Even though much about Washington has changed since I lived there from 1968 thru 1972, some things remain the same. While living there, folks were demonstrating against the Viet Nam War and there were still some Civil Rights demonstrations. I stayed away from the mall during those times. It was the end of the time in which people dressed nicely. The demonstrators were scruffy, hippy types who looked unshaven, unwashed and clad in rags. During our recent visit we ran smack into a big anti-Iraq War demonstration. They were marching between the White House and the Capitol. I had been to those sites many times in previous years, so we just skirted around the periphery of the mob, but I got a good look at the participants. Later on, many of them came into Union Station where we had dinner. It’s the same group of young people mixed with a few pseudo-intellectual looking types who were demonstrating 35 years ago. None of them have ever seen a stick of deodorant. We rode on the metro with one of them and it took several stops, after his departure, before the odor cleared and people could breath again. The demonstrators all wear tee shirts with statements condemning the war are saying, Impeach Bush. The signs they carried made the same statements. Over half the signs read, Impeach Bush. Before my trip, I had turned against the war and had become disgusted with President Bush. After seeing this group I am moving back to the right.
I believe it’s the same people who are always demonstrating, no matter what the cause. They must live under the bridges near by and come out to march because they have nothing else to do. They are like cockroaches and rats, who come out when it’s dark and have a big time. I guess the Viet Nam and Civil Rights marches must have been effective, so maybe this latest bunch will succeed in getting us out of Iraq.
This week, across the ocean, another big demonstration is occurring. The Buddhist Monks are marching in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar was once Burma (shown on the above map). They gained their independence from the United Kingdom on Jan. 4, 1948. They are now governed by an oppressive military regime. This regime is a buddy with China. The Monks want freedom, so they are marching. The military authorities are hauling the monks away in trucks and these folks may never be seen again. It’s a little different than demonstrating in America.
I sure appreciate the guys whose homes I visited this week. People like Washington, Jefferson and Madison made it possible for us to demonstrate and say what we think about things. I do wish they would have included something in the Constitution about bathing and using deodorant before we picked up the signs and put on the tee shirts.
While sitting here doing nothing on the porch, I’m thinking about making a sign demanding fried chicken for dinner, then marching through the kitchen. On second thought, it’s probably just best to doze off again or I might end up like a Buddhist Monk.