Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hollywood, Grow the Hell Up!

A whole bunch of Hollywood celebrities are planning to disrupt the president's State of the Union address on January 31 by banging pots and pans and making all sorts of other noises to drown out the president's speech, a gesture symbolic of their notion that we need to drive him out of office.

Now, I don't like President Bush's policies, domestic or foreign; I don't have a lot of faith in his honesty, his intentions, or his competence, and I would love to see him out of office, sooner rather than later. But I object strongly to the notion that it's acceptable to disrupt the hearing of the president's speech, presumably so that others who want to listen to the man can't hear him.

The only thing I really like about President Bush is his dog Barney. I cringe at just about every word that comes out of the man's mouth. And I guarantee you that I'm going to be sitting in front of the TV listening to everything he has to say. His policies and his ideas have an enormous impact on this country and the world, and especially as someone concerned about his effect on peace, the environment, health care, and social justice, I want to know what to expect of him so that I can know how to react.

Beyond the necessity of listening to what powerful people have to say, whether you agree or disagree with them, there's the question of simple manners and the requirement of acting in a responsibly adult manner. Whether liberal Democrats like it or not, in order to win the Congress back from the Republicans in 2006 and the White House in 2008, you're going to have to make a favorable impression on Middle America. And one thing Middle America respects almost above everything else is good manners. That's one thing Howard Dean, for all his intelligence, never got, which is why his campaign died on the vine in Iowa, and that's one thing the Hollywood celebs planning this disruption don't seem to get either.

While I agree with many of the antiwar and often liberal views expressed by many Hollywood celebrites, I am often as appalled as Middle America by their bad manners, insensitivity, and blatant disregard for the views of others. Sometimes it comes across as if they don't believe so much in free speech as in their speech. And while I am as annoyed by the sneering, condescending attitude of conservative pundits like Ann Coulter as by the inane antics of liberal Hollywood celebs, somehow I've always expected more from the liberals. They should know better. Ed Asner in particular is way the hell old enough to know better!

So, Hollywood liberals, if you oppose the conservative agenda of George Bush and his cronies, stop acting like spoiled, petulant children, grow the hell up, and start framing a serious, intelligent and convincing response to the president's speech -- after you listen to what he has to say.

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