The Last Word as Pres. Bush's Popularity Hits Record Low
Before there was the Internet you could have a "last word." That last word gag was even sometimes good for a laugh on some 1970s sitcom. In the online world however some message board post you made three years ago, when you thought it would be the last word, ends up being second to last only two years ago.
In this case, someone calling himself Rex White thought he had the last word on writer (and author of this essay) Jeffrey Allen Miller. While it is not possible to find the user named Rex White --as that name was also a popular NASCAR champion from the early 1960s-- the poster claimed he was some 20 years younger than the driver who brought that name fame.
On one hand, the Internet does work to establish a neat electronic record. Think & Ask was founded for that purpose, despite what most believed in 2003 that the United States was moving in the right direction and that President George W Bush was a true leader. This writer never believed either claim would last. So, ahead of the G8 Summit in July 2004, some Irish lads and lasses planned a protest of President Bush for his side-trip to Ireland and this writer cheered them on.
Simply put, Jeffrey Allen Miller wrote to the Irish message board of indymedia on 25 June 2004: "I'm glad to read a huge protest is planned for my president George W Bush in Ireland. I'm also glad your government permits such a protest....this is no longer the case in the USA...."
That was point No.1.
The second point hoped the protest would draw attention to Ireland's leaders that "they should think twice about shaking the hand of a dictator from the USA."
As anyone can simply search "Jeffrey Allen Miller" online and find every message board post from this writer -- it is clear that I have been calling President Bush a dictator since 3 September 2002. Was I first? No, there were some who tossed the word around online without much reason. I, on the other hand, began using the label ahead of the first anniversary of 11 September 2001.
To save readers the time of looking up the word dictator -- it simply means; an absolutist or autocratic ruler who assumes sole power over the state; a ruler with absolute power and authority, especially one who exercises this power and authority tyrannically... Give that, in his writer's view, there is no difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party (in other words the United States only has one party,) and given that President Bush does indeed rule through executive order, the definition fits. It has fit all along.
Is President Bush a 'nice' dictator? Will give him that...
So, to these simple statements posted for the Irish, Rex White took great exception -- on 7 May 2005. He titled his post, "Mr. Miller's Own Private Idaho." It is a curious title for a post, and we may never know why Rex White chose the title referencing a Hollywood film from 1991. Nonetheless, the film My Private Idaho centers around two male prostitutes who embark on personal discovery. While this writer is male, that is the only point in common with the characters of that film, perhaps the title reflected Rex White's life more so.
Rex White wrote: "Until this evening I had never heard of Jeffrey Allen Miller. I happened to come across his web site Think and Ask, so I decided to do a little research on him to establish his credibility, or in this case, his lack of the same.
"I consider myself a reasonable person with both liberal and conservative leanings who respects the differing opinions of other reasonable and respectful people, but I do not respect those who feel the need to distort the truth or generate hatred in order to support their point of view," Rex White wrote.
"This kind of behavior is especially repugnant when the comments are directed toward people who, either by choice or by circumstance, may be inclined to accept them at face value without question. I refer to Mr. Miller's blatant lies to our Irish neighbors claiming that protesting is no longer allowed by the United States government."
What Rex White said is mostly true... a protest in general could be allowed with the proper city or county permits. Former protester Cindy Sheehan may not agree now that she has several arrests on her cause. The Irish protest however was very specific towards President Bush. The Irish had planned to get up close and personal...and no, in the United States during this presidency no such protest has been allowed anywhere near the proximity of President Bush. Rex White does not live in New York City -- that is quite apparent for if he did, he'd note how the city is closed down by the White House entourage prior to a presidential visit.
Rex White continues: "Of course reasonable and mature Americans know first hand that this is not the case."
He slipped up as many in the United States do with this term. The term "americans" applies literally to everyone in Canada, the United States, Venezuela, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and all other countries sharing the Americas. Canada in particular, and most of the countries in South America, according to public opinion polls, would not agree with Rex White. Dictatorships seem to be the trend of the moment across these Americas.
Rex White attempts to define a dictator on his own...and determined that "far too many of the current crop of discontents are some of the most intolerant, arrogant, hateful, untruthful, and sophomoric that I can remember in my 56 years. Shame on them and shame on Jeffrey Allen Miller."
I side with the numbers. In June 2007 President Bush was already enjoying the lowest approval rating of any president in modern history. Now that he looks likely to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby for the former aid's criminal activity the president's rating could deteriorate further yet. Sixty-five percent of the voting public disapproved of President Bush, and 27 percent approved prior to the Libby exoneration. Eight percent were undecided, according to CBS on 27 June 2007. The FOX news network gave President Bush four points better; Newsweek only gave the president a 25 percent approval rating.
This is the last word, at least for now: No matter how you shake it 6-in-10 now fit what Rex White described as a crop of discontents. In this writer's opinion...I'm glad the majority of you have finally come around.
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