lyndon johnson. i don't remember him. (in november of 1963 i was nine months old, so i definitely don't remember john f. kennedy.) i don't really remember richard nixon either, but i remember his resigning from office. i think i remember gerald ford, but i might be remembering chevy chase falling off a ladder and over a desk.
i definitely remember jimmy carter. i remember thinking he was much...easier. kinder. someone i could sit down and talk to. he was president during my high school years, so i was beginning to pay a little more attention to politics, national issues. i'd moved beyond things like why cindy and tammy kranz hadn't asked me to build spook houses with the other kids down the road, or where else i could hide those playgirl magazines -- my mom found the three i'd stashed under the mattress and thankfully never asked any questions (until years later.)
ronald reagan. silence = death. but although i felt a great disdain for many of his policies, i could still somehow understand how much of the country saw this man and felt a connection with him. george h.w. bush, i think, was my first foray into serious dislike. didn't believe him, didn't trust him. bill clinton? to quote michelle obama, it was the first time in my life i was really proud of my country. until he was forced to talk about the details of an extramarital affair in front of the nation, which, thank god we heard all that, right? i mean, he did lie, didn't he? but, well...would you rather have a president who lies about a blow job, or a president who lies about torture? (i know. tough choice.)
and now, well.
i just looked at the t.v. screen and saw george w. bush waiting for john mccain to show up at the white house. bush is going to endorse mccain. there W stood, clowning for the press. doing a little tap dance (seriously.)
hate is a strong word. "H is an S word," my friend lauren and i say.
i may sound like sally sunshine but i don't want to hate anyone. still, i can't watch him smirk, or struggle through completing a sentence, or tap dance without feeling it. it's a sick feeling, in the pit of my stomach.
H is definitely an S word. but for me, it might be the only one for W.
let's be proud of the next one.