Saturday, November 08, 2008
"mutts like me." Three little, ordinary words that carried far more weight than President elect Obama might imagine.
I was a bit miffed when my favorite soap was interrupted by a press conference by our new President elect. We are definitely NOT going to get along well, I huffed as Vicki, Charile, Natalie, Jarrod and Tina were rudely preempted by this new kid on the block, just three short days after winning the single most historic election this country has ever seen. But, there he was, grinning from ear to ear, telling all and sundry about the puppy he was going to get for his girls.
Now, I can pretty much swallow those tiresome Presidential interruptions of my soaps when they are about , well, really just national security, but a puppy? Not a good start, my friends, not a good way to win this voters admiration, I can tell you.
But then he uttered those three little words, and my ears perked up and I began to really listen to the guy.
By the end of his conference, I was somewhat mollified by his interruption.
Here we have this tall, handsome, young man calling himself a mutt. I know he was referring to his racial heritage, but coming from Obama, the word mutt sounded almost complimentary.
This is the next President of United States of America and here he is, standing in front of dozens of cameras, calling himself a mutt in front of millions of people, indeed in front of the world, and I actually felt a lump, a tiny one mind you, but a lump nonetheless, of pride in this country and in this man.
And then I began to think about mutts. Mutts, as a rule are by far more intelligent, more loyal, more fiercely protective of their people than any purebred out there, and I got the message President Obama was trying, oh so subtly, to convey to the world.
We have a man in the White House now who will put America first; a man who will do whatever is necessary to protect his country and his people and one who is intelligent enough to understand that sometimes force is necessary to protect his own, but he will try reasoning first. He will try conversation, and will try to convince anyone who would think to undermine this country that it would be in their best interest to stop and re-think their position. Kind of like that old mutt, giving a warning growl before snapping at the would be intruder. Smart man, Obama. I wonder how many others came away from that press conference with the same notion that I did?
I think, most likely for the vast majority of folks out there, President Obama's reference to mutts was taken as a racial reference, and from the news reports I read this morning, I see I'm right.
Everyone has stayed on that old bi-racial bandwagon. Here is a man who had a white mother and an African father, a bi-racial man who is now President of the United States. And everyone is calling him the first African-American President, everyone but me apparently.
When I look at President Obama, I see a man, just a man and I have to wonder why he has to have that label. Why does he have to be either or? Why does he have to be labeled as half white or half black? Why can't he just be an American?
We have elected a mutt to the highest office in the country and for that we need to be applauded. We chose intelligence, loyalty, and a fierce protectiveness over the weakened bloodlines of a purebred. And just as most American's love and care for their mutts, let us love and support our new President, regardless of his lack of pedigree.
Oh, and for the record, I didn't vote for him. Did I make the wrong choice? Only time will tell.
linda l rucker