in the Streets
August 28, 2002
By Joan Healy
When W. was ushered into the oval office by the Supreme Court,
I decided to give him a chance to prove all my apprehensions
about him to be false. History has shown times when a corrupt
person was placed in power and that power was used for good
because the person changed. I thought, and really hoped, maybe
there was a chance. It didnít take long to dispel that image.
Some of my early thoughts about Bush were that he was a mediocre
person from a wealthy family who had never worked a day in
his life. Everything that he obtained was because of his name
and his connections. Since taking charge he has affirmed my
His first thought was to take care of his benefactors who
got him the job - a whooping tax cut for the top 1% of taxpayers,
and a pittance for the rest of us. That was to keep everyone
happy, especially if you didnít think about it too much and
question why giving all the tax breaks to the rich was a good
idea. The Romans did it by giving the plebeians bread and
circuses. Depending on the size of your family and the price
of tickets, Iím not sure if our tax refund would allow everyone
to go to the circus and buy some bread.
Despite the fact that he wants to be called the Education
President, we all found as soon as he started to talk that
as far as his education was concerned, mediocre was
a compliment. It seems the only thing he excelled at in school
was fraternity parties. I really started hoping someone in
his administration would come to the rescue with grammar,
syntax and vocabulary lessons, but they were all too busy
now that they had gained power, finding ways to gut environmental
regulations and help corporations write our energy policy.
Besides English, another area of study that Bush seemed to
have missed while at Yale and Harvard was the matter of the
names of rulers of countries, where countries are located
in the world, if they are a country or a continent, and if
the inhabitants are white or black. It is utterly embarrassing
to me, as an American, to have to listen to our president
as he tries to talk to leaders of foreign countries and he
knows nothing about their country. Itís worse when they, trying
to be helpful, find it necessary to give him a tutorial! I
shudder every time I hear him try to utter a few words in
his native tongue. I can imagine English teachers across the
country wincing in unison when he makes a speech.
I especially enjoy hearing about the book he is currently
reading. It is always announced to the press - his vacation
reading is Supreme Command. Of course Bush reading
a book is a news flash - after all, he has read so few.
Then there is the smirk as he tries to suggest that his lack
of knowledge is an indicator that he is one of us. I find
that to be a horrendous insult to every person in this country
to imply that we are a nation of people with no education.
As we can see, from his example, receiving a degree from Yale
or Harvard does not guarantee an education. There are thousands
of people who didnít have the opportunity to go on to higher
education, but through reading and self-learning are far better
educated than our self-proclaimed Education President.
Many times Bush has made reference to the fact that it would
be easier to govern if he were a dictator. I thought this
was just idle banter, not part of his mission statement until
his administration started to systematically dismantle the
Bill of Rights. Not only does this administration want to
be able to spy on us, it also wants to withhold any information
about what it is doing.
As if by royal fiat documents that were supposed to be open
to historians for research, are not available - i.e. the Reagan
papers. I find it strange that all his papers from his time
served as governor of Texas are sealed. I would think if one
was proud of what he accomplished, he would want the record
open to the public. It seems everything about his life is
sealed - driving record, service record, papers from his terms
as governor. Yet this same administration wants the right
to know what books we read, what you read on your computer,
what we buy at the grocery store. Just in case you missed
that one - it was one of their all time best ideas. Get records
of purchases from grocery stores. Then make up a profile of
a terrorist. So all you vegetarians who like humous, you fit
Not only are they spying on us, they are locking citizens
in prison. American citizens are labeled enemy combatants
and lose all rights of citizenship. People are locked away
with no charges brought and no access to legal help... indefinitely!
The most frightening prospect is that this person is going
to decide if we enter an illegal war. This mediocre person
is going to send our young men to war, some to lose their
lives. This person who has no knowledge of history, no experience
in war, no respect for human life as demonstrated as he mocked
a death row inmate in Texas, and only thoughts of ruling any
way he pleases.
My question is why are we not marching in the streets?