The Unbridled Pragmatist
smart enough to know how dumb we are

Quiet Please

 When I was in college my friends and I watched and re-watched a tivoed HBO special of Jamie Foxx doing stand up.  One of my favorite bits was Foxx imploring various people in Hollywood and beyond to go “sit down somewhere”.  He gave this advice to OJ Simpson, Mike Tyson and others; basically telling them to avoid the limelight for a while, and be quiet.

 

I think much of the audience for President Barack Obama’s first Congressional address would be served to listen to similar advice.  Obviously the lights of politics never dim in Washington, but at this point America deserves politicians that will not incessantly provide standing ovations in ambitious attempts to advance their political agenda.  What might have been a 20 minute speech dragged on at least twice as long while the President consistently paused to receive the ovations.

 

I understand this is tradition, and it dates back some time.  I also understand the oratorical skill of Obama and the enthusiasm that inspires; however, these are serious times.  Our nation stands perilously near a cliff in almost every way imaginable – our finances drained, our military spread hazardously thin – perhaps those in power would allow a speech without posturing?

 

Leaders on both sides of the party spectrum played the role.  Senator Orrin Hatch appeared on camera more than Michael Vick at a PETA rally.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi practically appeared to be in an aerobics class during the speech; she would jump from her chair to applaud with such speed it was almost jarring.  I realize these are the typical actions of politicians, but these are not typical times.  Americans are losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing their life-savings and with it their lives as they knew them.  Let us treat these times not with somber pessimism, but with the solemnity they deserve.  This was the essence of Obama’s speech, though it was hard to hear between all the clapping.

 

In similar times, FDR had his most success speaking directly to the nation in his historic Fireside Chats.  Perhaps that success was partly attributable to the lack of politically-themed interruptions.

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One Response to “Quiet Please”

  1. First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    —————————-
    Are you tension? panic?


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