CHAMPION OF AGGRIEVEMENT, AND A MOVIE RECOMMENDATION
Michelle Obama has a cult following and they’ll follow her right out of the White House.
Those who love her for her fashion sense, strength, independence, and veggie lunch snacks will continue their admiration her as she steps back into a quasi-civilian life next month. Her speaking fees will be staggering, she’ll have servants and Secret Service protection, and her children will attend ivy league universities, like their parents before them.
But for a minority of Americans, the drama queen has worn her welcome. Michelle Obama lost many of us at the outset, when she said in 2008: “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
She had no good explanation for saying such a thing. A firestorm erupted around her and her husband: Why would she not be proud of her country? Is America really that bad or is this her way of saying she hates America? Or perhaps America is only praiseworthy when she and her husband are in charge.
The Obama campaign brushed it off by explaining Michelle was proud that people voted, but many wondered how a hospital lawyer at a high-octane Chicago firm, who attended both Princeton and Yale Universities, could give anything but full-throated support to a nation such as this.
Last month, she did it again. After Donald Trump was elected president, Michelle Obama was in mourning: “We are feeling what not having hope feels like” she told Oprah Winfrey.
“Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept,” she went on. “And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believed that … what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”
It is as though only one vision — the Obama vision of America — can prompt hope in a nation. After eight years of her husband’s presidency and his “fundamentally transforming” America into a nation of government dependents, all is lost: For the first lady, once she and her husband leave the building, there is nothing to hope for.
Many Americans have the good taste to not criticize a first lady. After all, few of us could hold up to that kind of scrutiny of our looks, our language, and our lapses of judgment. Criticizing first ladies is a bit of a national pastime as we judge their hair, their choice of day wear, and their children. Mrs. Obama has endured criticism that often has a racist tinge.
But Michelle Obama has no cause to complain about Americans. Her approval rating remains above 64 percent, according to recent polls. The mean bloggers are relentless, but the predominant mainstream media has given her a hall pass to say just about anything:
- Beyonce is her role model for girls.
- People criticizing her sometimes-angry demeanor are being racists.
- “I wake up every morning in a house (the White House) that was built by slaves.”
- “There’s nowhere in the world I can go and sit and have a cup of coffee.”
- Living in the White House is like “living in a cave.”
Mrs. Obama is as aggrieved as a multi-millionaire in a cashmere sweater can be this Christmas. She reflects and upholds the politics of identity that has cleaved us into a nation of racial separatists, where wrongs can never truly be atoned for and old wounds, real or imagined, must be scratched open time and again.
It’s not politically correct to say so, but Michelle Obama is not a champion of achievement, but aggrievement.
REAL ROLE MODELS ABOUND
And yet, it’s Christmas and an inaugural season is ahead. Whining Michelle Obama is nearly in the rearview mirror.
There are role models out there for girls, be they black, brown, or pinkish. This Christmas take your family to see a family-friendly movie, Hidden Figures, which will be in all theaters in January, and a select few on Christmas Day. It’s rated PG.
A group of mathematically inclined women, who were African-American and had plenty to overcome during the Jim Crow era, became part of the space program that sent John Glenn into orbit. Their story is remarkable, as told in the book that inspired the movie.
Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are depicted in the movie as three of the brains who calculated like computers and whose hands worked the slide rules behind one of the greatest achievements in space exploration, helping America win the Space Race.
These math geniuses started with the government’s aeronautical program during World War II, stayed with it, and would live to launch Americans into space. Those are truly some role models.
There are stories of inspiration everywhere this Christmas. We take comfort that Americans dream, and achieve, no matter how humble their beginnings and no matter how great the adversity seems, our nation is on the right path.
Unlike the Doctrine of the Oppressed coming from the White House over the past eight years, Hidden Figures is a story that has played out in every field across America, to our nation’s proud advantage.