Michelle Obama made this statement at a Milwaukee rally yesterday, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
Whenever there was a lull in election coverage last night, the talking heads were all over it like a wet dish cloth. Oh, how unpatriotic! How could she have said such a thing? Will it hurt her husband? Well, unless I misread this, she did not say she wasn't proud of her country nor proud to be an American. She says this is the first time she is really proud.
Well, me too! And her husband has a lot to do with it. The last four administrations have given us little to be proud of. One has to get beneath the charisma Bill Clinton is so famous for and remember the scandals that plagued his administrations - most notably his weakness for women other than his wife. He brought such disgrace on the Office of the Presidency, I still get queasy thinking about it. Hillary had her baggage too. Her questionable investment windfalls, Whitewater, the Vince Foster suicide. I won't even get into the character flaws of many of his Cabinet members.
Then there are the George W. Bush administrations. At this point the reason is less important than the fact that he took us into an unprovoked war. How much more un-American can you get than that? Our elected officials allowed it. Many of our civil liberties have been taken from us. Partisanism has risen to new heights. Because of his inability or unwillingness to engage those we have differences with, we stand more alone in the world today than any time in our history.
Is any of this stuff of which to be proud? Think what it must have been like for both Barack and Michelle as they grew up. As able young blacks they must have faced enormous challenges. And look at what they've accomplished. Both of them.
I'm more proud of our country right now too - because maybe, just maybe we're coming of age. We're not allowing ourselves to be beaten down by negativity nor fear. We're not looking at Obama's color or Hillary's gender nearly as much as we would have a mere three or four years ago. This is monumental in our historic evolvement as a nation.
Of course, it could all be a grand illusion. If the use of negativity is the default the candidates fall back on regardless of the will of the people, we won't have come so far after all. Should that happen, I'll still be a proud American, but I won't be so proud of those who would be our leaders.