Friday, October 31, 2003

My Political Dream

I'm sitting on a kind of grassy knoll with a bunch of young people on the Cornell campus, looking down onto a paved area where some kind of Republican rally is being held. Three stepladders have been arranged in a row with about ten feet in between them and a plank laid across the top. Sitting in the middle, strangely small and child sized, with his back to the crowd, is Rush Limbaugh. A man in a suit is haranguing the crowd. "Makes you feel small, doesn't it? Maybe it's too much multiculturalism!" Arnold Schwarzznegger climbs up onto the ladder on the end and stands precariously on the plank, also with his back to the crowd, but at enough of an angle so his profile is visible. I become angered and step into the circle around the ladder: "This muscleman can't solve our problems!" But the ringmaster and a couple of his assistants are helping a third man onto the ladder, a grinning bespectacled guy with long arms who I don't quite recognize. Bill Gates? But he's more or less liberal. Maybe it's Rumsfeld. The arrangement of ladders seems certain to fall; suddenly alarmed, I say, "Gentlemen, I cannot advise this!" But the monkeylike guy with glasses is now perched on the ladder, grinning, the only one facing us. The crowd is longhaired and lackadaisical, generally indifferent to the spectacle. A heavyset woman wearing a long, low-cut gown turns to me—she has a sore visible at the top of one breast. "Don't worry so," she says. The dream fades.

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