I don't usually start political posts.
I was driving into the small town I live near to pick up a pizza for the kids. Salads for me and the missus, thank you.
It's an old town and still has a lively "downtown" despite the new Wal-Mart two miles away. It's also a Republican stronghold.
So, I was a bit taken aback to see three folks standing on the main corner of town wearing signs that read MONEY FOR FOOD NOT BOMBS. They were all three of an age prone more to nostalgia for the 60s (as they remember it) than young firebrands. They stood on the tiny sidewalk (I said it was an OLD town) and were jostled by folks making their way to their cars after work and to the Amish farmers market across the street.
The irony that the original, and most dedicated. anti-war protestors had set up vegetable stands across from these sometimes-hippies was lost on me until I wrote this.
Anyhow, this and other recent events got me to thinking. At either end of my road someone has stenciled “BUSH” in yellow paint at the bottom of the stop signs. (Stop BUSH. Get it? Ha ha ha!) I have a sneaking suspicion who it was and no more free comic books for him! I considered stopping and buying some red spray paint and taking care of business.
But I realize that this loud and vocal Bush-hating will pass. The anti-Bush rhetoric that’s everywhere in the media (except FOX and the unusually generous NPR of late) is reaching fever pitch and we’re JUST hitting the conventions. It could cause one despair. What if someone LISTENS to these One World mental patients? What if America decides to vote as Peter Jennings tells them? What if P Diddy leads an army of empty-headed young morons down to the polls to pull the lever for Johnny Vietnam and Johnny Haircut? Is Michael Moore’s flockumentary (not one of mine. Got it from the WSJ.) actually going to change the course of an election?
This morning I woke up recalling the late 60s. Violent protests against the war. A feeling of distrust and polarization. Racial tension. REAL racial tension not a flight attendant using “eenie meenie miney mo” to seat passengers. And yet, in this atmosphere Richard Nixon was elected president twice, decidedly, over two liberals who were speaking the same language of those protesting in the street. Richard NIXON, for gawd’s sake!
That’s when I recalled that the late 60s protests were as much staged media events as protests are now. They were simply better attended and more focused. More “real time” and less video driven. Despite that they moved the country’s needle not one inch to the left.
We’re in a war now and I think most of America outside of New York and LA knows that this is for real and for keeps. I think they know we’re up against some really bad guys. I think they know that Kerry et al are using this tragedy as political hay with no regard for the message they’re sending to our enemies as well as our troops in the field.
I think America has a lot more in common with the folks heading for the fruit stand or the parking lot than it does with the sign-wearing goofballs standing in their way.
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Posted on July 22, 2004 at 01:06:10 PM by Chuck