Okay, I know this is old news, but I’m a slow thinker, and my thoughts have only just gelled and I can’t hold on to my two cents anymore.
I don’t even know where to begin. How do I explain why McCain’s “blitz” of negative character attacks on Obama infuriates me? All the lies, the name calling, the projecting of blame. The absurd analogies to absurd celebrities on absurd pretenses. The horrible misuse of the word “elitist.” The despicable Rovian character assassination tactics. How can I express just how appalled I am that the media and so much of the public is allowing this insidious vitriol to manipulate their perceptions and their thoughts?
They (the McCain machine, the GOP, and conservatives) are calling Obama an elitist; a vapid, vacuous attention whore; a pompous and arrogant arugula-eating panderer. McCain’s campaign manager:
“Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand ‘MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew–Black Forest Berry Honest Tea’ and worry about the price of arugula.”
The purpose of all this name-calling and red herring bullshit is to plant a seed of doubt and dislike that will close people’s minds. It is a tactic of fear, playing on the baser instincts of human nature–to regard all that is different as a threat. That is the first insult to all Americans: that by labelling Obama’s intelligence, education, charm, and ambition as “unAmerican”, they imply that we average Americans are lazy, wretched, and uneducated ignoramuses!
Only a bully treats people this way. Only a bully employs tactics of insult and verbal violence to ostracize his enemies and cow his followers. Only a bully would use a whipping boy to distract people from his own inadequacies!
The only reason why all this negativity sticks and may well continue to stick is this: Obama is a nerd. He is tall and gangly and has big teeth. He is quiet and contemplative. He is highly intelligent, and well educated. He speaks with forethought and he strives to consider all aspects of an issue before making conclusions. He shows a willingness to compromise to try and resolve complex problems. He does not define his public masculinity in terms of physical prowess or social dominance.
Moreover, he is an “uppity nerd” in that he consistently violates social expectations of the nerd’s role. A nerd is supposed to be shy, socially awkward, nervous, and unpopular. A nerd is the omega dog of the human pack–and Obama rejects that role. He is not shy–he is forthright and bold. He is charismatic and self-confident, and people respond to that. His confidence gives him strength and surety, and his intellectual curiosity compels him to actually listen to people when they speak. This is the root of his popularity, and this is the root of what will make him a successful President of the United States, and the optimal representative of the American People.
This makes the bullies and close-minded afraid, and they want the rest of us to be afraid as well. Do not listen to their words of hate!
America, I must ask you: do we want another Bully in the Oval Office? Do we want another emotionally unstable and volatile man who requires other people to do his thinking for him? Do we want another President who feels no compunctions about using Rovian tactics of character assassination and political tyranny to get his way?
Can we not withstand this bold manipulation of our most primal fears? Shall we allow them to take advantage of our subconscious prejudices? I for one, will not let them tell us that a thinking man cannot be strong. I will not let them make me think even for an instant that a Nerd is inherently arrogant and incompetent. I will not let them make me doubt the power of a sunny smile to change the world. I will not let them make me think that compromise means weakness, that a willingness to revise one’s stance on issues means unbridled, untempered ambition. I will not be afraid!
I will not let them make me forget that this is our moment, this is our time. It is time to reclaim our dignity, and it is time we demand the same from our leaders. It is time to reclaim our pride in our intelligence, and show pride in the intelligence of our neighbors. It is the time that we show where our true values lie–in our wills, in our minds, and in our moral regard for the character and integrity of our fellow man. It is our time to show all those bullies that we cannot be intimidated by threats and abuse, but that democracy, decency and reason shall prevail.