Friday, October 14, 2005

In Effigy

This morning, Magdalene showed me an email for a WCW meeting. WCW is apparently this group dedicated to defeating Bush (the world cannot wait?) and are planning a series of events intended to advertise their dislike of the Bush Administration... in the hopes of toppling it? I'm not too clear on the group's exact details. In either case, one of the planned events is called "Whack the Bush", and the intention is to create an effigy of President Bush and... well, I think the title speaks quite well for itself. I asked Magdalene about it, and whether or not she planned on attending. She said, for sure, she would attend the effigy whacking. Now, here's the thing. I consider myself fairly to-the-left. I dislike President Bush, roll my eyes at those who voted for him, and rail against the fact that over 30% of the country still approves of his performance. President Bush has screwed the poor and the middle class, the people of colour, women, gays, and any religion other than the one whose deity speaks to him on a regular basis. Bush is responsible for lying to the country, throwing us into an unjust war because some guy tried to kill his daddy, derailing our economy, abolishing the national surplus and putting us into an almost unfathomable deficit. The blood of thousands is on this man's hands, not just abroad but at home, down South, where citizens of the United States drowned in their own living rooms because of Bush's tendancy towards cronyism. All that and I just can't stand the way he says the word "nuclear". But that doesn't mean I want the man dead. I find the idea of stringing an effigy of any person, detested president or otherwise, unthinkable. I am unsettled by the imagery of it all; it reminds me far too much of Jim Crowe era lynchings and beatings. Sure, I don't like what he says, what he believes, or what he has done, but that's hardly a reason to kill him. No matter how much Bush has messed this country up, he does not deserve to be strung up and beaten with sticks, even if it is only symbolically. We, on the Left, pride ourselves in being the civilized, more academic, more educated, and more even-handed party -- so why do some of our members resort to this kind of pedestrian and infantile displays of political hatred? If we cannot defend our political beliefs without resorting to such silly displays, then is it so hard to believe that more than half this country identified more with the party of the other guy? I don't like Bush and even I'm embarassed.