Obama: Please (temporarily) remove these words from your vocabulary

Much like Rapunzel, Barack Obama seems to have spent much of his life in an ivory tower. I’m beginning to think Rev Wright is less of a problem for connecting with blue-collar voters than his propensity to use ten-dollar words when anything beyond a $2.50 word is incomprehensible to those without a college education. (That’s not meant to sound obnoxious; vocabulary is tied to your educational level, not your innate intelligence or personal worth)

Obama - drop the intimidating vocabularyAnd Hillary’s 100% right that the GOP’s characterization of Democratic candidates as out-of-touch elitists has led to Dems’ downfall on more than one occasion in recent presidential contest history. And with a strong undercurrent of racism that stuffs black people into an impossible box (too uneducated and they’re worthless n-words, and too educated and they’re uppity), Obama especially has to tread this line very, very carefully. (His cost of arugula and gun- and religion-clinging comments have probably already ensconced him in the latter category in the minds of many voters)

I’ve seen or read a number of statements by Obama that use language that flies over the heads of the less-educated, and probably irritate them. Now, Hillary Clinton, who has almost the same level of education as Obama and is certainly as intelligent, has yet managed to simplify her message consistently into bite-sized linguistic morsels that retired factory workers can digest.

And it’s not just the blue-collar folks. Hispanics, whom for many English is a second language, are generally less likely to understand someone speaking in a more elite register. They might also resent a black man who bucks the social order.

So, until the campaign season is over, I would like to recommend Sen Obama to use the following reverse thesaurus – it might help him change that honorific to President by January 2009. The words were taken from recent comments, debates & interviews:

  • accelerate -> speed up
  • amplify -> say louder [sic]
  • anguished -> painful
  • as a consequence of -> because of
  • ascribe -> figure out
  • assessments -> judgments
  • begrudge -> have hard feelings about
  • beneficiary -> receiver
  • candor -> honesty
  • cataloguing -> reminding
  • conceivable -> possible
  • deferred -> put off
  • defines -> clearly shows
  • deplorable -> disgusting
  • deplore -> am disgusted by
  • dismissive -> uninterested, disinterested [sic]
  • essentially -> basically, really
  • forcefully -> really strongly
  • fretful -> worried
  • handily -> pretty well, pretty good [sic]
  • host (as in a whole host of areas) -> lot, bunch
  • in concert -> together
  • increments -> amounts
  • initiate -> make
  • irony -> the funny thing
  • jarring -> beyond the pale
  • made a determination -> figured out
  • measured -> careful
  • mindful -> aware
  • notion -> idea
  • objectionable -> disgusting, horrible, terrible
  • observations -> things you see
  • offer assurances -> make commitments
  • oftentimes -> often
  • oppressed -> treated badly
  • perpetrators of mass violence -> terrorists, mass-murdering Islamofascists
  • premised -> based
  • prophylactic -> vaccine
  • provide context -> explain
  • provision -> something
  • purposeful -> on purpose
  • reflection (fig.) -> picture
  • reflective of -> reminds us of
  • show no inclination -> show no sign
  • skewed -> biased, distorted
  • substantial -> huge
  • tangential -> irrelevant, unimportant
  • temperament -> mood
  • unfortunate -> pathetic, pitiful
  • vernacular -> language
  • vigorously -> strongly
  • well-regarded -> liked a lot

Notice I replaced milder language (“unfortunate”, “substantial”) with stronger words (“disgusting”, “huge”) – Obama has this professorial way of tempering his language that makes it look like he’s studying our country’s problem for an article he’s writing for Foreign Affairs, instead of being incensed by them enough to want to do something about them. He needs to look and act like he’s pissed off every now and then, or people won’t get that gut feel like he’ll really fight for them for things that matter for them.

