After reading a story in the Telegraph about the President’s dog, Bo, being helicoptered to Martha’s Vineyard on one of two MV-22 Ospreys (a hybrid aircraft which takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane,) for yet another family vacation, I just sighed and thought, really? Who flies their dog on a separate airplane? Can’t the dog travel with its owners on the same aircraft?
Obviously, only people above my pay grade send their dogs on separate planes. However, this behavior speaks to the opulent lifestyle the Obamas have led since making the White House their home. I’m not begrudging them. It’s part of the presidency and I am OK with that. But the President’s criticism of others who are wealthy seems hypocritical and selective.
Move over chef, Bobbly Flay. It’s a new kind of throw down. Forget about Benghazi, Health Care reform or IRS scandals. Our President is taking on the Kardashians!
In an interview with David Blum for Kindle Singles, Blum asked the President to comment on the American Dream. The President responded, in part, by criticizing the lives of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Specifically, the President noted that in the past,”Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.” According to the Huffington Post, matriarch Kris Jenner didn’t like the President’s remarks and took him to task on The Kris Jenner Show.
While all this seems very high school to me, there are some disturbing issues here.
1) The President has bigger fish to fry than pop culture and needs to focus on the serious problems our country faces.
2) The President and Michelle are friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Both hold Beyonce as one of the role models for their daughters. Read more about this in my blog, Mr. President, Can We Talk?
I really think we can find better role models than a barely dressed singer who teaches our daughters to be bootylicious! And Jay-Z, the husband of Beyonce, also friend of the President, has some of the most profane language in his song with Kanye West, yet Jay-Z is a good guy, Kanye, the bad guy? Beyonce a role model? This is all very confusing and again, inconsistent!
3) The President vilifies the success of Kardashian/West, yet uses people like them to fundraise, go on vacations, and socialize.
4) The President and his family will never want for anything once he leaves the White House. So what is the point of putting down people with wealth? He will be one of them. It’s not the role of government to decide who is worthy of wealth or material success. In the business world, the market usually makes those decisions. And the market is influenced by supply and demand. Apparently, whether you agree or not, there is a lot of demand for wanting to know what Kim Kardashian wears.
5) Since the President rightfully notes our over-the-top fascination with celebrities, maybe he could do his part by inviting fewer of them to the White House. The “People’s House” sure has a lot of celebrity visitors.
So while I am not Bobby Flay, I’m challenging you to a throw down, Mr.President (I know, I’m using a celebrity chef to make a point!).
Focus on serious issues, not pop culture.
Take your vacation if you need it, but model a little restraint by taking your dog with you, or even consider leaving Bo with a sitter at the White House. Just because you can spend money, doesn’t mean you should. The money you spend is often tax payers dollars, not money you have personally earned.
Don’t pick on certain celebrities unless you are going to be consistent with the problems. You could use your office to talk about the offensive language and objectification of women in media. You could speak to the vile lyrics in a segment of hip hop that encourages rage and violence. You could work with the entertainment industry to take more responsibility for programming that uplifts, maybe even gives people hope.
Hope and change were great ideas. Now we just need to put them into practice in a few tangible ways.