Elitists by Jackson

It seems to be popular to call Barack Obama an elitist during an election year. First, John McCain played the “Joe the Plumber” card, insinuating that Obama did not understand regular people. Now we have Mitt Romney talking about how the President is out of touch because he “spent too much time at Harvard.” Both claims are a bit ridiculous especially because Romney went to Harvard for four years and Obama three (Obama also got better grades).

Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee. This is certain now. Finally we can focus on an actual race instead of the weirdest, most out of this world field of candidates this country has ever seen. What started with Sarah Palin not being able to remember the name of a newspaper, four years ago, has finally ended with Rick Santorum suspending his campaign and stone-age social policies. Now we can analyze real questions like policy differences, approach, and whether the candidates are elitists. After all, everyone wants a president that they could sit and have a beer with (i.e. George Bush).

Is Obama out of touch? Is he an elitist? Did he, as Romney so eloquently put it, “spend too much time at Harvard,” that preppy school in Cambridge? Here is a little run down of how the President came to where he is today:

Obama was born to racially mixed parents and raised by a single mother and grandparents. He went to high school on scholarship and struggled with his identity, stating that he dabbled in cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol to “push questions of who I was out of my mind.” He then went to Occidental College for a year, did well and transferred to Columbia (political science major). A year later he was accepted to Harvard Law where after only one year he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating Magna Cum Laude he spent three years as a “Community Organizer in the south side of Chicago.” This is no small indicator of Obama’s character. How many Harvard Law Review editors spend three years community organizing? He then went on to be a professor of Law at the University of Chicago and had a fairly successful career in political office.

If that is a life of leisure I don’t see it. He doesn’t come from great wealth like Romney, he got to where is by way of hard work ( had better grades and GPA than Romney,  was a tenured professor and community organizer, etc) and let’s face it… he ‘s black. The political leaders in this country are overwhelmingly white. Almost every time Obama walks into a room he is a minority. This is something Mitt Romney has never had to deal with. As a professor of mine once said “race is never more apparent than when you are in the minority.” Obama has dealt with this flawlessly.

To be fair, Obama does not shy away from pointing out Romney’s lifestyle, tax bracket, and history. It’s politics. Its not about who said what first. It’s about saying it. Guilt by association. Every knows that Romney is rich. He just installed an elevator for his car in one of his houses. But its politics, Romney can say the same thing about Obama. Even if it’s not true, the damage is done. Obama and the word elitist are in the same sentence. He went to Harvard; he’s Ivy League, out of touch, lived life of leisure. Its up to people to do some research to decipher the difference between the two.


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