All I Want from George W. Bush

I just want ONE meeting.

I want to sit across from him at a table with loads of secret-service agents around, in a well-lighted room with many exits, so he feels safe. Then I want to talk, on behalf of essentially the working poor, and I want him to listen. That’s all I want.

I won’t yell. I won’t call him names. For the first time in my life, I’ll even call him “Mr. President” and/or “sir.” But he has to LISTEN. He can’t interrupt me. He can’t counter my points. I just want him to hear, in PLAIN words from one of the people he probably wouldn’t otherwise acknowledge, what some of us think of him. I’ll even go the extra mile and tell him that I know I don’t speak for all of America, and that there are obviously a LOT of people out there who support and respect him far more deeply than I ever will–and I’ll admit to him that if we avoided talking politics, I could probably even call him “friend” in another life. But I want him to hear it.

He doesn’t have to agree. He doesn’t have to make changes. I just want him to know how tightly stretched my approx $25-grand a year is in his economy. I just want him to hear the first and last name of my friend who came home from Iraq without use of his leg. I want him to know how afraid people I know are that the economy is going to collapse and they won’t be able to live. I want him to know how hard it is for some of us to afford simple antibiotics in this country, while Iraq enjoys universal health-care. I want him to hear about a friend of mine who is gay that is regularly called “faggot” and has been beaten up for his “lifestyle,” and who isn’t allowed a simple TAX BREAK from being married. I want him to hear about my friend who regularly shaves his beard and head, hoping people will mistake him for “black” instead of recognizing him as “Arab” (even though he was born in Illinois).

I want him to know how badly the past eight years have hurt.

Then he can leave. I can leave. And I’ll forgive him.

…but I really should leave the science fiction writing to people like Kurt Vonnegut, I guess…he was better at it… On the other hand, though, he died last year, and someone has to dream, right?

9 thoughts on “All I Want from George W. Bush”

  1. What does the president have to do with how much you make per year? Last time I checked you’re free to pursue any career you want, pursue any education you want. Again, what does the president have to do with your employment/income situation? If you’re not making it on $25k/year, then it’s your decision to either make more money, or spend less.

    And what does Bush have to do with your friend being mistaken for an Arab? and your friend being called names for being gay?

  2. My paycheck is so tightly stretched because of how crappy the economy has become–and all I know is when the Dems were in gas was under $1.00/gallon…so the blame goes to the current administration, in my book.

    As for my (technically non) Arab friend, and my gay friend… If you can’t see the culture of intolerance, prejudice, and hysteria that has developed for such people in America under Bush’s watch, I really don’t know how to explain it to you. To me, it just seems like the current administration (as a whole–to be fair it’s not ALL on Bush alone) has taken away the civil rights of people who are of Arabic descent and those who are gay. For the former, we can blame 9/11 all we want, but I haven’t exactly heard a pro-Muslim/Arab message from the White House. For the latter, we have nothing to blame but ignorance and prejudice, which based on their policy on gay rights, this administration has fostered in spades.

    I could go on about this all day…but I’ve kind of done that over the course of the past 4-8 years, so I think my reasons are find-able elsewhere on the blog. (Then again, the blog’s only been up for like 2 years…so who can tell?) 🙂

  3. Oh, I also meant to mention that the standard Conservative line of “you can always go back to school and/or change jobs” doesn’t always work out. It’s really difficult to get BETTER pay when all you’ve been paid is crap in the first place. Most places looking to hire are looking to hire you for as close to the salary you had at your last job as possible, unless they REALLY want you and are willing to spend to get you–but that doesn’t happen at the 25k level. (And, not to fall back on the economy-argument, but it’s not like there are a bunch of thriving, hiring businesses in the first place.)

    …and yes, I could get a degree to increase my supposed “worth” to empolyers…but since the issue at hand is that I don’t have enough money in the first place…how am I going to afford more college classes? Let’s face it, the best I could do the FIRST time around was Bible College.

