We have arrive

Nope, no typo there. That’s what the small business owner who leased the car to me on St. Kitts said as we were driving back to the airport. He was explaining why they didn’t bother to grow their own food on the island. “We have arrive,” he said. “We can afford to buy frozen vegetables in the market now.”

The conversation came flying to the front of my mind when I read this post on a left-leaning suburban Milwaukee blog by John Michlig.

What a great day to be an American

Perhaps we have at long last arrived.

You can imagine the standard comments: every day is a great day to be an American, etc. What I didn’t expect is John calling me “bitter” when one commenter linked how I wasn’t standing on my head for this inauguration.

News flash. I haven’t stood on my head for ANY inauguration. (If a woman is ever elected, I might consider it, but will probably be too old to actually execute the plan.) These are presidents, not gods. They don’t have as much impact on my daily well-being as I do.

And that’s why the Kittitian’s comment came back to me when I read John’s statement. Have we landed in a better place, or are Americans ignoring the consequences of this decision, much like he is in embracing frozen peas?

Time will tell which Americans are actually “bitter” over the outcome of Obama’s presidency. I have a feeling it will be the ones who placed the President on such a high pedestal with hopes that America had finally arrived.


  1. I aimed the “bitter” comment imprecisely; it was meant mainly for a certain FranklinNOW blogger also cited by the commenter. I “iPhoned” in the comment, so it was not very detailed.

    But now that I’ve had a look around here (“Effective Avoidance Techniques”?), I may have to reconsider.

    I was pretty bitter two elections in a row – undocumented, fortunately for me, as it was in the “pre-blog era” – so I have empathy. Gosh only knows what morose stuff would have emanated from my keyboard 4 and 8 years ago. I doubt I would have been as restrained as you.

  2. I never articulated exactly what I was avoiding. It could have been laundry, you know.

  3. Your take is like mine: they are Presidents, not Emperors or gods. Usually I read the ‘excerpts’ versions of the speeches, too.

    Another day in the office…

  4. …and another example of my point on John’s blog.

  5. “I haven’t stood on my head for ANY inauguration. (If a woman is ever elected, I might consider it…”

    So the first woman President might get you to stand on your head yet the first black President is just another inauguration with no particular importance above any other inauguration?

    You know, I guess this is kind of like why I refused to watch the World Series after my Cubs were swept….errr…killed….. in 3 games this postseason.

  6. Randy in Richmond says:

    How is dad’s entry an example of your point when your point is about race?

  7. He’s half black, and not a product of the American black experience, although he fakes it pretty well.

    I won’t hold back if it happens to be a black woman someday. Will that make you feel better?

    (I still don’t understand how it was never supposed to be about race, but almost every statement about BO is that he’s black and so we should be bowing.)

    Randy – I did say, “These are presidents, not gods.”

  8. Randy in Richmond says:

    Sorry Cindy. I wasn’t specific. I was referring to Strupp’s comment on Michlig’s site when I commented on dad’s entry. His use of the phrase “social and/or historical significance” when referring to the inauguration are code words for race. Dad’s comment has nothing to do with race. Liberals have and will continue to accuse us of this when we raise legitimate objections to Obama’s policies and actions.

  9. Thanks for decoding. Got it.

  10. Tinkerbell says:

    Good catch on the duality of “it’s not about race” vs “it’s history because he’s black”.

    Unless one follows the Jim Crow “one drop rule”, he is not black. He is biracial, mulato, high yellow. Many families contain multiple races and ethnicities. We may be better served if survey and census forms begin to accurately reflect this reality. There’s an action item for the new administration.

  11. The Lorax says:

    “The American Black Experience.” What is that?

    What’s interesting is this racial deductionism, or: he’s not actually black so I don’t have to note how far we’ve come.

    Maybe it’s the same way that a lot of readers probably think that you are Irish because of the last name and glass of Guiness, but are you 100% Irish? If not, you be frontin’!

  12. I’ve never claimed to be Irish. (I am about 1/4. The kids are more. The spouse is half. But then, he’s also American Indian.)

    So, Shawn, is this an “historical” inauguration because Obama is black, or is the American Presidency not about race?

  13. Tinkerbell says:

    Googling “the American Black Experience” returns over 1,500 hits with that phrase. Several at the top of the results list were resources for teaching on this subject.

    I think in general it would include being raised in America. Not: having dual citizenship to another country, being raised there for a bit, renouncing American citizenship.

  14. Or being raised in a white household and attending private schools that are mostly white.

  15. Tinkerbell says:

    Personally I do not care about skin. Not the color of it, not the size of it, not the clothes on it. I wish we’d all look deeper to see the guiding principles. Look at plans. Actions. Character. Authenticity over ethnicity.

  16. And for that we get to wait and see. There’s nothing in his past performance to make me hopeful that.

    That reminds me of a post I wanted to make.

  17. The Lorax says:

    Interesting how Obama isn’t good enough for you because he didn’t live a “black life” and went to private schools and had an Ivy League education. So did most every president, including your beloved George Walker Bush.

    Are you saying you would have voted for him or at least been less apoplectic about his election if he were raised on welfare and spawned by the ghetto? I doubt it since, “dust that dirt of ya shoulders” was enough to send you to Timbuktu and back!

    And further, it is not “an ‘historical’ election,” Cynthia (since we’re using formal names), it’s “a” historical election :P.

  18. Tell the press. I do tend to agree with you. Don’t know how that slipped in. 🙂

    Obama’s a phony. That’s my main argument. Unfortunately, I think he’ll show me to be accurate in that assessment.

    Have I ever labeled either Bush “beloved?”

  19. The Lorax says:

    No, I guess you’re not that much of a “Kook.”

  20. Lorax, I think it is technically “‘an’ historical ….” but it’s not idiomatic and that rule is goofy.

    Also: Please, everyone, quit pronouncing the “t” in “often.”

  21. You know, this is kind of what got you on the hot seat last time. You put words in my mouth – like I claimed to be Irish or claimed Bush beloved, and then you spend the day arguing about things I didn’t say.

    Can I call you on that now and save us both a bunch of trouble? You’re welcome, but only to a point. If you start dominating with arguments you make up in your head, I’ll cut you off again.

  22. The Lorax says:

    Didn’t claim either things, Cindy. And didn’t continue to argue that you did either. That was what the whole “no” answer was to your question.

    But suit yourself.

  23. A truly historic future election that holds true to MLK’s words would be the following. A white candidate is running against a black candidate and the majority of the black electorate vote for the white because they feel he/she is more qualified for the position.

  24. Tinkerbell says:

    Or… the mother-in-law votes for the candidate!