Vultures: A mouse among elephants

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Michael Rutschky

Published: November 6, 2006

Since the start of the semester and my first column, I have received numerous compliments from people all over campus who enjoy “Vultures.”  I don’t know where these people stand politically or who they voted for, but I value every one of them as readers regardless.

My column is not about soapboxing, it’s about giving everyone something interesting to read, and hopefully getting a laugh once in a while as well.  That’s why even though my values usually don’t match those of some of the people in the White House, I am making sure that none of my readers feel alienated from this column.

This Monday, President George W. Bush visited Pensacola to talk up his fellow Republicans Charlie Crist and Jeff Miller before the election on Nov. 7.  Despite the fact that it was meant to be a quick speech and he wouldn’t be taking any questions, I still knew that if “Dubya” was in town I’d have to catch him.

The whole presentation before Bush spoke was similar to the mood before a rock concert or something.  I felt like a lot of the anticipation was in simply waiting to see a famous person.  Maybe politicians are taking America’s infatuation with celebrities and using it to their advantage.  I’ve talked to politicians before, I’ve worked for politicians before, and this wasn’t like going to see a politician speak.  It was more like going to Times Square and waiting for Britney Spears to look down and wave from the TRL window.

The actual speech was more or less a rerun of all the other speeches he’s made for the mid-term election.  Bush talked up the local Republicans, then spent most of the time assuring everyone that everything that has happened in Iraq has been on purpose and that Democrats don’t have what it takes to protect the country or properly fight a war.  (That was kind of interesting coming from someone who took us to war without the foresight of an exit strategy.  I’m just saying.)

Towards the end, he started to tug the WWII heart strings, bringing up how Japan had once been our enemy after attacking our base at Pearl Harbor, but is now an ally.  Even though Japan has established itself as a pacifist nation after the horrific nuclear blasts that rocked its soil over a half-century ago, the word “pacifism” was gracefully left out of W’s speech.

Bush even had some jokes too.  At one point I swear I heard him say that 500,000 multiplied by 4 is 2,000.  But I could be wrong; I’m actually very terrible with math.

Ideas are a funny thing, aren’t they?  Republicans have an idea.  Democrats have an idea.  Terrorists have an idea.  The founding fathers had an idea.  I have an idea.  I also have a column to write it in.  But at the end of the day, ideas are only something that pop in and out of our brain (usually while we should be thinking about something else).

Reality is what really matters.  Reality is where everything is happening and where we all find ourselves once we finish thinking about all these great ideas.  And in reality, we’re all human (even Bush) and we should all be cool with each other instead of inheriting the beef between two opposing political parties.

I really must admit that I’m a sucker for unity, and it was really nice seeing several thousand people in one place all very happy and optimistic.

But when you divide people in half and tell this group to be happy over here and the other to be happy elsewhere, then it isn’t really unity.  In unity there is no duality, no division, and no opposition.  In reality there is unity, in ideas there is division.  Don’t let your ideas distract you.

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