Today President Bush & Co. passed through my tiny college town en route from one rally to another. The college rumor mill hyped the event because Bush “might” stop for an impromptu meet and greet.
There is only one real road in town, US-72, and I think all of Cedarville (and then some) was out to take pictures of Ground Force One. The non-event was complete with parade-like lawn chairs, the local school marching band, and piped-in Lee Greenwood. Our orgy of presidential obsession was almost palpable as all 3000+ of us crammed together in hopes he’d stop to shake a hand and remind us of the war on “terra.”
Everybody screamed and yelled frantically as the motorcade made its way through but suddenly something went very wrong: nobody was slowing down.
Yes folks, several thousand eager faces drooped in confusion and disappointment as those pretty air-conditioned pimpmobiles rolled right on by with a simple honk here and toot there. In reality, his entourage looked much like Kerry’s, just with more buses, more tinting, and more M16’s. We spent 40% of our town budget on free ice cream and extra police only to see some random AP photographer snap a few of the desperate masses.
It occured to me that this afternoon was much like the entire race. I hope I don’t stretch my analogy too far when I say it really has been all fanfare and no results. Each side just beats their drums really loud, passes out free ice cream bars to the swing voters, and hopes they won’t have to slow down and answer real questions. Why stop the propaganda machine for honest dialogue? Do I really care if Kerry actually named the gun he used to shoot himself in the leg? I want to know, practically and concretely, how he’s going to ‘fix’ Iraq. Do I really care from which dealer Bush bought his 8-ball of coke some 30 years ago? Instead of all this press over Kitty Kelley, why don’t you tell us how Bush plans to jump-start this economy. In reality we all gather around, get our hopes up, yell at our enemies and cheer for the home team, then watch as the buses (and dialogue on the real issues) roll right past us.