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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Sway

I tell my daughter all the time that the pen is mightier than the sword because with words wars are started and with words wars are ended.  I don't know if what I say is sinking in to the point I understand it myself, but I continue to say it and, perhaps one day, she'll turn around and say it to my grandchildren.

I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a lover of words.  I write to make myself laugh just as much as I write to make all of you laugh.  I write to express my sadness in ways that are much more beautiful than what sadness presents when I keep it bottled up inside.  I write to entertain myself just as much as I write to entertain you.  I write to make a point and I laugh when my point somehow proves me wrong.  And in my workplace, I write and speak words to persuade property owners and cities to see things through the eyes of my employers and hopefully sign the piece of paper that I need to keep a project moving forward.  Words are my friend, my ally, and I love them.  But... because I have a close relationship with them, because I have an ongoing love affair with them, I am well aware of their power.

I am not here to discuss right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, none of that... at least not today.
No... today I am what one might call a Republicrat -- much like the unicorn, I don't exist.

I am simply here to say that this one man is one of the best public speakers I've seen in the White House since Ronald Reagan.  This is the first time in my adult life that I've seen a President on the television that, whether I agree with his politics or not, somehow makes me feel like I'd love to have him over for dinner and listen to him tell me stories of his childhood and make jokes about this or that.  Clinton didn't do that, none of the Bush clan were able to do that.  I live in Arizona, and I still have no desire to hang out with Senator McCain, but... this guy?  He comes walking down the aisle shaking hands, calling people bro, making jokes about this or that, hugging ladies that are on the road to recovery from this or that and... suddenly... he's human.  Is Newt human?  Is Romney with his chiseled jaw human?  No... they're politicians.  This man?  He has everyone convinced he's human.  (except for maybe the Tea Party Patriots and the Fox News Anchors)  And this... his charm, his charisma, is just the beginning.

Once he takes the podium, it begins...

He's been in office for four years.  He's bailed out corporations, he has successfully given the United States Government partial ownership in the Chrysler company, something completely "un-american" and yet... he delivers the message that this is all about American Ingenuity, American Workers... forget the fact that a government entity now owns a part of a corporation, forget what that means in terms of true free-market and capitalism, just remember that he said the words "american ingenuity" and "american workers."  Because, in a time when blue collar America is suffering and unemployed and wondering when they can get off the dole and find a job, it might be a good rhetorical use of words to point that out.

And he's been in office for four years, and China has been on our back since the Clinton Administration and China has had plenty of time to gain momentum, and China has been a HUGE topic of discussion amongst the right for a long long time, but suddenly he utters the words, "it's getting more expensive to do business in China... we must bring the manufacturing back home..." and ... wow... What a great idea!  Did he think of that?

And after months of liberal protesters "occupying" Wall Street and "occupying" various corporations throughout the United States, after months of listening to those idiots say things like, "You should have 100%  income tax," and after watching the Wall Street CEO come out and say, "If you raise my taxes I'll lay off more people to cut down on overhead," and after months of listening to the right wing media call these people Obama supporters, suddenly he says, "We must lower taxes for companies to stay and hire here in America."  And suddenly...  wow...  Why are people saying this guy is so bad?  He's not against American Corporations!  He's not against free market society!  Listen to him!  He just wants to "make Free Market work better."  What's wrong with that?  I mean... Look at Chrysler?  They're not in debt to the federal government or anything.  That is still a free company on the free market!  Right?

And for years, since the Bush administration, we've been listening to the importance of finding our own source of oil and natural gas, strengthening our independence and decreasing our dependence on the unstable countries of the middle east.  And suddenly, we're listening to how we need to focus more on finding our own source of oil and energy, that we need to create a market of innovation, and we're listening to how this will increase jobs at home, and it all sounds so good until we remember the Keystone Pipeline project, that would've created 20 thousand jobs, was just declined by the President a few weeks ago, but wait... he just said something about clean energy and finding a balance in choosing between our environment and technology so... maybe that one's a wash?  Maybe?

And then we listen to beautiful thoughts of education, and beautiful thoughts of "funding entrepreneurs with the best ideas," and promises of "no bailouts, no handouts, no cop outs," and for those of us who have complained about these things for the past several years, it all sounds so lovely.  Such a moving and convincing delivery.   And then there's the part about the tax cuts continuing, and that they must "pass the payroll taxcut without delay," and that "congress must pay their fair share of taxes," which sounds very reminiscent of those emails that fly through the office about how we should pay congress minimum wage and see how they change their tune, but he delivers the message so much better!  I'd much rather listen to him than some stupid right-wing chain email, wouldn't you?  Emails don't mean a thing, but what he says goes... or... at least it might, as long as we're willing to vote him in and hope for the best, right?  And after all, what are our choices against him?  Newt?  Newt the crook who wants to build a world on the moon?  Really???  That's practical.  We're out of work, and he's telling me I need to vote for him so he can build a city on the moon.  Awesome.  Thanks Newt!  And then there's Romney, with his millions and his 15% tax rate... well... like the email said, that's not minimum wage...

I said it the other night and I'm saying it again, Obama may just be telling everyone what we want to hear because his advisers have kept themselves in the loop with the people and they know the gripes and complaints flying through Face Book and email accounts and office talk and Tea Party talk and ... what have you.  Either way, genuine or disingenuous, that speech was timely and touched on all of the right-wing topics and it was delivered beautifully and it was confident and convincing.  I'm not saying this to open the door for all of you to blast me with your political views, I'm simply making a point:

Words are powerful and moving. 

The average IQ in America is 90.  Even the experts said this man's speech was comprehensible to the 8th grade reading level, which is the average level of working class America.  And what does this mean?  The majority of the country isn't looking at any of these politicians, including Obama, with a critical eye.  They simply know what they hear.  And while Newt and Romney waste their time with attack ads that annoy the hell out of everyone, this man is using the power of words and his uncanny ability to wield them.  And if you put yourself in their shoes, and you were to just listen without thinking, well... who would you choose?

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