Rob's Soapbox Archives
February 8th, 2010
I am often accused of over-thinking and taking things too seriously; sometimes, as is the case with this week’s incident, the charge is that I take innocent mistakes, missteps or verbal blunders and assign too much importance to simple verbal gaffes. I rarely accept the validity of these charges as I have found that the conclusions I come to are almost always rooted in logic, fact, reason and objectivity. My standard reply has been, and remains, that I am not thinking too much, you are thinking too little.
Last week, our erudite, brilliant, well spoken President, Barack Obama, made the same verbal blunder not once, not twice, but three times in the same speech. And it wasn’t just any simple verbal gaffe; it was the mispronunciation of a word that literally defines medical specialists in the United States Navy and Marine corps; and it is a word that was botched by the Commander in Chief of the United States Military.
I have long contended, contrary to overwhelming public opinion, dating back to the summer of 2008 that despite Obama’s educational pedigree and clear oratory gifts, that he is, at the core, an intellectual dolt. Additionally, it has been my firmly held belief that the president holds the American military in contempt and views it as an oppressive arm of a nation that has used its force for evil rather than good across the globe. These two hypotheses collided together at once, rather at thrice, last week solidifying in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt that Obama is far from intelligent, and even further from qualified to lead our military.
On this seemingly benign issue there are many arguments to be made, and points to be highlighted. Some will contradict others, but all will stand on their own merit and more importantly, their totality should speak volumes to the mess we’ve created in this nation after just one year:
POINT ONE: The word is pronounced “core.” It is spelled corps. Fair enough. That’s a justifiable defense for a child to not know the difference, or even for someone who has never had any sort of interaction with the military. This is a grown man in his 40’s whose number one job, by definition, is to command the corps. Therefore, the lack of a phonetic spelling by his speechwriters is unacceptable to blame since the word should be as basic to this man as the proper pronunciation of his own daughters’ names.
POINT TWO: When reading off of a teleprompter or script, it is easy to get lost in what is being said. That’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation. We see this all of the time with television journalists as they refer, for example, to the election of 2012 when they mean 2010 (and vice-versa) without correcting themselves. This occurs because, quite frankly, they aren’t paying attention. They are simply reading aloud and not absorbing their own words. And that’s precisely what happened with the president (that, or he’s a total moron, which we’ll discuss later). Here’s what’s different and devastating about this case, though; at a time in his speech when he was supposedly telling us a very moving tale about the service of an American military member, a story the president made clear through his somber tone and pained facial expressions touched him deeply, he was also, we are supposed to believe, unaware of three embarrassingly painful mispronunciations? It simply does not pass the truth test. He wasn’t absorbed and he didn’t believe a word he was saying.
POINT THREE: The only acceptable defense against point two is that the man is a certifiable idiot. Honestly. The idiot defense would be that he simply doesn’t know that “corps” when referring to the military, is, and always has been pronounced, “core.” Take your pick America, an idiot president or one that hates his own military.
POINT FOUR: It was not an innocent mistake. Had he said it the first time and then pronounced it correctly the second and third, that would be believable. He never corrected himself and never pronounced the word correctly.
POINT FIVE: For eight years the media correctly made great folly of our last president’s inability to grasp the American language through mispronunciations and made up words. From George W. Bush pronouncing himself “the decider,” to him focusing on his “strategery,” there were myriad reasons to blanch every time the man spoke; he was clearly an abject fool who should have been called out on his embarrassing inability to speak. We must hold this new president to the same standard. Additionally, it is completely fair to examine the motivations behind the gaffe. A man with any respect or experience with and for the United States military never, in a million years, makes this mistake once, let alone three times in the same speech.
None of this should come as any surprise. There are parts of the American population that have spent generations walking the free ground plowed by the same forces they wish to see disbanded. From screaming “baby killer” at U.S. Soldiers to demanding rights for foreign terrorists but caring little about the well being of American citizens in uniform, to literally, at times, rooting against the U.S. military, there are signs all around us that a small yet dangerous percentage of our own population literally believes that our military might is one of our primary problems as a nation.
Those of us who have always found ourselves staunchly on the side of American forces and the men and women who wear the uniform have consistently found solace in the rationalization that it is the very freedom our boys our fighting for that allows fellow Americans to hate them. There is a powerful strength in knowing that winning a war will preserve the right of someone to tell you publicly that despite the outcome, you did it the wrong way or that you never should have been there or that you murdered innocent women and children.
Perhaps far more impressive than this mindset is seeing it in action; more times than I would like to remember, I have seen an American soldier verbally accosted or chided and in every single case the solider either said nothing or listened intently and then said “thank you for your opinion,” and walked away with a prideful gate that said more than any further words could have.
The United States military is un-arguably the greatest fighting force ever assembled in history. Unfortunately, they are often asked to do horrible things in the name of peace or justice; things that often ruin our soldiers mentally and/or physically for a lifetime. Yet reams of proud, strong Americans continue to line up to volunteer to serve for a pittance of a paycheck and a scant amount of gratitude from some. The cost and toll that military members and their families bear is beyond comprehension; and it’s all in the name of their country.
It would be nice if their Commander-in-Chief took the time to know how to pronounce basic parts of their service.
It would be more nice if we would pay more attention the next time we’re asked to; it would be nice if we went out of our way to not elect a man president who clearly has no regard for the very people that make him the safest person on Earth.