Americans flaunt their patriotism. They wear flags in their buttonholes, but they draw the line on love-of-country when it comes to supporting a President they don't like.
People are vicious about hating a President they didn't vote for, and I'm not talking about any one President.
When our children were young we had a rich friend with children and she often drove them to a game or a party.
This woman was old enough to remember Franklin Delano Roosevelt and she hated him. When someone gave her change that had a dime with Roosevelt's picture on it, she opened the car window and threw it out.
I have friends now who own a lot of stock but they dislike George W. Bush so much that they hope the stock market keeps going down, even though they're losing money, just so he won't get reelected.
There was a story on the internet a while back listing the IQs of the last 12 U.S. Presidents. The study was supposedly done by a think tank called The Lovenstein Institute.
Bill Clinton was at the top of the list with an IQ of 182. Jimmy Carter was second. Nixon was the highest ranked Republican at fourth. It went through the last 12 Presidents. George Bush was listed at number 11 and George W. Bush was listed 12th with the lowest IQ...the dumbest President.
It sounded possible. I foolishly tried to find the Lovenstein Institute. Well, of course, there is no such thing. It was a hoax by someone who hates Presidents Bush.
I met Senator Dole and President Clinton downstairs here at CBS last week. It was fun. Clinton was talking about being disliked. He laughed and said "If I get up and tie my shoes in the morning, someone criticizes me."
I don't know why people can't simply disagree with a President instead of hating him. I disagree with George W. Bush a lot but I don't hate him. I find him engaging - often wrong but engaging.
The Democratic candidate for 2004 is still anonymous. We don't know who'll run against President Bush but if this anonymous Democrat is elected, one thing is certain: a lot of Americans are going to hate him. They'll say Anonymous is the dumbest President we ever had.