Tuesday, December 21

Step Between the Back and the President

When I first checked out the "Turn Your Back On Bush" website, I thought "and these are the people who accuse Republicans of being divisive." My second thought was that it's typical of Democrat/liberals, who are the first to turn tail and run rather than listen to something that they think they don't want to hear.

The website calls for members of the crowds at the inauguration to perform an act of intense rudeness, an act that is recognized in many cultures as a supreme insult.

What is this action? The following appears on the second page of their website.
Turn Your Back on Bush is a new kind of event in an old tradition: direct nonviolent action. In the past four years, Bush has made it clear that dissent is unwelcome in his America, and his policies have created an atmosphere where demonstrators are corralled and their messages marginalized. Polls show that the majority of Americans disagree with Bush on numerous issues, but by refusing to talk to anyone but the most subservient press outlets and appearing only in highly staged events, he has cut himself off from all but his most ardent supporters.

We want our audience with our President.

On inauguration day, we will gather as citizens for the public events of the day and join the rest of the crowd. At a given signal, we will turn our backs. Until the moment we turn around, there will be nothing to distinguish us. By leaving our signs and buttons at home, we will avoid all of the obstacles that Bush and his supporters have used to keep anyone who disagrees with him out of sight.

One of the things that makes Turn Your Back on Bush a unique action is that we won't know who is participating until the moment it begins. This is a nonviolent, silent, and non-responsive action. We expect that our actions will cause some supporters of President Bush to confront us. In order to make this action as effective as possible, we will publish action guidelines and expect those people participating in the action to remain silent, refrain from escalating, and above all, keep this protest non-violent.

Of course their facts are wrong -- the President has listened to dissenters; he just chose not to agree. He has talked to the media; they have twisted the facts and stood by the twists. It is the President who should turn his back on the 48% but he's above that kind of rudeness and, besides, he has 51% on his side.

Note the sentence above "We want an audience with ourPresident." They claim him as "our" President, yet seem to believe that treating him with disrespect at an important moment in his life will, somehow, get them that audience.

Might I suggest that the way to be heard by your President is exactly the same way his supporters are? Write to him, write to your congressmen and women and write letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines. You, after all, tell us you are the intellectuals of our society. Then act like intellectuals -- write. And might I add that tacky four-letter curse words accompanied by no punctuation and no capital letters doesn't add to the impression that you are intelligent?

Did your Mothers never tell you that being rude isn't how you get your way? Have you never learned that sugar attracts more flies than vinegar?

President Bush knows that 48% of Americans voted Democratic. He has said he wants to hear you and to reach out to you. But should he if you are rude and disrespectful? Would YOU if you were in his place? I doubt it.

Donna Cassata, AP writer, says more will be going on and that the back-turning will happen when the President's limo passes down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capital. She writes, "organizers are urging demonstrators to leave political buttons and placards at home, join other parade-goers on the afternoon of the inauguration and then, as Bush's motorcade passes, show the president their backs."

I have a suggestion. If you're going to the Inauguration, simply watch those around you. If someone turns his/her back, quickly step between him and the President so that the President can't see him. If you do it quickly and don't touch him, he won't even know you're there. He can go home happily thinking he insulted the President and you can go home knowing he didn't. That, I think, would be a great feeling!

That's a way to tell the protestors that you don't agree. If you take no action, they'll think they were right.

After all, they plan other events that day. Cassata writes in ,"Quiet Protest Planned for Inauguration, "Among planned events are an anti-war rally and three-mile march to the White House, a massive bike ride similar to those that disrupted traffic in New York City before the Republican National Convention, and a "die-in" to remind the nation of more than 1,200 U.S. dead in Iraq."

That's enough to make the point. Rudeness goes beyond the pale.

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