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Michelle Obama; It is about Inquiry and Discourse…not Conformity January 22, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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MO“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”– Jim Hightower (progressive political activist)

In November 2014 First Lady, Michelle Obama, had the opportunity to speak to a group of young people in Baltimore, Maryland. She followed up her speech with an appearance on TVOne. As the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama had an opportunity to encourage these young people to achieve their dreams! Here is a person that as a young woman from the South Side of Chicago went to Princeton then Harvard law school!  She was an intern for Barrack Obama and married the man who later became President of the United States!.  This is a woman who should be encouraging our young people to “shoot for the stars!”.   Unfortunately she does not.  Instead of taking her opportunity to encourage those young people to better themselves, seek higher goals, become educated, think, act, activate, create, question authority, question the status quo, argue, debate, change, serve, fight, study, work, and sacrifice as she clearly had to do to get to her status in life, she instead took an opportunity to use her significant influence to deride those young people by telling them to simply ‘CONFORM’.  She said:  “It’s not about the person on the ballot — it’s about you. And for most of the people that we’re talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this. That shouldn’t even come into the equation.” Really? “..who said what or did this..” should NOT come into the equation?  The most disturbing comment is when she says: “..for most of the people we are talking to…”.   I am certainly curious as to whom she is referring when she says “…most of the people we are talking to…”?  She was a young black woman from an economically depressed area of Chicago.  What is the difference between Michelle Obama and “…most of the people she is talking to…” in this situation?  Maybe they are not blessed with the innate intelligence to allow them to graduate Salutatorian and then go on to Princeton and Harvard? stead of encouraging those young people (mostly Blacks) to “make a change!”…”argue for change!”…”demand a change!” by bettering themselves and by hard work, effort, and questioning authority and the status quo (as all young people have done throughout history)..she tells them to CONFORM.  If she was speaking to the Princeton Black Student Union would she have been so bold as to tell those young people to not think, not question but simply…”…a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this.” Michelle Obama’s comments are distasteful and certainly condescending to propose that: “...most of the people to whom (we) are talking to…” are not sophisticated enough to evaluate the various positions.  That they are not intelligent or educated enough to understand the nuances of the various arguments.  That they are too simple to make up their own minds and should simply be directed that:“….a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this. That shouldn’t even come into the equation.”  Michelle Obama’s comments are offensive and off base.  We should never simply dictate a party for which a person should vote.  We should always take opportunity to encourage our young people to question, debate, and fight for change.  I am personally disgusted but, unfortunately, not surprised.
To whomever Ms. Obama was referring when she said: “…..a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this.”  She is wrong.  Conformity is NEVER the answer.  Seek your truth, ask the questions, argue, fight and determine what YOU think is right.  Rarely, if ever, will you find that a ‘party line’ is the answer.  “Never seek acceptance through conformity rather seek respect through inquiry and discourse.”– Chris Mark; 2016






1. Carol - January 23, 2016

I think you’re mistaking her comments. Would not anyone who is speaking on behalf of their political party, say their ticket is a clear choice? I consistently see many Republican and Independent figures denouncing the Democratic platform as the wrong choice. Why not contrast her statement with those? Is it not along the same lines of many of the current Republican candidates stating, to have a Democrat in office any longer is not safe decision. I honestly do not see where she’s saying anyone should conform to anything. I see her saying that in her conversations, it’s clear those she’s speaking with believe in the Democratic ticket. It is still for those she is speaking to in the current forum to decide for him or herself what is best for them. I’ve read this twice, and I’m still falling short of her encouraging conformity. It’s called persuasive speaking as with any political speech. It’s a personal choice whether you give in or not.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I appreciate your perspective, I think we simply disagree.

2. Beverly Tonander - January 24, 2016

I just read what you had written about Sarah Palin and thought it was a great post and wanted to see what you had written about Michelle Obama so am glad I found this. I have to say I totally agree with Carol on this one. I did vote for President Obama twice and still believe he is a great president with a lot of backbone to withstand all the garbage that has been handed to him. I have also voted Republican and generally vote for the person. However, this year there is just no one on that Republican ticket I think is worthy of voting for, and to be perfectly honest I’m not sure yet, who I am voting for. I do know that the Obama’s have been highly criticized for how they have treated our military and veterans and it surprises me as I know that both Michelle and Jill Biden have done more for our veterans than any other 1st and 2nd lady have ever done. I also know that it is the Republicans that have taken money from the Military. My husband was a Marine, I had a brother in the Navy, a brother in the Air Force, a brother in the Army and I worked (as a civilian) for the Army Guard and regular Army Advisors to the Guard for 30 yrs so the military is very special to me. I am very proud of what the Obama Administration has done for our military.
I want to thank you for your service, sir.

3. Republican, Democrat, or Independent? | Global Security, Privacy, & Risk Management - January 24, 2016

[…] have written the same letter to a Democrat. In fact, you can see my latest post is one in which I comment on Michelle Obama.  I believe that our leaders should be held accountable.  I have written articles for the […]

4. dkatiepowellart - January 25, 2016

I also disagree with you. NO Republican in my family would vote for any one of the Republican candidates today. Obstructionists of haters or bigots, there is no THERE there. They all hope for a Clinton to vote for but will sadly (for them, not for me) vote for Bernie Sanders before they’d vote for their ticket.

5. Bob Bertram - January 25, 2016

First, thank you for your service! Which continues as a civilian. Your open letter to Sara Palin addressed the screeching rhetoric that has now become the political norm with all beltway pols, as well as our 4th estate. When did opposing ideas become grounds for public shame. If we listen to the republican debate, Obama can be blamed for all our country’s problems. I think he has done a decent job dealing with an obstructionist congress. It became clear that the press did not ask or challenge the spin being released through back doors during the run up to Iraq, and still fall into that trap today. So it was good to read your opinion piece. Please keep up the good work and call it where you see it. More voices like yours are needed in the public discourse. Rational, calm and backed with experience and knowledge.

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