Hearing Bush Took Some DoingBy Emelius at 6:28 PM
Hearing Bush took some doing, and that is how it is in these modern times. It is no longer good enough to be an American citizen to see the president. To take your children to see the leader of the free world now requires a back ground check and loyalty papers. I remember many times having the opportunity to see a president of the US speak, whether I supported him or not. It was an honor to see the leader up close. To hear the words come off his lips. To see that he was for all the people, Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Those days are gone for this president at least. In a series of 'papers only' rallies across this great land, Bush continues to impose his will and cut himself off from people who may only wish to see or hear him.
The Bush visit was a huge event in Mankato, which had not hosted a president since Harry Truman. Walz got a ticket without trouble, but others were refused because they didn't seem rah-rah enough, including two teens rejected because they were baby Democrats.
One of the kids had his mom get tickets for the boys, in their names. The mom asked Walz to chaperone the boys. But the kids would not get to see the president.
Only supporters got into the quarry where Bush spoke to a sanitized crowd of 7,000. Not one person carried a sign in protest. But one -- one -- listened without applauding. It was Walz, and his thoughts were his own, unless someone was scanning his brain.
"It was uncomfortable," says Walz, who joined the Guard at 17 and teaches geography at Mankato West High School. "Where else in America will you find 7,000 people who agree on anything?