Saturday, January 15, 2005

No protest for me

There are many people who believe that I am first and foremost a capitalist. They are, I suppose, correct. But despite my prowess at sales I am not a worshipper of the almighty dollar. I have never judged the quality of my life upon the amount of money I am earning. Indeed, I enjoyed my earlier life quite well living from paycheck to paycheck.

So here I am, in our slow season, and what with the election being what it was (a farce) I considered doing something I've never done before. Protesting. I come from a proud family of protesters. My father protested the Vietnam War, my brother has protested, even my mother has gone to Washington a few times. So I felt that the upcoming inauguration would be a good opportunity to make my opinion known.

I didn't plan on joining the youth of our nation, yelling and waving banners with slogans like 'No blood for oil" etc. Those people will never get within a half mile of Bush. No, I planned on dressing nice and neat, maybe wearing a tie. I planned on getting onto the motorcade route, and when that stupid monkey passed by I planned on turning my back on him.

I talked with a few friends who showed some interest in going. But there are a lot of logistical barriers to attending a protest during an inauguration where the city has been locked down as if under martial law.

And then life seemed to tap me on the shoulder. It informed me that my home had a leak. It reminded me that we're having a guy hang drywall and a circuit breaker seems to keep popping without reason. It showed me our business account, and while we did good sales this season, we also bought a van and paid for it outright. It reminded me that the Ren season is months off.

So I reluctantly fired up my browser and found a sci-fi convention that wasn't too far away and might generate some income. It starts the day after the inauguration and it would be almost impossible to do the protest and still get to the con in time to set up and start generating sales. I tried for two days to find some other event but there was nothing on the radar unless I was willing to go to Texas or the UK, both of which would require too much outlay for an unknown event.

I feel like I've let down my family, even though they didn't know what I planned on doing. And worse, I feel like I have let an opportunity pass me by which will not come again (at least for this presidente'). Rossana is a pragmatist and she doesn't feel that my presence there would make a great difference, and she is right to a point. But what if 50,000 people who felt like me showed up, and all turned their back on this warmonger? That sends a message. I can only hope that there are other who will do what it takes to make their voices heard.

For now I am forced to bow to economic necessity, and it kind of sucks.


Goodman said...

I feel like I've let down my family, even though they didn't know what I planned on doing. And worse, I feel like I have let an opportunity pass me by which will not come again (at least for this presidente').I don't remember you letting me down as long as you've lived. And I think there will be future, better times to protest against this President. Iraq continues to inch its way towards civil war, while America mulls setting up death squads. The administration continues it's attempts to convince Americans that Social Security is going "bankrupt," and that this "crisis" must be averted by setting up private accounts, so that Americans can gamble their retirement money in the stock market. I foresee occasions in the days ahead where protesting could make a much greater difference, even right in Cleveland...

Anonymous said...

Although I am not a worshipper of the almighty dollar either, I find it absolutely amazing how many people turn their back on our president. Never forget who it was that approved NAFTA and - amazingly - he wasn't a republican. Or perhaps I could go into Jimmy Carter's intelligent policies on international trade....
Let's all vote for another president who's biggest claim to fame is the number of women he sexually harrassed and how many affairs he propogated on his family...
In God We Trust has an all new meaning when it comes to the leadership of this country!

Steve said...

Indeed, our previous presidents have often made tremendous blunders. Of course, I was in grade school when Carter was in office and my opinions of him were based more on the size of his teeth than on his policy failures. Of course, he did broker the SALT talks didn't he?

The government spent millions of dollars to find out if Clinton was engaged in shady land deals (he wasn't) and to prosecute him for personal failings. Should he have taken greater action against the Taliban? Yes. Hindsight is 20-20.

But Iraq was a case where we could actually see what was coming. The intelligence skewed to match the administrations goals. Did anyone think that introducing democracy into a land that has had no representative government for 1000 years would really work? Especially in a country with Shiite and Sunni muslims? Since America no longer fights wars the war we used to (by completely destroying a counties infrastructure and uniformed fighting force) there is no way to militarily 'win'. The Iraqi's see the U.S. as an occupying Army and there are PLENTY of whack jobs willing to come in from Syria et al to take a crack at us. And when we accidently kill a wedding party, bomb a house full of innocent civilians or humiliate and torture their countrymen, the locals are not going to bake you cookies.

~Dev said...

It's always amusing to me how neo-conservatives (much like Bush himself) view what's going on in the world with rose-tinted glasses (or actually... more like blinders with rose-tinted eyes painted on the other side).

I wish term limits were revoked during the Clinton presidency... I MISS HIM. Sure, Clinton made some huge mistakes (all presidents do)... but there's something he had a lion's share of that Bush simply does not: PRESIDENTIAL COMPETENCE. It would be a nice gesture if a large portion of the crowd turned its back to Bush as he cruises by... but in the long-run, it won't amount to much. Bush doesn't care. As long as his personal interests and those of his family/corporate friends are secure, world be damned.