March 26, 2002
After September 11, I watched my first grader's school embrace
patriotism and I listened to all the patriotic songs my daughter
learned as a result. I smiled to hear all the old songs I
had learned as a child, and I proudly displayed the flag she
drew at school in our window. But she is a bright child, and
eventually she realized that she was the only one who vocalized
her patriotic feelings in her family.
So, with a perplexed look on her little face, she asked me
if her dad and I love this country, too. Even though she is
young, I knew she deserved a straight answer. I told her that
of course we love this country, but we also realize that our
country has its faults. When I pointed out to her that I love
her dearly, but I also tell her when she's doing something
wrong, I think she began to understand.
We love our children, but we know their faults, and we let
them know that they must improve. We love our country dearly,
but we will not pretend that our government can do no wrong.
I used the analogy to explain something to my young daughter
in a way she could understand. Our country is not a child.
I wish that our current administration would understand that
the people of this country are not children, either. From
the moment this president stepped fraudulently into his role,
he has acted like a bad parent.
I have always noted an arrogant, "I know best and you don't
question me" attitude in Bush. I didn't like that attitude
when I was young, and I hate it even worse now. Bush, like
a bad parent, believes that the people he governs don't need
to know certain things, that we should just trust him to do
what is right for us. In his case, it is probably more a desire
to keep us in the dark about his questionable actions, but
no authoritarian adult likes to be questioned.
When he ran for re-election as governor in Texas, I had the
displeasure of watching his campaign commercials in an area
where he knew he could show his true colors. He talked about
those lazy people who let others do the work while they did
what felt good. Bush promised to make those people do their
share or suffer the consequences. Big daddy Bush was going
to see to it that those worthless kids learned a lesson.
Even then, his attitude reminded me of a selfish father who
refused to see any merit in a child who differed from him
in any way. ( I will not deny that his obvious vision of himself
as a righteous, hard working man is laughable, but he seems
to see himself that way.)
And what could be more lamentably parental than pushing people
to get married? Just as some parents seem to think that marriage
will cure all ills, this administration thinks marriage will
cure poverty. A caring parent might eventually see that marriage
just for the sake of marriage is not a good idea, but evil
stepfather Bush just wants to get people off his hands.
The worst kind of parent imaginable is the kind who thinks
his children are expendable. Bush is not only willing but
eager to send his "children" off to war. If he were the reflective
type, he might question himself about what kind parent doesn't
mind that his children will die.
Bush may consciously or unconsciously consider himself a
father figure to this country. I personally will be glad when
the people of this country tell him " You are not my father
and I will not put up with this any more!"