Bourgeois Deviant

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yes, Mind the Man Behind the Curtain

This is a piece written by Nancy Young that warrants reposting given current events. Worth the time spent.
In light of the action this week by the President and in the Senate to divert attention from certain issues to again consider a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, I felt compelled to write the following editorial commentary. The views expressed are purely my own, and I share them to provide food for thought.

Yes, Mind the Man Behind the Curtain

In a defining moment in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” the Great and Powerful Oz is revealed to be none other than a regular-old man, one who had blown off course in his hot-air balloon and landed in the Emerald City. As with many children who have seen the movie, this scene brought me great relief, for up to that point I had been almost as afraid of the Wizard as I was of the Wicked Witch and her horrifying flying monkeys. Indeed, until Toto pulled away the curtain, the Great and Powerful Oz had used his tricks to terrify and bully Dorothy and her merry band (not to mention the citizenry of the Emerald City) into doing his bidding.

In reading of President Bush’s latest tricks, I could not help but think of the Wizard revealed. Simply put, our President fosters an atmosphere of fear to lead Congress and the American people where he wants them to go. It seems obvious now that one of the lessons of 9/11 was that the United States needed to focus more on security measures to address the tactics of a new breed of terrorists. But the primary way that the President has chosen to define this mission has been through fear – remember all the orange alerts? – and division – the “Axis of Evil” and “you’re either with us, or against us.”

So, not unlike the Wizard sending Dorothy and company out to challenge the Wicked Witch, President Bush has sent us to Afghanistan and Iraq. But although we have toppled Saddam Hussein, we have not been able to convert his soldiers as Dorothy did those of the Witch. And Osama Bin Laden is still on the run. And our national debt has skyrocketed. And there were those damn hurricanes where “Brownie” did a “heck of a job.” And there are questions about the Vice President’s role in the politically-motivated release of classified information on a CIA agent. And gas prices. And why are we in Iraq and not Darfur? And so on.

So what is the Wizard to do? If you are President Bush, you stay behind the curtain and try the sleight of hand. You spool up your supporters and the Senate to go after yet another “evil,” another group that can be defined as “other” – this time (and once again) homosexuals. But you have to be more careful here. You can’t actually use the word “evil,” because most people know someone who is gay or even have a gay family member and those people know their friends and relatives not to be “evil.” So you speak in terms of protecting society – protecting values – protecting the institution of marriage.

Apparently, what President Bush wants to protect us from is me. A gay American, who believes in God, who loves her partner, who loves her friends and family, who loves her country, who pays her taxes, who works hard, who respects others, who likes to laugh a good laugh, and who believes herself to be morally centered.

But regardless of what you may think about gays – and regardless of what you may think about gay marriage, please do not forget about the critical issues this country faces. Issues like people who need homes in hurricane-ravaged areas. Issues like the highest national debt ever. Issues like making sure our troops have the equipment they need. Issues like health care coverage. And so on. Yes, please mind the man behind the curtain.

Nancy N. Young
Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

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