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    by Publius II

    There once was a man named Obama
    His life began with drama
    An African Muslim father
    And an eccentric white mama

    Obama’s white grandparents
    They gave him a charmed life
    Raised on the beaches of Hawaii
    Far from ghetto strife

    He went to private schools
    Fourteen thousand dollars a year
    Working-class white folks
    They were nowhere near

    He attended Columbia
    Then Harvard Law
    A very soft and liberal upbringing
    Something Americans eventually saw

    He then went to Chicago
    Nation of Islam, Farrakhan, Black Panthers and Jackson
    The only friends he made
    All from the extreme left-wing faction

    He joined a radical church
    His Pastor downright insane
    Blacks and whites, he said
    Think with different parts of their brain

    His church praised a man named Cone
    With hateful opinions he was filled
    He said white people were “the devil”
    And Gods who love whites must be killed

    Obama first ran for State Senate
    With permission from Chicago’s Marxist King
    A domestic terrorist named Ayers
    Obama kissed his ring

    When he was a mere State Legislator
    He gave a speech against the War
    As such, he wasn’t responsible for voting
    A typical political whore

    He wrote a book called “Dreams From My Father”
    From start to finish a racist rant
    After people finally read it
    They later said: “Obama, no we can’t”

    He wrote how he rejected his mother’s race
    And that Malcolm X was a hero
    People had a clear warning
    Obama was a dangerous zero

    He was then elected to the U.S. Senate
    Obama’s ego grew very bold
    He barely served a year
    I will run for President was the story he told

    He said he’d end the War
    But in Congress his party already had control
    He had about as much success
    As when he tried to bowl

    He spent millions to stage rallies
    The crowds would yell and cheer
    But then it all fizzled after he said
    Typical white folks cling to religion, guns and beer

    His wife said America was mean
    She was never really proud
    Her Black Separatist thesis at Princeton
    Became a campaign cloud

    People said he was a Muslim
    His supporters scoffed and jeered
    Then his Black Liberation Church was exposed
    And Obama’s ugly head was reared

    He tried to recover in a speech on race
    The radical left-wing media offered raves
    But he said white folks had an “untrained ear”
    And abolitionists in Pennsylvania turned over in their graves

    He claimed to be a uniter
    He would bring people together all at once
    But after his speech in Philadelphia
    He proved to be a demographic dunce

    He tried once more to persuade whites
    But his bowling was a mess
    He rolled a 37
    Like a 5-year-old girl in a dress

    He then played basketball
    He drove the ball to the rack
    But when all was said and done
    He looked like an old man having a heart attack

    He said damn those white voters
    Their Mutual Funds I will tax
    I’ll double the capital gains rate
    And deliver yet another smack

    He wouldn’t cover his heart
    As the National Anthem played
    It’s a meaningless gesture he said
    But Americans felt betrayed

    He wouldn’t wear a flag pin
    It was against his One World view
    It doesn’t matter he said
    And the American people stewed

    He first called terrorist Ayers his friend
    Then said this man he didn’t really know
    More deceit and cover-ups
    Obama’s lies began to grow

    Farrakhan, Jackson and Sharpton
    Three of Obama’s greatest fans
    He tried hiding them in the closet
    So not to further offend the white man

    Then came his anti-American Pastor
    Obama’s mentor for 20 years
    He preened, shucked and jived
    White people rose up and sneered

    He opposed cutting the gas tax
    He said it wasn’t a winner
    $40 is all it would save, he said
    A weekly budget for a working family’s dinner

    NBC and the New York Times
    They tried each day to save Obama’s campaign
    But real Americans said “FU”
    And Obama spiraled down the drain

    His name was Barrack Hussein Obama
    Running for a second Jimmy Carter term
    Weak on National Security
    A little, pacifist worm

    The radical left-wing Democrats
    A Presidential race lost once again
    Is it really a surprise
    They’ve lost 7 of the last 10?

    Comment by Publius II — May 5, 2008 @ 4:13 am

  2. Interesting poem. I think we’ll be bucking some trends with Obama, though.

    Comment by JM — May 5, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

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