Penny For Your Thoughts

Judge Penny Gives "Real" Advice

It's not what you say, but how you say it.

I remember my mother saying to me that "it's not what you say, buy how you say it." This comes to mind as I have watched the current dialogue between those persons who find themselves criticizing President Barak Obama verses those who support him. The argument from his supporters seem to be that he is not above being criticized for his job performance, but the criticism should not take personal overtones. In other words, deal with the facts and not attack him personally. Everyone should agree that name calling should be totally eliminated from the discussion. The questions surrounding his birth seem to have diminished for the moment. This was unnecessary and a waste of time. Hidden within the question of his birth was a deep seated indictment on his personhood which should have outraged all of us. With the upcoming re-election, I am certain that new personal attacks will resume.

The initial problem as I see it is that we live in an era of "anything goes." People say any and everything. The more provocative the comments, the more the people get noticed. We need a new season of tolerance to emerge before this destructive dialogue turns back the clock on the progress that has been made over the years.

I heard someone say the night President Obama was elected the following comment, "With President Obama's presidency, we can finally heal from American's original sin of slavery and allow the womb to be closed. " I will never forget it. Knowing people as I do, it was hard for me to believe that one single event could change the deep pain that permeates this country because of race. It was a hopeful statement and it demonstrated to me the tremendous burden that was to be placed upon our President because of his race.

If the current dialogue continues on this course, those who are committed to seeing that the President is not re-elected will use the personal attacks as a means of suppressing voter turnout. This is a very real political fact. We must be very careful not to allow the current discussions to be covertly used by the President's political enemies. We must become political grown-ups as we continue to keep our eyes on the big picture. Ask yourself, are you comfortable with any other alternative.

As a voter and an American, we all have the right to question what the President or any elected official does. But, please deal with the facts. Stop the personal attacks.

Remember, it's how you say it.



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