Response to Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech

The speech given by First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention was met with widespread approval.  For about thirty minutes she talked about her husband’s ethical values and their experience as both children and a young married couple.  But while many couldn’t help but tear up even slightly at the emotionally-charged speech, Michelle Obama’s time at the podium couldn’t help but be colored by her first remarks.

With a warm smile, the First Lady talked about how proud she was of our nation’s military servicemen and women.  Almost starry-eyed, she extolled the humility and resolve of veterans piecing together their lives after their bodies have been permanently damaged.  She mentioned her deep respect and thankfulness for their sacrifice.  While it may certainly deliver an emotional punch in the South, the place nearly half of all American service members call home, Michelle Obama’s rhetoric demands a closer look.

Why is there any reason these young people should face life-altering physical damage?  Their sacrifice is certainly honorable, but why is it even necessary?

Speaking in a way mostly used by conservative politicians and speakers, Michelle Obama praised the industrial-military complex with a smile.  Personally, I find it contemptible and am surprised more people weren’t put off by this portion of her speech, especially with its key portion as her opening remark.  President Barack Obama’s rusty car and their student loans pale in comparison to young men and women being shipped overseas to kill other young people in terms of importance.

In many ways, it seems that the First Lady understood her audience and was simply catering to them.  It’s likely the Obama administration would be interested in drawing attention away from the ongoing conflicts in the Middle-East and the painfully slow process of getting out.  Either way, I was displeased.

What say you?

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One Response to Response to Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech

  1. As much as I admire her, I have to agree with you. If this was an effort to truly defend our shores I’d feel differently–perhaps. But we do too much to put a pretty face on war in giving lip-service to honoring the wounded and dead and the sacrifice they and their families have made, and too little to avoid unnecessary wars and deaths and sacrifices, and to little to preserve the peace. And too little to really support those who have served or been wounded, whether the war was necessary or not. It’s almost as if “supporting the troops” or “honoring their sacrifice” is a way to make us feel good about ourselves, when the real way to support and honor them would to be to bring them home, end the war, and create a department of peace. Thanks for pointing this out–I would have glibly passed over this hypocrisy (on my part and hers) if you hadn’t brought my attention to it.

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