Saturday, January 14, 2017

- On the Obama Children

I'm of Irish (actually Anglo-Norman Irish) heritage, which by tribal identification means, I love to fight. I love it. I'll argue pretty much anything in the right circumstances, provided I believe I know something about it and I'm speaking to people who I know will enjoy the argument as much as I do. I don't like crushing skulls, or egos (at least not as much as I used to). I don't want to genuinely hurt anyone if it can be avoided. But I won't be fleeing the field of battle anytime I think it's worth it, verbal or otherwise, and sometimes it's worth it, just for the fun of the fight. But that isn't to say that I don't appreciate that there is a time to fight and a time when not fighting isn't at least as worthy. There is a genuine virtue in civility.

I always thought George HW Bush was underrated on that score. He was well mannered - far more than the people who objected to him. And I always appreciated his classiness. He believed what he believed, for the reasons he believed it, and wouldn't apologize. But he wouldn't call someone an idiot simply for disagreeing with him, or even imply it as Obama constantly does. He'd stick to his guns with a quiet west Texas civility that I think is mostly lost now, and I think that's a shame.

The left and the Social Justice Warriors stole that from us I think. By using only rhetoric and emotion in their arguments, and making every argument one of passion, they have rendered ineffective, the quiet civility that used to mark our political discourse. I don't think it's persuasive anymore, so I advocate its abandonment. If the only way you can persuade your fellow citizens to examine an objectively verifiable truth is to cause them emotional pain first, as is certainly the case with the modern left, then I am regretfully in favor of causing them that pain. It's necessary. And there is no motivator like 'necessity'. But like any educated man of a certain age, I regret that necessity none the less.

This made me feel good though. It's a note from the Bush Girls to the Obama girls, about life after the whitehouse. And I think it stands as evidence that Bush 43 was a 'better man' than his detractors ever gave him credit for being. It's a thoughtful, generous, civil note from some slightly older girls to some younger ones, all of whom belong to a very exclusive club. A club they joined, not of their own free will, but were instead dragged into by being born to politically ambitious and successful parents. The note itself absolutely bubbles over with one thing Bush 43 had in abundance that Obama utterly lacks - it's classy.

I'm a very big believer that you should never hold the son (or in this case daughter) responsible for the sins of the father. And though I have a very hard time imagining a man who has a vision of America more opposed to my own than Obama, I don't think his kids should be held accountable for that. They are their own people, with their own lives, and played little if any part in the positions their father held. They will each have their own future, and their own outlook. And in the fullness of time when the very famous Obama girls find their own way in the world, we will all probably come to know it. I think they should each be judged on their own merits.

I can't imagine that growing up in the environment that the Obama girls have, that they will see things very differently than their parents when they reach adulthood. In the same way that the Bush girls seem to have inherited their parent's classiness, and that I inherited my father's and grandfather's love of a good fight, I'm afraid that the Obama girls will inherit their parents condescension, insecurity, and churlishness.

But I will forego any conclusions on that score until I learn otherwise from them directly. They don't deserve hatred or scorn simply because of who their parents are. They are entitled to their own lives, and their own futures. And until such time as I learn that their interests oppose my own, I for one would like to wish them long, happy, safe and successful lives.

2 comments:

Blegoo said...

How about Chelsea?

Tom said...

I think Chelsea is at that point where she's begun to earn her own reasons for me to dislike her, independent of her parents. Though if she disappears from the public stage now along with her mom, I'll be perfectly civil to her when I see her in the neighborhood or at the park. (She lives a block or two away from me.)