Unlike four years ago, you don’t really have a justifiable reason to protest. Bush won the election fairly, albeit by a small margin. I don’t like him and I dread another four years of him as our commander-in-chief, but there’s nothing rational any of us can do to get him out of office.

Someone brought this program to my attention. It wants you to protest in the form of “shut(ting) the retail economy down” by not spending money on anything this Thursday--groceries, gasoline, chewing gum--anything. By doing so, they argue you’ll send a message to the US government that you oppose this administration and the war in Iraq.

Unfortunately, spending “not one damn dime” on anything for a day will probably prove as effective as going down to DC and throwing rotten eggs at Bush’s limo. I work at a movie theater where most of the employees lean left in their politics. No one here probably voted for Bush, so why should we have to suffer? Should no one go to a movie on Thursday because Bush was re-elected president by less than a quarter of this country’s voting-age population? Should I forgo paying bus fare on one of the coldest days of the year and walk forty minutes to work in order to “shut my economy down”?

Bush doesn’t care about you unless you agree with him and are receptive to what he and his administration have to say. You are not going to change his mind about the war, gay marriage or federal support of the arts.

So, don’t tune in to coverage of the inauguration. Go out and live your lives the way you want to. Ignore the celebration occurring in DC and enjoy the civil liberties and personal freedom you still have. Visit a museum, an independent bookstore, a library (they’re government-funded too), a national park (weather providing), your favorite spot for lunch. If you wanted to protest Bush or the war and didn’t vote on November 2, you blew it. But don’t let the government bring you down. They are not the world or your life.