Saturday, August 20, 2005

Would Bush Meeting Sheehan Make A Difference?

No it would not make a difference even if Mike Allen at The Washington Post thinks Bush and his team made a big mistake by not meeting with the grieving mother Cindy Sheehan. Read his thoughts here. Here's why:
  • Her son won't magically come back after talking to the President.
  • The war is not ending because she thinks it should--even if she is right.
  • Even it did end, even if Bush declared, "You know what, Cindy, you're right, we are going to bring them back tomorrow", her son is still dead.
I still feel that Ms. Sheehan is being exploited by people like Mike Allen who feel that finally someone is "giving voice" to their enraged impotence. But to Mr. Allen, Ms. Sheehan isn't a person, she is a symbol. She is, as he quotes a newspaper in India "the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement." She, and by extention, the son who she loves and wants to be remembered have ceased to become people at all. They are experiences to be used to forward a philosophy.

Some day, Ms. Sheehan will add this episode to the replaying reel of loss. The fact that her stages of grief are being publicized with her consent does not mean that she fully understands the ramifications of her decisions long-term.

The interviews and media and circus flatten Ms. Sheehan's experience, like an emotional commodity. In her desperation, she feels "use me" if that's what it takes to spare other moms this abomination. But someday, when she has time to reflect and is alone with her thoughts, she may feel that far more than used, she was abused and at a time when her grief was most acute.
More blogs about the woodlands rita.