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.
So many people in public life seem like car salesmen: they smile too much and they do not call a spade a spade. They do not say what is in their hearts, they do not say what they see with their own two eyes. Michelle Obama does. That makes her beautiful.
She is the only one in this stage show that we call the 2008 election who seems like someone I might know – or care to know. Despite all her money and despite all her education, she is down to earth and honest. She is the opposite of Hillary Clinton. And, as much as I like her husband, he is too busy trying to look like he belongs on Mount Rushmore. (Is there room?)
Later that day Cindy McCain said this:
I have and always will be proud of my country.
Well, duh: she is rich and white. She does not know the half of what goes on in America – or what is done in its name overseas. Her words show it. Has anyone told her about Abu Ghraib? Or Katrina? Is she proud of that? And how would she feel about America if she had to give up her money and her white skin? Or if she had to live as an Arab in the West Bank? Would she still be able to say all ten words about America? Not just proud, but always proud?
People jump on Michelle Obama, but she is just saying what anyone would say who has a brain that is turned on, eyes that are open and a mouth set to honest. Well, at least any black person with an Ivy League education who grew up in a place like the South Side of Chicago. And plenty of other people too. I do not think Michelle and I are alone on this one.
But what about the fall of communism? What about her own rise from low beginnings? I doubt she was thinking about those things when she said it: she was talking about the country not about herself or the world.
Does Michelle Obama love her country? Of course she does. Only someone who loves America would talk about it like that. My wife, for example, is not always proud of what I do and when I screw up she tells me straight out. Does that mean she does not love me? To the contrary.
But why should a woman who has so much be so bitter, as they say? Because she is honest. Because sees with her own two eyes. Because she cares.
Some may call her angry or bitter, but to me she is beautiful. Just the way she is.