by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
November 28, 2002
IN MY DREAMS
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As the holiday season begins, no visions of sugarplums dance in my head; revenge fantasies seem to have taken their place.
As demonized liberals, progressives and humanists watch in shock and anger as America becomes the new bully of the world; as we say good-bye to our privacy, Title IX, Roe vs. Wade and the National Endowment for the Arts; as we see our national treasury looted; as our physical safety and job security disappear down a global toilet; as sexual repression once again spreads over the land; as we prepare to fight all over again for our freedoms of assembly and speech (just ask Francoise Ducros, who lost her job as Canadian communications minister when she called President Bush a moron, or ask me, almost afraid to write this column); as we reevaluate the Second Amendment and think maybe guns are a good idea after all, some of us have retreated into denial, some of us have fought back, and some of us have started looking for apartments and jobs in Montreal.
My response is to daydream. Currently, these are my three favorite fantasies:
1) In my first, everyone in the country - at the same time - sends born-again Christian George W. Bush a beaded bracelet with the initials WWJD on it. Overnight, thousands of them start piling up in his mail room.
He looks at them, puzzles over them, and scratches his head; we know he's not the swiftest guy on the track. Then he finally gets it - what would Jesus do? Not kill thousand of innocent Iraqis, that's for sure.
Not bluster and swagger around the world brandishing "tactical" nuclear weapons. Not try to make the world over in America's corporate image. Not try to trigger Armageddon.
After all, blessed are the peacemakers.
Jesus would probably turn the other cheek, throw the moneylenders (corporations and their lobbyists) out of the temple (Congress and the White House), bend a few swords into plowshares and serve up those welcome loaves and fishes to the hungry.
After all, blessed are the meek and the poor.
He might find the leaders of the al-Qaida network and their Saudi financiers, take them all by the ears and gently shake a little sense into them. After all, the methods of terrorism are evil, and blessed are the pure in heart.
And if Jesus happened to be president of the United States, He would not make old people choose between food and medicine. He would not put men in jail because they have Arab ancestors. He would not watch in glee as His Father's glory, the old forests and Arctic wildernesses, are destroyed for a few drops of extra profit. He would not support the death penalty.
He would practice loving kindness. After all, blessed are the merciful.
And so, in my fantasy, Bush throws Dick Cheney - the man who once voted to keep Nelson Mandela in prison! - out of office, and becomes a kind and generous president.
2) OK, so that's not going to happen any time soon. Moving on, I stole the plot of my next fantasy from a Clint Eastwood movie.
In this one, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, horrified at what his son and his former henchmen are up to, decides that the only honorable way to save the family name is by stopping his son at all costs.
This fantasy has several endings, depending on the depths of my despair. Some of the time it ends with Bush I revealing the truth about his draft-dodging, mean-spirited, arrogant, party-boy son to The Washington Post. Other times it ends in a crime scene.
3) Fantasy number three is based on an article I read about Argentina, where the economy is in shambles, the currency is worthless, and anyone with money has already fled. In Buenos Aires, I read, people insult and/or spit at their politicians on the streets.
This good and practical action presents problems here in America. Other than the one time when I watched Sen. Jim Jeffords get off an Amtrak train in Bellows Falls, Vt. (and I wanted to applaud, not spit), we don't usually meet our politicians on the street. They are insulated, protected, surrounded by bodyguards and chauffeurs and robes and arrogance.
But since personal accountability has long been the Republican's theme song, why should we allow them to hide behind the trappings of their power? They have to live somewhere. Why not go to their homes in the evening and stand there, hundreds of us, peaceably, carrying signs explaining to them that their actions have painful consequences for ordinary men and women. We would be the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, and we would haunt them until they saw the wickedness of their ways.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William H. Rehnquist, who stole the election for President Bush - a coup d'état this country has yet to come to grips with - has a home in Vermont.
Vermonters, need I say more?
Joyce Marcel is a free-lance journalist who writes about culture, politics, economics and travel.