Friday, July 4, 2014

When Laura Bush Came to Town.

Last Sunday,
I went to a patriotic program
here in Provo.

Laura Bush was the keynote speaker.

Before she came out,
there were songs by a military band,
a speech delivered by a high school boy
full of Ronald Reagan quotes,
and stories of servicemen
and immigrants
who took American ideals
and lived them
with all their hearts and sweat.

Just a few minutes into Mrs. Bush's remarks,
while she was giving us
an intimate review
of her family's recent life events,
someone about twenty rows in front of me
started yelling.

He was yelling angry things
loud enough to disrupt the whole stadium.

I watched as first his wife,
then the security guards,
dragged him up the stairs
and out of the Marriott Center.

And I thought,
"Why would anyone do that?
That's so unkind."

And it was.

But it was also probably
the most American thing
that happened that evening.

Because that man
didn't have to fear being thrown in jail
and wasting away as a political prisoner
for the rest of his life.

Or worse,
being quickly executed
behind some building
and never heard of again.

That man had just as much right
to say how he feels
as anyone else.

He doesn't have the right to disrupt others
and no one has a moral right
to be so unkind.

But what happened there
was the messy side of democracy,
and I love that that side exists.

We'd be nowhere without it.


  1. I love this. I sort of feel like I shared this moment with you- sort of. :)

  2. How come all the cool things happen when I'm not in Provo.