Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama and the Separatist Movement of Illinois

It’s interesting how certain things affect our consciousness, isn’t it? The wife of a prominent politician of the Democratic party, and a separatist organization bent on political and physical secession of their state from the union. Chances are, if you’re thinking about this and you support Obama, you don’t believe the two have any relationship whatsoever. Chances are, if you support “anyone BUT” Obama, you’re now desperately hoping they do.

Let me relieve you all of your suspense. There is no such relationship. To my knowledge, there is no such group in Illinois. Why did I bring up such an inflammatory subject? As a thought experiment. Allow me to explain.

In another blog entry, I explained that we are all, whether we like it or not, in some small way…bigoted. We all harbor negative feelings of “the other.” Whether it’s racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, religion…. we all have those feelings and thoughts, and we all respond to them either consciously or unconsciously. It’s an evolutionary tool called “tribalism.” Anyone not of our tribe is initially feared, rejected. Recognizing that, questioning it and being honest with ourselves about its existence goes a long way toward eliminating it. But people KNOW racism/sexism/etc. are bad, so their first knee jerk reaction is “NOT ME!!” To which I reply: “everyone.”

Sorry. I’m keeping you waiting. I have been flummoxed of late. People who claim to love this country to the point of fighting for it, waving flags for it, sacrificing for it, and loathing those who say a word against it….are embracing a candidate whose spouse was, until very recently, part of a fringe political organization whose purpose was the physical secession of their state from the union. No, it was not Michelle Obama. Nor was it Cindy McCain. It was Todd Palin, and up until 2002, he belonged to Alaska’s separatist movement. You are now having a reaction to that. Depending on several things, you are outraged, chagrined, defensive, or exasperated (because you’ve heard it to death).

And if you’re exasperated because you’ve heard it to death… can you then explain to me why…back up there when you so hopefully clicked open this blog entry…you WANTED to believe the same about Michelle Obama? And why it would not, regardless of reasons, been okay for her to have done the same? If it isn’t racism…so be it. But it’s at the very least “other,” under the header “liberal.” And that’s at least as bad, because you just torpedoed your own ethics and principles and justified them away for a candidate you know next to nothing about. All to make sure a “liberal” doesn’t win.

Ethics and personal principles shouldn’t be that easily sold to any political party.

Ah, I love the smell of Swiftboating in the morning…

How can we tell Sen. Obama is the presumptive nominee? Not because of Sen. Clinton’s hinting at concession (see my post here), or because the superdelegates are dominoeing over to Sen. Obama….no, no. Those are all positive steps leading toward the convention and a united Democratic party.

No, I can tell we have a presumptive nominee by the sheer amount of shrill, vitriolic hate aimed at Sen. Obama’s wife Michelle coming from the right wing pundits. “She’s RACIST!” screams Larry Johnson, claiming she said “whitey.” Le Gasp.

  1. Taken out of context (from a speech about Pres. Bush)
  2. Intentionally mis-heard “Why’d he…” cut Medicaid [benefits] etc, & ran with it.

“She’s only NOW proud to be an American!!” Ohhhh, NO!!! Really?! Well, no. I had to wade through a lot of frothing blogs to actually find the content of the statement (one of which contained an ad for Ben Stein’s film “Expelled”…really, not a nice thing to do to a lover of science…) Mrs. Obama actually stated that: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.Bolded, underlined and italicized for those who may have difficulty putting that into context. Hm. Did she say she’s only now proud to be an American? No. She said, essentially (if you actually force your knee to NOT jerk and listen to the entire speech) that she is proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Because for the first time in her adult life, she is seeing what hope can do for us. Essentially, it’s the antithesis of what these bloggers are spewing. It’s positive. It’s affirming. It’s heartfelt. Could it have been said better? Possibly. But anyone watching it (for any reason other than to pick it apart) could not have mistaken it for anything but a positive message of hope. And really….anyone who can honestly say they have always been proud of everything their country has done in their adult lifetime, regardless of which country, then you are not looking at your country’s actions with any amount of realism.

I suppose I can say this for the right wing pundits: At least there’s no (or at least, no overt) racism. If you’re the spouse of the presumptive Dem nominee, they’re gonna slam you. Regardless of color or creed.

(Psst? Anyone remember the howls of outrage over news stories and blogs about the Bush twins? How families should be kept out of political smear campaigns? No? Ah, well…as a Republican friend of mine is wont to say: “It’s always different when it’s them [Dems] doing it…”)