Hat tip: Reader on Jack and Jill Politics
From the HuffingtonPost.com
She called on another supporter, whose voice quivered and broke with barely contained emotion as she explained how important it is to her, personally, that our country change course. She explained that she had just returned from Oregon where she campaigned for Obama and attended the 75,000-person rally by the river. She had noticed, she said, that the Secret Service had increased security dramatically for Barack Obama's rallies since the Phoenix rally in January.
The room collectively gasped and murmured, some aghast that these fears were being spoken aloud directly to Barack Obama's wife. Some nodded, concern and fear on their faces. Others shifted on their feet, displaying a range of emotions -- concern, discomfort with the topic, indignation.
The woman continued: "What can you tell us..." and then her voice caught and broke as a sob rose up from her chest. She paused for a moment. "I'm afraid of what might happen. What can you tell us, after last week's comments--" another sob-- "after last week's comments, to make us feel more at ease?" She cried unabashedly after finally getting out her words.
The room that had been electrified with positive energy throughout the evening suddenly became still and quiet, all eyes focused on Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama's eyes, though, were focused on that concerned supporter. She paused, allowing the clearly distraught supporter to pull herself together. Maybe it was 30 seconds before Obama spoke, stretched out into imaginary minutes. Finally, she said firmly, "I'm ok. Really. I am ok. And if I'm ok, you should be ok.
"You know, we talked about this as a family."
She held the microphone with one hand, the other curved inward over her heart as she talked. Her tenor and body language was clear. Michelle Obama was talking as a mother. She was introspective and intimate, looking the questioner in the eyes as if they are the only two in the room.
"We talked about this as a family."
The room remained still and quiet. Imagine having that talk with your children. Then, she paused, gathering herself, pulling herself up, seeming to grow even taller, Michelle, the campaigning wife returns. She says,
"I've talked about this before. Barack is probably safer now than he was before. Kids are dying in the street in our community. They get shot walking to class, sitting in school, taking the bus home. They are dying in the street.... Send us good vibes. Pray for us. Think positive thoughts. But most of all, be vigilant. Be vigilant about stopping this kind of talk.
It's not funny. You don't have to like Barack to dislike that kind of talk. Be vigilant about stopping that kind of talk."
Then she reminded the crowd what we are fighting for, and why it is important to forge ahead without fear. "Fear is the reason this country is where it is today. Fear is a useless emotion. Don't ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn't. Don't ever make decisions based on fear."
The talk about questioning the patriotism of Barack and Michelle Obama is patently absurd. Practically, from the moment he announced, his life and the lives of his family have been threatened. Nobody who doesn't love this country is going to subject the ones they love most to this possible horror. Lack of patriotism? Patriotism is the only theme large enough to explain it to small children. To explain why Daddy is away so much. To explain why all these strange people are around. To explain why Mama is gone sometimes too. Patriotism and love of country is the only way to get a small child to envision something larger than themselves, and to ask them to understand that they must be less selfish - for love of country.
Stepping out into the unknown everyday, knowing that all it takes is just one nut. One crazy person.
THAT is PATRIOTISM.
That is what Barack and Michelle Obama have.