Thursday, July 10, 2008
About O'Bama's Euro Fixation
I always enjoy the moment when Americans leave the U.S. for the first time and head to Europe. They love the outdoor cafes, the trams, and they feel a little self conscious about the language thing. It never fails; they always come back with this dewy eyed "Europe is just the best!" sort of attitude.
Of course the spell wears off after a couple of trips when they realize that European society isn't quite as great as initial experiences led them to believe. Class mobility is extremely limited, governmental intrusions into every day life are much greater, and all those multi-lingual Europeans? Well, to a large degree it is the educated class only. If daddy was a security guard, or if you didn't do so well on those boards when you were 12, there is a good chance you didn't get the education that others received.
To me, O'Bama reveals an innocence and lack of cultural sophistication that is frankly, surprising given his supposed international background. So while I can agree that it would be nice for American kids to learn a second language, and indeed both my children are, it is hardly necessary. I've traveled the world on business my entire career. Negotiated deals, had people on multiple continents report to me while I was working for a European bank. Don't speak nuttin' but good ole American.
Presidential timber? The kid just doesn't have it. Perhaps McCain could make him Secretary of Education.