I can’t bear the sound of George W. Bush’s voice. Seriously — if NPR plays a clip of him talking, as it did this morning, my hand immediately leaps to change the station without any conscious effort on my part. If he’s on the TV, and someone in my house is, for some inexplicable reason, watching him, I’ll leave the room.
When I hear W’s voice, my mind is overrun with negative associations and disturbing images. Ugly emotions surge inside me. I despise him and everything he stands for so completely that the very sound of him speaking (let alone the sight of his smirking, deer-in-the-headlights face) can irritate me for hours.
Interestingly, I’ve learned from recent conversations that I’m not the only person who has this visceral response to W’s presence on the radio or TV screen. When he made his televised speech last evening, people all over America reached for the remote. It’s fitting, because our president is so not ready for prime time.