Democratic Underground

My Conversation with Conservatives
October 26, 2001
by Paul Winkelmann

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It's no longer fashionable, very American, or even moral, to criticize or have a different opinion than our President. We are at war and a united front, some would say, makes us appear less vulnerable. So what the elected leaders of our country want to portray is harmony and cooperation, lest they appear weak and divisive in front of our enemies.

We're all going to get along famously now because the enemy might be watching. We think they've got CNN.

This new and improved demeanor might be a hard sell after all the years of partisan investigations and silly sideshows created with the sole purpose of demonizing the sitting President. Our own government officials spent every waking moment, plotting the demise of our President, or actually acting out their plots by subjecting him to the most vile of treatments. Even going as far as forcing him to discuss his personal life, in embarrassing and explicit detail, on national TV.

So what if that petty crusade, disguised as a criminal investigation, accomplished its goal? Big whoop, the President was de-legitimized. How does that affect me?

I wonder where the other countries might have gotten the idea that we are divided and immoral degenerates who can't even field a decent team of politicians much less an army? Maybe it was because Americans on Capitol Hill, our supposed representatives, encouraged their fellow Americans (and conservative talk show hosts) to treat our democratically elected leader with such venomous hate and disrespect.

Geez, we had to do something, George lost the Presidency for crying out loud!

The Democrats have even backed the call for unity, reluctantly clasping hands with their adversaries from across the aisle, religiously praying together rather than religiously crucifying each other. They're both hoping the enemy doesn't believe the drivel that's been advertised about the last two presidential terms.

What we really need is some long-term-memory-loss.

But this is a new era of cooperation where even intelligent debate over presidential policy is frowned upon, and criticism - well that's just not very patriotic. (Not that the new President has had all that much criticism to complain about. The minimal criticism he has received has either been so mild that he himself has joked about it, or it justly labeled him too conservative and he hurriedly sent it on over his right-wing buddies as proof-positive that he's just as anti-liberal as the next guy.)

Get me Bill Maher's head.

I think some things the President is doing might be wrong, i.e. the airline executives getting million dollar salaries and billion dollar bail-outs while their employees get the shaft. Then there's those Constitutional violations.

The President requires 110% support for his plans and will not tolerate discussions, arguments, new ideas, improvements, critiques, quality control, questioning attitudes, editorials, opinions, rebuttals, forums, logic, dirty looks, name calling, common sense, or pooh-poohing. Only blind submission. We have a war to win and we can't do it without giving the President our utmost cooperation.

Cooperation that was in abundant scarcity for the previous administration?

Come on guys, everyone knows the crippling of the last President was strictly meant for national consumption. A surgical strike, if you will, limited to that one President, that one decade (nearly), not to be inherited by the next administration. This new guy is much better. He's righteous. He's moral. He doesn't even get stinking drunk or accept businesses from daddy's friends anymore. We fully support the Office of the President - now. We promise. Surely our enemies can see the logic of this argument, right?

I don't know... the world and our foes have been chowing down on what we were serving them. They're a little bloated now and it might take a little force feeding before they swallow this one.

Okay! Okay! We got it. We know our citizens are good and moral people. From now on we will respect their opinion. We will abide by their decisions in the voting booth. We will show them that we can make fun of the President, give him a mildly hard time, defend our positions like civilized individuals, yet still show some measure of respect for him and the office he holds, no matter which political party he's in. We will work for our country instead of for ourselves.

Too bad it took such horrible circumstances before you caught on to what we've known for years.

Sorry. Can we go kick some Bin Laden ass now?

By all means, please.