Sunday, September 2, 2001
On Thursday afternoon, I took four young boys to the rodeo at the State Fair.
The show opened with the usual patriotic speeches, odes to democracy and American flags.
So I was appalled during the bull-riding contest when an effigy of former President Bill Clinton
was placed in the ring as bait for the bulls.
The bulls repeatedly knocked the effigy of Clinton into the dirt as
the rodeo clowns and announcer
Boyd Polhamus made whimpering sounds over the PA system. The rodeo clowns also kicked and
stomped the dummy, while Polhamus and the clowns made various mocking comments comparing
Hillary Rodham Clinton to cattle.
It was repellent, ugly scene and it went on for over 20 minutes.
The boys I brought were visibly uncomfortable.
Afterward, I complained to Polhamus. I told him that, even though I'm
a Democrat, I would also
object to effigies of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Gerald Ford or any other president being used
as bull bait and publicly stomped in the dirt. The issue was not Clinton, but the presidency.
Polhamus announced he was a "hard-core Republican" and ranted on and
on about Clinton before
screaming that I should move to the Soviet Union.
The man is entitled to his opinions. But those opinions shouldn't be
front and center in a show billed
as family entertainment at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. I've gone to the State Fair rodeo for years
and the politically partisan comments from the announcer seem to be getting nastier and nastier.
Right now, it's like Rush Limbaugh with livestock.
Which is unnecessary and a shame. I urge the Minnesota State Fair to
please hire a different rodeo
company and ask that it put on a show that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their politics.
I love rodeo.
We have a great State Fair.
Why let a rodeo announcer and a few clowns poison it with their hatreds?