While rolling up and down the hills of Raleigh's Wade Avenue last week on a drive to an anti-war meeting in Chapel Hill, I spied a white Buick with the North Carolina license plate "US Representative 2." Realizing I might be just a few cars behind my Congressman, Lillington Democrat Bob Etheridge of the 2nd District, I decided it would be nice to have a few words with the man whose pro-war position on Iraq is essentially indistinguishable from that of our Republican president.
I had hoped that our cars could be side-by-side at a stoplight, and my hopes were realized as both vehicles caught a red light in front of Whole Foods Grocery. The positioning was perfect--both Etheridge and I were in the second set of cars on a two-lane road. He was in the passenger seat just a few feet from my driver's side window.
I rolled down my window, waved my arm and got the chauffeur's attention. He alerted Etheridge. I motioned to roll down his window, which he did.
"Bob, the people don't want this war," I told him quickly. "Don't support President Bush."
Said Bob, a veteran who served in a non-combat role in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War: "I don't want war either."
"Give those inspectors all the time they need to do their job," I said.
"Did you serve in the military?" Bob asked me.
"No, but my father was a veteran of Korea," I replied, thinking such a comment might give me more creditability with a vet who perhaps places a higher premium on advice he gets from former soldiers. "We need diplomacy, not war," I continued.
Time was running out, and we both had promises to keep.
"I'm with you," Bob said as the light turned green, and we exchanged thumbs up.
If you happen to be in the 2nd district, and you oppose Bush's corporate war, be sure to remind Etheridge of the conversation he had with a constituent on Wade Avenue. After all, he's with us ...