    So yeah…it sounds nice…but some people are just stuck. (However, I should say I’m in a better boat than a lot of people, and I probably could get more money if I tried to…but for the moment, I’m content to trade being happy with what I do for a bigger credit-card debt… I’m just apprehensive at how long I can make that last. I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable.)

  4. “My paycheck is so tightly stretched because of how crappy the economy has become”

    …again, the president has nothing to do with your financial situation, like i said before, if you’re not making it, God gave you a brain and talents/abilities to find out how to make more money. get a better job, start your own business. just dont’ blame the president for your situation, since you have the ability to make it better.

    Name one time Bush has fostered/encouraged hate or intolerance towards gays or muslims. I have heard Bush over and over say Islam is a “religion of peace”. People will over react to groups people due to tragic events, this isn’t Bush’s fault.

    What specific civil rights have been taken away from Arabs?

    Please don’t think I’m a Bush kool-aid drinker, I’m not. Even though I voted for him twice, I really don’t think he’s been a great president for us. He’s not been financially conservative, and I think Iraq was a huge mistake. But again, I think you’re blaming Bush for things out of his control (your income, stupid people’s reactions to certain events)

  5. I find it odd that you actually left in me saying “BECAUSE OF HOW CRAPPY THE ECONOMY HAS BECOME” yet are still failing to see how I think Bush bears at least some of the responsibility. I’m going to stop going around on circles on that one.

    As for one time Bush has said something anti-Muslim/Arab, it’s been more in deed than in word. Again, if you can’t see the culture this administration has fostered (I’m trying to avoid a Guantanamo mention here), I just don’t know how to explain it. Everything from foreign policy to racial profiling at airports smacks of intolerance for Arabic people.

  6. “if you can’t see the culture this administration has fostered (I’m trying to avoid a Guantanamo mention here), I just don’t know how to explain it.”

    I understand this fully, I just don’t buy into it.

    “Everything from foreign policy”

    “to racial profiling at airports smacks of intolerance for Arabic people”
    ok, since about 99% of hijackers are arab/muslim, we shouldn’t pay special attention to these people? Hey, I’d rather save a few hundred lives than offend someone…

  7. Just a brief note. I plan on responding later, but I’ve got other stuff to do at the moment. Not ignoring you, though. 🙂

  8. Okay…I’m back.

    I’ve got to say that for the first part of your last comment… Just because you “don’t buy into” my argument, that doesn’t mean it can’t be my argument. Of course we don’t agree, that’s the basic principle of being in two different parties. I’m probably not going to be able to convince you on it either…but that doesn’t invalidate my argument. If you understand my argument, then there’s no reason for me to keep explaining it just because you don’t buy into it. That’s just wasting words at this point.

    I will say, though, that I will NEVER find using racism as a form of “protection” as being an acceptable practice (ie – racial profiling). When we allow one race to be singled out because of a VERY small percentage of their population’s actions, we aren’t protecting anyone. We’re placating well-to-do white people’s fears and suspicions, telling them that it’s acceptable to assume the worst of Arabs and those of Arabic descent. Not all potential threats have olive skin. I mean, until 9/11/01 probably the biggest terrorist attack in our history was in Oklahoma, performed by a Southern white kid…yet we didn’t start pulling goofy-looking white guys out of line every time they tried to rent a U-Haul.

    It’s a dangerous precedent that has been allowed to thrive in recent years. I don’t care how many times it gets justified by the travesty we call the “Patriot Act,” it’s just plain racism at it’s most rampant. I don’t think it’s made anyone any safer than they were on 9/10/01. If anything it’s just made (white) people feel content to keep feeling fear, and to me that’s just another form of terrorism.

  9. FYI to the other poster that’s sent in a couple of (unapproved) messages in this post, and any who might also consider the same… I don’t approve offensive comments, even if they support me. I appreciate the gesture, but ABSOLUTELY NO posts insulting other posters (or myself) will be approved under any circumstances. If you can find a way to word it politely, I’ll post it…until then, again I appreciate your support, but that’s not the kind of support I need.

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