Last week, Obama came to Portland to speak on healthcare reform (although according to friends who got in, it was more of a brief, comedic act, which at some point caused him to take off his jacket and give all the ladies present heart palpitations). I thought I’d go hang out in the protest for a while, where they were “letting freedom ring” with brass bells.

At one point the protestors expressed their disgust with our president’s arrival by singing the national anthem. The supporters on the other side of the street countered, by also singing the national anthem. It was nearly beautiful.

But it got me thinking: is documenting the crazies the responsible thing to do? Do I want the story to be, “Obama comes to Portland, these people think he’s an undocumented terrorist commie”? Misinformed insanity has a strong enough voice as it is, without my exploitative attempts.

Also, while it was thrilling to be part of a protest I didn’t agree with, it was also kind of a huge bummer. I thought of the Bush protests I’d gone to, and wondered if I’d depressed any of his passing fans. “So much negativity! Can’t you just be nice to our president for once? He’s trying!” I crawled back to the smiling supporters.

A few more from both sides — for better or worse — here.

You may also like


  1. . Whether it’s for religious or failmy value reasons, this is a public education system, it’s secular and we’re serving the public, he said. Is it right or is it fair for children who are not allowed to sing the anthem to be forced to?bbI believe this administrator does not KNOW the meaning of secular. secular –adjective1.of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.2.not pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to sacred ): secular music.3.(of education, a school, etc.) concerned with nonreligious subjects.4.(of members of the clergy) not belonging to a religious order; not bound by monastic vows (opposed to regular ).Like Richard, I figure the parents who objected to their children singing the anthem for religious or failmy value reasons should perhaps move to a country where their children will not be exposed to such objectionable religious or failmy values.As an immigrant myself, now a Canadian citizen (thank you again, Canada), I ask a simple question: why come to live in a country whose values offend you? MOVE, for pete’s sake! Find a country that shares YOUR values.P.S.: May I contribute a little something for your one-way ticket?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *