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Sunday, September 12, 2004

George W. Bush sent a thug to tell me to "get the f-ck out of here!"

Y'know, I like to think that in the course of writing stuff in this lil' space (for whoever might find it, all two of them at least for certain) that people will get the impression that, at heart, I'm a pretty nice guy. Not a perfect guy mind ya (my lovely spousal overunit, God bless her, would be the first to tell anyone that much :-) because I do have weaknesses of human nature that I contend with on a daily basis. But overall, I try to convey that you're reading the words of a guy who's a big kid at heart, loves things like collecting Star Wars figures and making short movies with his friends, will talk with you about anything and everything from why the black and white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show were better than the color ones to the history of the Soviet space program, and whose biggest goal in life is to someday buy a house, then buy a brown male miniature Dachshund that I intend to name "Colonel Klink", and then buy lots of babies (if eBay will have lifted my getting banned by then).

I'm a nice guy. I try to always do what's right. That's what I was taught to do growing up: to be honest to yourself and to others, do your best, leave things in better shape than how you found them (learned that one from camping in the Boy Scouts), and try to never hurt anyone. It's that last one that I've struggled with most of all.

Which is what's at the heart of what I'm considering - not right now though, but please keep reading - as a post on this blog. Because it's not so much a matter about whether it would hurt a man (in all honesty I doubt it would) but rather...

"Is my heart right to want to do this? Am I being led to do this out of a sense of spite, and anger that I still haven't been able to let go of completely? Am I really being the example of that Christ-like spirit that I should be demonstrating to others instead? Shouldn't I just forget that this happened, and let God handle it? Shouldn't I instead be trying to love the man, and the other people that he sent that were involved with this? Because doesn't the fact that I am desiring to love them in spite of themselves show that I'm not bound as they are to the carnality of this world, for which they should be pitied instead of despised?"

Thoughts like that have been running through my head, on and off, for the better part of four years now. I realized not long after all this happened that when I stayed angry at people like that - who wouldn't care whether or not I was angry at them anyway - all I was really doing was letting them have that much more control over my life than they deserved. Which is none at all.

So, I'm not angry at that anymore. My life is a far better thing without it. And I like to think late at night that, somehow, I was able to find a certain happiness that just can't be enjoyed or even discovered by people who will never get any further in life than being a career politician, a hired goon or cops that abuse their authority. They think they have power... but so what? I have freedom. And there's a difference between the two.

What happened four years ago has been something I only tend to dwell upon when I hear or read something about the guy who initiated it. Maybe that's what he wants for some reason: for his name to forevermore be mentally associated with things that didn't used to happen once upon a time in America. And the part of me that tries to rationalize things did wonder if the whole thing was a serious misunderstanding of some sort that maybe I should have been a lot more forgiving of anyway.

I wish that I could believe that last one. As a Christian who tries to forgive and forget, I really do.

Except that it's been happening to a lot of people lately. It's been happening ever since four years ago. And at the risk of coming across as a biased observer, it's gotten a lot worse than what I knew about it then. Heck, for all I know, I may have been one of the very first people that was introduced to the concept of the "free speech zone". And wasn't I more than a little disturbed when THAT image kept popping up in various news stories during the past four years?

Everyone at some time has heard this stanza...

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

Most people know it but surprisingly few have heard of the man who wrote them: Martin Niemoller. As one of the leaders of the "Confessing Church" movement during Hitler's Germany, Niemoller helped organize a spiritual resistance to oppose the Nazi-sponsored "German Christian Church" that had cornered the market on Protestantism in that country. Anyway, Niemoller's bit of poetry has been coming to mind a few times lately. And though I was obligated to make a note of it in my capacity as a journalist then, part of me has wondered not a few times since then if I should have done more to tell others about my own experience with this kind of mentality. One that I've tried my best to be convinced otherwise but from what I now believe is completely unlike the Christ-like spirit that we are told permeates this group and the one that it surrounds.

