Asking us to send additional troops to Afghanistan, throw the public option under the bus, and consider off-shore oil drilling was one thing. Suggesting we fork over cold cash to read the online Wall Street Journal, listen to Glenn Beck and stop mudslinging is entirely something else. There's only so much of this stuff we can take, Mr. President.
Sure enough, though, Mr. Audacity himself in a commencement address to the students at the University of Michigan and 80,000 of their closest friends prescribed how to keep our democracy healthy. First, we must recognize the need for some government and work to make it smarter and relevant to today's world. Second, Americans need to be nice to each other, open-minded and seek out alternative points of view, even if it means listening to Rush Limbaugh. Third, people must get involved.
One and three seem reasonable enough, but number two is outrageous and un-American. It's not just the fringes of the ideological spectrum who delight in muckraking and vilification. Character assassination is an innate thread in the fabric of our society. An important segment of our economy is built upon this fundamental value and the last thing we need is Jon Stewart and Tina Fey at the trough slurping up welfare benefits.
Closer to home an example involves a certain Marley named after Bob the Rastafarian but a girl who happens to be an adorable 17 month-old yellow lab. Teenagers who love her more than pizza and television find it hysterical and ridiculously edgy to say out loud for the benefit of their mother, "she is such a bitch."