, took my dog out, and hit the road. Never before and never again will I make the 37 mile trip in half an hour because never again will I be driving to Dallas at 4am. After circling the parking lot a few times I finally found a spot and began trekking to the back of the line. I walked around the front of the shopping center, down a side street, and into the back alley where I took my spot behind a middle-aged man holding a library book. On my heels were two people around my age, a man and a woman, who got in line behind me. ‘Well, this is it,’ I thought to myself, ‘the people I will be around for the next few hours.’
Eventually the four of us started talking about our careers and hobbies, what books we were reading, and our pets - small talk, nothing of substance. But then my major came up (B.A., International Studies) and what exactly that entailed (Chinese political history); the middle-aged man was fascinated. He guided the Chinese political conversation around the corner of the building until we were in front of the first store window.
The two behind me had dropped out of the conversation until the man told me that I “shouldn’t read or respect the Constitution because the Founders and their document never intended for [me/women] to be anything more than property.” I felt as though I had been punched in the face. Over the last several years I have worked on managing and controlling my temper, but that developed discipline was struggling to persevere. I told him why I loved the Constitution, what made it different and important to our country, and why it should not be tampered with in interpretation. Fighting back tears, I told him that if he didn’t like it, he should leave.
This is when things got interesting. He started talking about the ignorance and idiocy of the Founders, that they weren’t well-read and they were misguided in their fight to establish freedom and independence. I was shaking I was so angry (I blamed it on the cold). At one point I think my vision blurred with a tinge of red. While contemplating whether or not I should stop talking to him and endure the awkwardness of 3 more hours in line or if I should punch him in the face and risk being hauled off by Secret Service, one of the two who had been absently quiet popped up.
The gentleman started talking about how well-educated the Founders were, quoting Montesquieu, the Declaration, and the Constitution. The urge to throw a punch abated. Then the man said “the Second Amendment is completely irrelevant; the Founders never intended for black people to own guns” with the same matter-of-fact tone used in stating women shouldn’t be more than property owned by men. The gentleman started quoting Supreme Court cases, the Founders’ true intent, and the evolution of society. When the man questioned the gentleman’s credibility, I just about died.
“I went to Harvard Law.”
These two people in line behind me were classmates at Harvard Law and now work as attorneys for the Liberty Institute. Talk about a total God-send: these people were insanely well-educated and primed professionally to stand up to people like this man in a court of law and defend the Constitution, individual rights and liberties, as well as advance the cause for freedom altogether.
Seeing he was now outnumbered, the man tried to stick to safe topics but faltered every now and again and began speaking about the economy or border security. We all managed to get through the line, get our books signed, and depart the store without altercation. I will be forever indebted to the Harvard Law Duo, as should the man I didn’t punch. We exchanged email addresses at the end of it and I received a gem of a Top 10 List today that I wanted to share with y’all:
Top 10 Things You-Know-Who Said In Line
10. Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.
9. The Supreme Court has decided that the Second Amendment does not apply "hundreds" of times.
8. Massive debt is okay because governments can just print their way out of it and everything will take care of itself.
7. "King Edward" dissociated England from Catholicism.
6. The Constitution had no thought put into it.
5. Separation of powers and federalism as limits on government were unintentional.
4. The Founding Fathers were a bunch of uneducated, unsophisticated farmers.
3. This was because there were ALMOST NO BOOKS in America in the late 1700's, so no one could read anything.
2. The Pope used to be in the Bible, until he was edited out by "King Edward."
1. The best form of government is a one-world government with all of the power in the hands of a few.
This man waited in line for hours to buy two copies of Decision Points and have them signed by George W. Bush - isn't that supposed to be his mortal enemy? I'm not sure quite why he was there; perhaps it was a divine intervention (probably not) or a test of my convictions (more likely) or just a flash in the pan of life that led me to two new friends (safest bet).