Now I have a reputation for being, in my father’s words, a “knee-jerk bleeding heart liberal.” I don’t necessarily like that characterization, but what can you do? Well, for starters I can explain to everyone out there that I absolutely do not automatically “Toe the Party line” (for one thing, I don’t belong to a party, I’m an Independent, as I have lost most of my faith in the Democratic Party). I’ve also been accused of automatically hating anything that President Bush says or does simply because it is him doing it. Again, unfair and untrue. I love the idea of the “No Child Left Behind Act” for instance, however I very much would like to see some actual funding for it.
That having been said, I would like to say that I am a liberal. According to the Political Compass I tip the scales as a medium-strength Liberal (score of “5”) and a medium-strength Libertarian (score of “4”). As an indication, they think that Ghandi would be right about at the same place that I would be. I can’t say as I mind that. So in other words, while I’m all for educating the nation’s children, I’m totally 100% against things like the PATRIOT Act (which limits personal freedoms. Hell, the conservatives should be against it too! What happened to keeping your laws off of my body?), unfunded mandates (see the above mentioning of the “No Child Left Behind” legislation), and wars for any reason other than defending this country from a real threat (and NO, Iraq was not a threat. Does anyone actually believe that anymore?)
Anyway, the point is that I ran across something called Bush in 30 seconds. It was a contest put on by an organization more or less dedicated to kicking Bush out of the White House this November called MoveOn.org. The thrust of this contest was more or less to create a thirty second commercial making fun of or criticizing Bush. I believe the grand prize was to get the commercial aired during Super Bowl 2004 (interestingly enough, CBS refused to air it, actually resulting in a much bigger media splash than if they had just quitely given up the 30 seconds). The commercial that really struck me was not actually the winner (which I didn’t actually like nearly as much).
This commercial that I did enjoy so much won the Best Young Commercial, and was created by a guy from Englewood, Colorado (one of the more conservative cities in the country). It was pretty simple. Just the writer/editor/producer walking in a desert landscape (near Grand Junction, if I had to guess) talking at the camera as it followed him. It’s in pretty grainy black and white and the speaker (Jared Ewy by name) is talking a mile a minute with a diatribe which is, in my humble opinion, truly inspired. Obviously very upset at the cavalier way in which President Bush further endangered the lives of American soldiers by taunting the Iraqi people to “Bring it On” (the title of the piece, by the way). I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing the text, though you can view the large version of the commercial here.
“Bring it on? Our soldiers are in a hotbed of hate, and you say bring it on to people who accessorize with dynamite? Why donâ€™t you just throw in a camel joke while youâ€™re at it? I like the part about saying you support the troops, but you tried to sneak in a combat pay cut. Oh, and lie about needing a pricey ride on a jump jet? Saddam, jobs, Osama goneâ€“and you blowing money on a photo op? Bush, go ahead, raise your millions. Wrap yourself in the flag. Hide the evidence in daddyâ€™s library. But the voters know. So, bring it on.”
Pretty good, huh? I would hope that even the staunchest supporters of the President would acknowledge that encouraging enemy combatants to “Bring it On” was a bad idea and the worst sort of hubris, especially considering the constant rise in the death toll abroad. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the fact that we went over to Iraq to “disarm the WMDs and stop the torture,” and when we got there we discovered absolutely no WMDs and in fact started torturing people. Anyone else see the irony? I thought so.
“Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down”
~Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth” — Wow, did they have the PATRIOT Act back then too?