Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Salt Lake City Mayor Channels Howard Dean
An Open Letter to Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson:
Yesterday (August 22, 2005) was a first for me. It was the first time in my life I have ever been ashamed to list Salt Lake City among the many places I consider home. I have deep familial roots in the Salt Lake Valley. I count among my forbearers those who crossed the plains and turned what was a desert into a thriving, prosperous land. I have spent several years of my life in this fine city and even had the privilege of attending school not far from downtown. Much of my family still lives in or around Salt Lake City.
Many people, no doubt yourself included, have worked very hard to bolster the image of Salt Lake City around the world. I have no doubt the people whose job it is to attract conventions, tourists, and other visitors to Salt Lake City do a fine job of promoting the area as one of the premier destinations in the western United States.
Some people might not consider a convention of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars to be a big deal. I do not count myself among those people. These men and women have struggled and sacrificed in order that people like you might live as you like and do as you choose. These honored veterans deserve, if nothing else, respect.
This same courtesy and respect should and ought to be extended to the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces. He's commonly referred to as the President of the United States. I can understand if you're not too familiar with him. He's only visited Salt Lake City twice during his presidency.
Most American Mayors are honored to have the opportunity to welcome the President to their city. Even if they hate the man's guts (as you obviously do), they extend to his office the courtesy and respect reserved for the Leader of the Free World.
They do not organize rage filled, hate spewing protests to greet his visit.
Your job as mayor, sir, is to promote your city. What you should have done was welcome W to Salt Lake City, not protest his visit. Private citizens can do that. You, sir, are a public official. Your use of your office to organize an anti-war and obviously anti-Bush protest is reprehensible and an obvious abuse of your office. You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself.
But I know you're not. I heard your diatribe on KSL. You've obviously memorized the Moveon.org talking points and studied the playbook written by Howard Dean. Your best efforts to organize a protest resulted in some 1,000 people gathering at Pioneer Park to shout obscenities and wave middle fingers and otherwise vent their collective spleen.
Congratulations, Rocky. You've had your Fifteen Minutes. Perhaps when you realize the cost in tourism, conventions, and visitors that choose not to use Salt Lake City as a destination, you'll understand just how much those Fifteen Minutes cost you.
It just too bad you had to tarnish the image of an entire city to get yourself on the evening news.
Here endeth the lesson.
* Yes, I know the Salt Lake Tribune reported the crowd number to be roughly 2,500. Sorry, guys, but I think you take your crowd counting skills from Louis Farrakan and Randi Rhodes.
Far more people showed up when Bill Clinton visited Utah for a skiing vacation amidst the Monica Lewinsky scandal. As I recall it, the streets were lined with people holding signs that read, "RESIGN!"Post a Comment