I commenced my senior year at Penn in a fit of political rage. After having spent the summer and fall of 2004 canvassing for the John Kerry campaign, and the following spring abroad in Paris ignoring the results of the election, I returned to the States in June of 2005 only to be bombarded by torrents of Bush-friendly media images. Over the course of the summer, Bush appointed John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., cut military funding significantly while continuing to propagandize his hopeless, imperialist Iraq War, protected Rove while evidence of the Plame leak surfaced, ignored global warming and Sudanese genocide and topped off his efforts by failing to respond in any remotely adequate way to Hurricane Katrina.
With the year’s ensuing Roberts and Alito Supreme Court appointments, Bush’s sustained hopeless, imperialist Iraq War and more absurd political scandals, I strangely felt my furor quelling. Was I becoming apathetic? How could this be possible?
The funny thing is that I didn’t even notice something was amiss until one fateful night when a particularly aggressive and thoroughly psychopathic “walking escort” followed me home. Despite my repeated assurances that I could manage footing my journey without his escortship, he persisted in ignoring my wise counsel.
It took him about two seconds to ascertain that Jesus Christ was not my committed life partner — it was the first question he asked — that I believe in abortion and homosexual marriage and that I was not aware that, a few thousand years ago, all of West Philadelphia was flooded with waters that only Noah’s animal-laden Ark could transverse.
These little disagreements sent my walking escort into a fit of moral rage. He raised his voice, started gesticulating wildly and told me I was going to hell unless I saved myself in the near future. It was frightening. I saw a drunken homeless man collecting bottles at the other end of the block and hoped he would meander our way in case my walking escort got violent.
As soon as we reached my house and I sprinted inside, in addition to profound relief, one main thought struck my mind: My God, I wonder if I sounded like that much of a maniac in the fall when all I could talk about is how much I hate the Bush Administration?