Look, I want this to be understood: I'm a devout Christian. I am very staunchly pro-life, because I believe every life is precious and unique and deserves a chance in this world. I don't believe that such a concept as "homosexual marriage" is possible (for reasons that I may go into sometime later and maybe it'll interest folks to know that I'm against an amendment banning it too). I believe that affirmative action programs violate everything there is about making it on your own merits in a land of opportunity. I believe in cutting taxes, cutting spending along with them and scrapping a lot of over-burdening regulations that strangle our economy and sends many of our jobs overseas. I'm an Eagle Scout who grew up reading American history and appreciating who we really are and what we are called to be as a nation. I believe that our strength as a nation is reliant upon the force of our arms... but not as much as it is upon the humility of our hearts. I believe that Robert E. Lee was the most perfect example of a Christian gentleman that our country is likely to know. I'm a guy who shifted his schedule like mad in order to make a long drive (after an already longer one) to our nation's capitol to watch the horse-drawn procession bearing the casket of the man who won the Cold War without firing a shot and then spent 7 hours in line to file past that casket.

Conventional wisdom would have me pegged as a conservative. Not that I believe in conventional wisdom, but there you go.

I'm a white male who's a member of an independent Baptist church that might be described as "fundamentalist", who doesn't believe in abortion or gay marriage and Ronald Reagan was my hero. And I'm not voting for the Democrat candidate. By all accounts I should not only be voting for the other candidate, I should also be defending his good name on Internet message boards. But I'm not.

I don't want to do this because I hate anyone, or any group of people. Nor do I want to do it out of burning anger: there may be a few embers still glowing from that, but the last thing I do is let them become a consuming rage in my heart. Those should be allowed to die, not given new life.

What I'm thinking of doing isn't for any candidate or any party. I may cast a vote for someone to be President, but it won't be one of the two that will doubtless win it. Instead I may hold my hand and have faith that God's will cannot be thrawted, no matter who it is that wins the race or how much they might mess up this country. I'm that confident in His will at least.

I'm thinking of doing it because there's a lot of stories coming out about this kind of thing and worse going down all over the place, and considering that I still want this country to be one that my own children someday can enjoy as I did in my own youth, maybe I should have already spoken up more about it a long time ago. I'm thinking of posting my account of what happened, and then let fate and the wind take it where they may.

Besides, after this week the whole world is watching the blogs now. And the evil lil' "id monster" in the dark recesses of my heart is wondering if anyone would take notice of a guy who has a story to tell about how George W. Bush once sent hired muscle to threaten a cub reporter with arrest before telling him to "get the fuck out of here!" (pardon me ladies, but that's what he said) because the reporter was trying to do his job.

Yeah, wondering if it would get noticed. And wondering what kind of havoc... 'scuse me, *response* that it would evoke.

Like I said, I'm just thinking about it is all.


Lee Shelton said...

Go ahead. I have the feeling it's something that needs to be said.

Chris Knight said...

I am considering it a bit more, after hearing for the first time a little while ago that, apparently, G.W. Bush signed an executive order that indefinitely seals away not only his records as president, but those of his father's term and the records of when he was Texas governor away from public scrutiny. In other words future historians might never be able to have a really good look at the administrations of these two men.

That's grand theft larceny in my book.

Part of my code of honor is that the truth is sacred. Interpretation of what that truth represents or means is perfectly debatable, but as for the facts behind the truth, they aren't to be compromised. For any reason.

It's part of the reason I despise lying. It's also part of the reason I despise most politicians: the truth is whatever it is they want it to be. To them, the facts are as sturdy as Silly-Putty.

They believe that history revolves around them. They don't want to be made to realize that they are only a part of history... and damn them for trying to conceal it from the rest of us.

I'll be thinking about what I need to say here the next few days or so. If it does nothing else, at least there may be one record - beyond the Bush clan's control - floating around the ether to tell people something of their mentality.