I have a confession to make. I think I might have a little crush on you. Oh, I know you don’t seem like the kind I usually go after. Patchouli makes me feel queasy and I prefer less drool and frothing during our special little chats, but there is just something about you that makes me smile and feel just a little more alive.
Maybe it is how much easier you make my job as a parent. I admit I sometimes…okay often…struggle with the complexities of teaching my children values and beliefs without delving into the dangerous territory of brainwashing.
Your motley crew of anarchists, hippies and liberals is like a little gift that keeps on giving. The way you scream and rail and flounder with the enthusiasm and energy of an overtired two year old who is, under stimulated and facing the reality of a lost pacifier, is almost infectious.
I wanted my kids to meet you again this weekend at the Gathering of Eagles. Even though we have gotten together in the past (remember that time you rallied outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta….God you were so cute screaming anti-Semitic barbs) I knew this time was going to be special.
Oh sure, I knew there were going to be frustrations. I knew no matter how many people I stood shoulder to shoulder with to oppose you, you were going to get all the attention and affection of the media. I knew you were going to get Million Man March multiplication and we would end up with long division. But that’s okay, I knew that when we first met and I have come to terms with it.
Usually, with your special relationship with your MSM beau, your public tantrums go unchallenged and I know you were worried about finally having to face those you disparage. I saw how nervous you got on websites in the weeks leading up to our special time together when you found out a large gathering of veterans and patriotic Americans were going to be there. I know it was a little scary and I am so proud of you for sewing the effigy of President Bush and putting together that cute little coffin with the American flag on it. That took real courage.
I was a little disappointed with your decision to begin the rally and march across from the Vietnam Memorial. It reminded me of the kind of a guy who would dump you and then show up at your 40th birthday party with a 25-year-old silicone-enhanced bimbo and expect you to be the “bigger person.” Rumors that Jane Fonda was going to be there really tacky too. I know you love her. How could you not? Who gets a chance to spend that kind of quality time with someone who is the embodiment of sedition, treason and propaganda? I haven’t begrudged you your little trysts with her in the past have I? I just thought this time, maybe you could be man enough to stand on your own.
As we stood in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial with quiet, dignified veterans like James Rilly from North Carolina, I started to feel goose bumps. At first I thought it was that familiar tingle I get when you grab your crotch in front of my children and scream “Bush is worse that Hitler” and “Look….future Nazi Storm troopers” at them.
But it turned out those goose bumps were coming from being surrounded by some of the most amazing men and women I have had the pleasure to meet. In a quiet, firm voice, Mr. Rilly told my children why he was there. “When I returned from the Vietnam, my dad didn’t know what to say to me. He was a World War II Vet, but he hadn’t experienced what I did with the anti-war crowd.”
“The burden of coping with those people fell squarely on the shoulders of my brothers and sisters from the Vietnam War. I came here today to tell those people they don’t speak for me. And I came here, with all of these other folks, to help the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan carry the burden. We will not let them shoulder that burden alone. Thank you for joining us.”
When he was done, my family was speechless. And his was only one of many stories we heard that day among that Gathering of Eagles, stories set against the contrast of your quirky, spunky ways.
I admit,I still have a great deal of affection for you. My children, on the other hand, don’t seem nearly as enamored. In fact, they seem to be quite taken with the veterans they met. They, for some funny reason, liked being treated, and seeing others treated, with dignity, respect and honor. They don’t seem able to find the same kind of warm and fuzzy place I do when they hear your shrill, angry screeching. Nor do they think it is cute to watch the things they care about…our flag, our veterans and our President….desecrated and dishonored. And they seem almost, well, offended at being called warmongering Nazis.
But please don’t get discouraged my sweet little anarchist, I bet if you keep spitting and shrieking and railing at them the way you have at me and my Vietnam veteran friends, I bet they’ll come to find a special kind of love for you too.
In the meantime, thanks again for helping me with those teaching moments. It means so much to me.