Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Meeting Members Of The Bush Cult

Today I met and saw them in person. Hundreds of people who blindly follow the teachings of George W. Bush.

Because I am speaking at the same conference in Orlando, I had the pleasure this morning of meeting Bob Woodward of Washington Post and Watergate fame. As a writer, it was a big thrill for me and I even told him that, as a 15-year-old kid, his work in journalism inspired me to such an extent that I've wanted to write ever since.

I then attended Woodward's keynote speech and watched in amazement as he polled the audience during his opening remarks. "How many people voted for Bush and how many for Kerry?" he asked, prompting for a show of hands.

The results of this informal survey really didn't surprise me as the room seemed split down the middle and probably a bit weighted toward the Bush side. He then asked whether people thought the Bush tax cut had helped our economy and followed that by asking attendees whether they thought it was right for the U.S. to invade Iraq.

I watched as more than half the audience raised their hands in support of the only wartime tax cut in U.S. history and a military action that has now been proven by the 9/11 commission to have been unnecessary.

If I didn't realize it before, I realized at that moment what a fervent Democrat I am as even being in the same room as these conservatives was making my skin crawl. For anyone to even be able to raise their hand in support of two policies that have been universally discredited, made me further realize the battle we Democrats face in future elections.

George W. Bush is just as much a cult as he is a president. These people will support him no matter what he does and under any circumstances. Which is very frightening when one considers all the abhorrent things he may still do and, even if we didn't have such a compliant national press corps, that his followers would remain immovable, no matter how grievous his policies prove to be.

Very scary stuff.

As I watched the conservatives I had seen raise their hands in support of Bush file out of the venue where Woodward's speech was delivered, I didn't see the glassy-eyed, stiff-body look that usually characterizes a group of walking zombies. I was hoping for more of an overt clue so I could spot them in the future.

But we need to remember that they're out there and, for those of us fortunate enough to live in Democratic areas, never forget what so much of the rest of the country truly looks like.