They Hate Obama Because He’s Smart
Activate your B.S. detectors, dear readers. I’m about to engage in wild speculation.
The difference, of course, is that I label it as speculation instead of pretending that I’m just giving you the facts.
One of the things we do in my family is read newspapers. Lots of them. Yes, I know, that’s so totally last season. But you learn quite a bit that way. And I read my news online so that I don’t destroy any trees in the process.
The “letters from readers” section of today’s New York Times has a letter that seems to clarify why some people hate President Obama so much. It’s not that he’s black, though that’s part of it. Here’s what got my attention:
Mr. Obama’s professorial and condescending attitudes toward his critics have only made things worse.
I read that and I thought, “Huh? What condescending attitudes?”
I’ve watched President Obama speak several times, including his speech to Congress last week. He didn’t smirk or make fun of his audience. Each time, he gave facts and logical arguments. He focused on issues rather than personalities.
I did not feel that he was condescending at all. I felt as if he was speaking to Americans as his peers, as rational people who could understand facts and assess his reasoning.
But then I realized: To a lot of people, that seems like condescension. They’d rather listen to a fake cowboy who grew up in Connecticut and bought a fake ranch in Texas. They don’t like the idea of a president who’s intelligent, uses multi-syllabic words, and has lots of that fancy-pants book larnin’. They want a president who seems just as stupid and ignorant as they believe that they are: someone with whom they would feel comfortable “having a beer.”
In their eyes, President Obama has committed an unpardonable sin: It’s not just that he’s black, but that he’s black and he’s smarter than they are. They can’t accept that. Every time he opens his mouth and uses those two- and three-syllable words, they think that he’s talking down to them.
But they’re reacting not to anything Obama does, but to their own deep and painful sense of inadequacy. That’s why they react so differently from the way I do, and from the way most college students probably react. We don’t have a deep-seated fear that we’re stupid. They do fear that about themselves, and Obama’s calm, logical approach just seems to rub that fear in their faces.
Ironically, they’re probably not stupid. I’ve known people like that. They haven’t had the educational opportunities that we have, they haven’t read lots of books and they don’t speak any other languages, but there’s nothing wrong with their intelligence. They’re afflicted less with stupidity than with a nagging sense of inferiority. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) is a poster child for that syndrome.
Anyway, you may run all that through your B.S. detector to see if it was worth reading. I’ve got homework. 🙂
Copyright 2009 by Rinth de Shadley.