Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Michelle Obama speaks to those too young to remember JFK or LBJ

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Originally published on on Wed, 02/20/2008 – 12:33pm

Michelle Obama is 44 years old. According to Wikipedia, she turned 44 on January 17.

I am 41 (January 26 if anyone is asking).

When I heard Michelle Obama’s statement, it resonated with me.

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

Now I don’t have a horse in the Democratic Party race. I personally have been Switzerland from the start. But I really liked what Michelle said.

Older readers (defined as older than me) might remember John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act. But Michelle doesn’t and I don’t. I can relate to that.

So put yourself in our situation. I do remember having my cartoons interrupted for the Watergate hearings, and I remember my parents insisting on making us watch Richard Nixon go through the back of the White House to the helicopter. But when Nixon took off in the helicopter, I was 7.

The first Democratic president I remember was Jimmy Carter. I grew up in a conservative area, so I remember much Carter-bashing. My parents liked Carter, so it wasn’t an issue inside the house. While Carter was the first president I really remember, this was still in my childhood.

By the time Bill Clinton came along, I was 25 and Michelle was 29 during the 1992 election. There was hope after 12 miserable, deflating, depressing years of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Everything I had learned growing up about how society had been was being dismantled and thrown out the window. So even though I thought I had hope, I never previously had hope, so I don’t think I really knew what hope was.

The 1992 election of Bill Clinton could qualify as a time to be proud of our country in my adult lifetime, and if Michelle is completely honest, she might admit that was true.

But I can also understand if looking back on it now, pride isn’t quite the word to use. Relief might be a better phrase. Finally we had a president who wouldn’t do more damage to our country. But the anguish of the MSM beating up on Bill Clinton became too much to take. I am 41 and the only president in my lifetime, adult or otherwise, who did not get a honeymoon period was Bill Clinton. As Clinton gave concession after concession to the right to get them on his side, what hope there was had drained away.

Two stolen elections since then, along with further dismantling of what little we have left in society, and I’m not sure, even more than in 1992, what hope is.

Bill Clinton was a centrist. Heck, even the “liberal” bastion of John F. Kennedy appointed Byron “Whizzer” White to the Supreme Court. White dissented on Miranda v. Arizona and Roe v. Wade. Hope to me is someone who be an architect for truly making a difference.

If the next president is Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, unlike Michelle Obama, I might feel relief, not hope. I would wait to see if the MSM can treat a Democratic president as well as (or even close to) a Republican president. I would wait to see if the new president can make a difference in re-establishing some semblance of the great things our society used to be before Reagan.

Michelle Obama said, “because I think people are hungry for change.” The people are so hungry for change, Michelle; they are starving so badly they don’t remember what food tastes like. But will they really get fed — in my adult lifetime?


Written by democracysoup

February 20, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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