I’m a straight shooter. Have been since I was knee-high. So if you have the guts to speak your mind, chances are I’m going to like you no matter what you have to say. But there’s a limit. Recently on the girl gabfest The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck crossed the line while defending John McCain. While I oppose Hasselbeck’s views, I respect the fact that she has the balls to stand up to her outspoken liberal co-hosts. That takes moxie. But on this particular episode, Hasslebeck wasn’t criticizing Obama’s childhood terrorist ties, tax plan, or his wife Michelle’s budget wardrobe. She put him down for “all those fancy words” he uses.
Are you kidding me? Since when is intelligence a bad thing? Has the dumbing down of America come to this? Are we so used to George W. botching the English language that the rest of us are supposed to forget what we learned from our parents, teachers, and books and talk just like ’em? Give me a break.
This isn’t the first time someone has labeled Obama an elitist. Somebody somewhere has thrown him in that category since he first began his campaign. Well, folks, grab your Webster’s dictionary. Among the definitions for the word “elite”: the choice or best of anything considered collectively, esp. of a group or class of persons.” What’s wrong with that? I want to be the best I can be, don’t you? The army certainly wants its folks to be the best they can be. I want my daughter to be the best she can be. And I’m guessing you want your kids to be the best, too. Shouldn’t we be reaching for the stars instead of criticizing Obama’s Ivy League education? McCain is also an intelligent man, but no one criticizes him for it. So why do people go after Obama?
Just this morning at the hair salon, I overheard a customer ask her hairdresser, “Who are you voting for, Obama?” The customer shook her head no and said, “McCain.” The customer replied, “Oh, I had you pegged as an Obama fan.” The hairdresser remarked, “Nope, my husband thinks Obama talks down to people.” The other lady replied, “Yes, that’s a big problem. He really shouldn’t do that.”
Two women. The same opinion. Both felt Obama was condescending. I wondered why. Does he really sound that way? Perhaps the answer depends on your own educational background. Or perhaps it’s just a Republican thing. Or is there more to it than that? Is it because he is highly educated? Is it because he’s black? Or is it both? He is a highly educated black man and isn’t afraid to show it. Is that why some people insist on calling him an elitist?
It’s definitely something to think about.
While some see an elitist showing off in front of huge crowds, other see an eloquent, uplifting speaker. Like it or not, the Democratic presidential candidate has the gift of gab. Just like Clinton, Reagan, and JFK.
There’s a reason public speaking is high on most people’s list of fears. It’s not easy thing to do. You have to have confidence, poise, and work well under pressure. How many of us can perform well in front of an audience? That’s a really important skill to have, especially for anyone running for the top office in the land. The leader of the free world needs to communicate with people from all walks of life. Is this the only skill our president needs? Of course not. But like it or not, it’s an important one.