By choosing Fort Bragg for her first official trip outside the capital last Thursday, Michelle Obama signaled that she will use her position as First Lady to promote one of America's most deserving causes: our military families. Plainly the families loved it. Just look at the smiles on those children as she read them "The Cat in the Hat."Right. Because there are no GIs in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, they might as well not exist, eh? Yet Mrs. Obama was merely expressing the horrible tendency of elitists to assume that their own experience and their own perspective is universal and normative, whereas the Bible-and-gun-clingers in Appalachia . . .
So it was just a little disconcerting the next morning to hear the First Lady explain how she came to this issue during last year's campaign. "I think I was like most Americans," she told ABC News. "Pretty oblivious to the life of military families. Sort of taking it for granted."
Perhaps Mrs. Obama did take these families for granted. Surely, however, it's extraordinary to suggest that "most Americans" did the same.
Well, because the lives of those Other People don't measure up to Hyde Park standards, the elitist needs an explanation for why they don't measure up, an explanation that generally takes the form of a condescending (and politically convenient) assumption:
"Oh, they lack adequate health care and they need better schools and, if only it weren't for the greed and selfishness of those right-wing Republicans, we could turn these shiftless inbred peckerwoods into good and decent people like us!"This is the whole rationale of Mrs. Obama treating military families as if they were helpless victims, charity cases whose primary needs are (a) more federal money, and (b) lots and lots of pity.
What Mrs. Obama wants is for the wives and children of our troops to embrace victimhood status as their political identity, to think of themselves as unable to cope with adversity and therefore in need of humanitarian intervention by those kind, generous Democrats in Washington.