Sometimes, when the big picture gets too overwhelming, it's easier to focus on the details. The fact that, for instance, we are in an unprovoked war we can't get out of and has cost thousands of innocent lives, that the economy is wobblier than a Weeble, that Bush has made up history to suit his definition of marriage and then uses history as reason enough to continue to deny gays those rights is more than I can cope with and so I have found myself blowing a gasket, instead, about how illiterate Republicans have become. Consider, for a moment, 'four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal' versus 'our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.'
OK, say we cut the latter guy some slack for speaking extemporaneously rather than from a written speech, as in his predecessor's case. But calling the war in Iraq a 'catastrophic success' (interview in Time, August 2004) isn't an example of misspeaking—it's an example of stupidity: something that's 'catastrophic' is something tragic and/or violent and hardly to be counted as a triumph. Hmm. You don't suppose that referring to the bloody Iraq war as a catastrophic success is slyly one of the few honest things Bush has ever said? Nah! A man who routinely says things like 'this has been tough weeks in that country' is clearly not in enough command of the English language for that sort of clever word play.
Of course, given that Bush embraces his good ol' boy persona, it's not surprising that Elly May Clampett sounds like a grammar teacher in comparison. But it seems to be spreading throughout his party. Witness, for example, the loyalty oath that those wishing to attend a rally in New Mexico featuring Dick Cheney had to sign: 'I, (full name) ... do herby [sic] endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States.' Isolated incident of bad proofreading? What about Laura Bush, Ms. Literacy herself, saying in her speech at the Republican Convention, 'Many of my generation remember growing up at the heighth of the Cold War'? And the Bush-supporting beer lobbyist referring, on an NPR report, to 'vote pro-beer' as their acronym? Does 'vote pro-beer' look to you like an abbreviation formed by initial letters?
The Republicans have reportedly replaced their lame 'we've turned a corner' slogan with 'getting the job done.' Given that 'the job' is clearly not to observe the rules of grammar, I'd like to suggest another slogan change: 'Republicans: the party of illiterates—(self-)important beyond words.' The window display at the Olympia Books in Dowagiac, Mich., provides the counter slogan for the Democrats. [See photo.]
At first, I took comfort in the growing misuse of words and the torturing of grammar by Republicans, thinking that surely the American public would realize exactly how obtuse Bush and his cronies really are. But then I realized that the 'American public' is made up of the same people who can watch, rapt, as a car is driven really fast in a circle 200 times in a row and who would drink a chunky shake of duck tongue, pig stomach, fish sauce, and maggots for a few K. And then I got nervous again about people's ability to make a rational choice.
So I went to www.johnkerry.com to become a Kerry Traveler. The Travelers campaign in swing states, going door to door and making phone calls. I'm not exactly what you'd call an extrovert and try to avoid these kinds of tasks like the plague. But given that the plague is already here, I thought I should at least work on getting the head rat out of office. Traveling to a nearby state for a couple of weekends of campaigning seems preferable to packing up and moving to Canada in November for at least four years. The Canadians may have spawned the McKenzie brothers of SCTV fame, eh, but at least they didn't elect their hosers to run their country.Read more story below....
©2004 by Yvonne Zipter.
Yvonne Zipter can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by going to her Web site: www.yvonnezipter.com .