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RESISTANCE ISN'T FUTILE
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Resistance Isn't Futile

by Harley Sorensen

 Published on Tuesday, July 1, 2003 by the San Francisco Chronicle

 

I bit off more than I could chew.

In last week's column, I asked readers for ideas on how to get George Bush and his merry nation-wrecking crew out of the White House. The readers responded. I got almost 700 e-mails; about one in four offered a suggestion or two.

Unfortunately, they were more than I could handle. I didn't get to read them all. For that, I apologize.

The overall impression I got from your suggestions is there is no magic bullet. There is no one single thing we can do that will succeed in sending Bush back to Texas or wherever he's from.

What those of us who love America and don't want to see it destroyed have to do is fight on several fronts ... more or less like those who hate America have been doing every since Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade.

My favorite suggestion came from Phil, in Clifton, N.J. It probably isn't the best suggestion, but it's most delicious, so I'll mention it first.

Phil says we should urge our "coalition partner," the United Kingdom, to investigate Bush's antics. For instance, what did he know ahead of time about Sept. 11? Did he deliberately mislead the nation about Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction? Was the real reason for the war in Iraq to provide an opportunity for Republican friends (like Halliburton, Bechtel and the Carlyle Group) to make millions repairing the damage we caused?

Prime Minister Tony Blair may be Bush's lapdog, but the British people haven't been fooled by Bush. They know what he's up to. Shouldn't they demand that he be brought to account?

So Phil's suggestion is for Parliament to get on the ball and start investigating Bush. Nobody in America is going to investigate him. He controls Congress, and the Supreme Court justices are his toadies. The Democrats have been reduced to spectator status, watching the action and applauding when applause seems appropriate, booing when it seems safe to boo.

Who's to investigate? The press? Ha! That's why Phil's suggestion, though made half in jest, appeals to me. Somewhere in this world there has to be some agency that can put a roadblock in front of the Bush steamroller.

Another suggestion, made by several, was to go to the votetoimpeach.org Web site and get with its program. The site's name tells you everything you need to know.

Larry suggested joining MoveOn.org, which, he says, seems to be at the center of the dump-Bush campaign. According to Larry, MoveOn.org has a million and a half members already, so it may already have some clout. Check it out.

My good e-mail buddy, Dick Walker, down in Austin, also recommended MoveOn.org. If Dick recommends it, you can take it to the bank.

E-mailer Roland told me about an interesting graffiti campaign in his city of San Antonio. Somebody -- presumably one person -- has gone around town writing in blue chalk on sidewalks: "Bush = Lies."

I'm not a big graffiti fan, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and, after all, it's only chalk. Roland points out that the graffiti, at the very, least lets anti-Bush people know they're not alone. In Texas, that's important.

She didn't send me an e-mail, but Sarah Ferguson, writing in The Village Voice, described last Monday's anti-Bush demonstration near a Bush fund-raiser in Manhattan "a dress rehearsal for the cacophony of dissent that's expected to hit the streets of New York City during next summer's GOP convention."

Only an estimated 3,000 people took part in Monday's demonstration, a small number when you consider the population of New York, but it's a start. Another anti-Bush demonstration is going on in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame as I write this (on Friday); Bush spoke at the Marriott there.

The goal of these demonstrations, I feel, should be to educate Americans about Bush's various noxious sins. Thus, they should be aimed at 200 million-plus voters and not just one man.

Educational demonstrations have a chance for success. The pre-war anti-war protests were doomed to failure, because they were aimed at one man, George W. Bush. His mind was already made up, and he wasn't about to listen to what he dismissively called "a focus group." So those demonstrators were simply barking at the moon.

Soh Won Cha wrote from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire about an interesting organization called 2020 Democrats. Aimed at people in their 20s and 30s, it seeks to involve young people in political discussion by asking (among other things) to describe their vision of America in 2020.

Paulyne suggests a variety of bumper stickers and anti-Bush T-shirts. She also suggests boycotting the advertisers on cable stations, such as Fox "Jazeera" News, that pander to Bush and applaud his misdeeds.

A San Francisco man suggests that stockholders lean on the companies they own to discourage them from donating money to Bush.

Alvin, in New Orleans, suggests merely that we entice the inarticulate Bush away from his scripted public appearances and force him to speak for himself. Do that, Alvin says, and Bush "is bound to put his silver foot in his mouth."

That's actually a good idea. Bush the Person is a lot different than the Bush the Actor we usually see. In the minute before he made his solemn speech announcing the war in Iraq, for instance, the BBC accidentally caught him off guard. Our president, the man who promised to restore dignity to the White House, was caught clowning around one minute before sending our sons and daughters off to be killed. Then, as the rest of the cameras started rolling, he put on his actor's sober face.

If you were the parents of one of our kids killed in Iraq, you would not be pleased with the "funny guy" Bush. Bush's popularity would plummet if the world got to see more of the real Bush.

Last week I said we need an army of Thomas Paines. Well, says one reader, at least one modern Tom Paine already exists. He calls himself Plubius, and his blog appears at plubius.blogspot.com. If you go to it, be prepared to settle in for some thoughtful reading.

As you can see, most of the suggestions I got were somewhat general or serve as a starting point. There is no miracle cure for the pain and misery created by Bush. Each of us has to do what we can, in whatever way we can.

I'll conclude with an e-mail from Ann, forwarded by Dr. Pete. I'm not sure where they're from. Ann writes:

"Our best shot is to work like whirlwinds to restore democracy in 2004. No pouting if your favorite candidate doesn't get the Democratic nomination. No voting in the final election for a splinter candidate who can't possibly beat the Bush machine. No despairing retreat under the banner of 'the Democrats are no different than the Republicans.'

"We can work to affect the party's policies through the primaries, but once the Democrats' candidate is chosen, that's it -- we survive as a small 'd' democracy by making sure he -- and the majority of Democrats running for the House and Senate -- win."

Amen, Ann. And I might add that next year might be the time for good Republicans to consider voting Democrat, just this once. A lot more than the success of your favorite party is at stake.

Harley Sorensen is a longtime journalist and liberal iconoclast. His column appears Mondays. E-mail him at harleysorensen@yahoo.com.

2003 SF Gate

 

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