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White house correspondents dinner - A critical analysis

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Message Al Rodbell
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Other elements, such as Obama's ridicule of "The Donald" went unquestioned, as if it were the same as his previous taunts at earlier dinners of this man challenging his natural born citizenship. His cartoon image of him flashing on the big screen ignored that he is now the presumptive candidate for one of our two parties that define our national democracy. While the elite crowd in attendance of both parties generally revile him, to ignore that an overwhelming majority of primary voters, and potentially a majority of citizens may want him to be president, at the very least, makes his being fodder for juvenile jokes less than appropriate. Obama is still the President, and as such must defend the process, which includes anyone running to gain the presidency by the will of the people.

Before recording of the White House were ended after Watergate, we can sometimes listen to a President with his pals talking freely, joking about them cheap Jews and dumb colored people and bombing the sh*t out of the bad guys -- all over a glass or two of whisky. It was a release from every word that they said being evaluated by interests all over the world, with one wrong phrase costing political capital, and maybe a career.

At a certain level of prominence, there are things that are only to be said in private, since anything that is said by a President becomes public news all over the word in minutes. When the talent to entertain prevails over actual governance, and the somberness of the office, we trivialize such decisions. Yet they affect real people, men women and children whose existence will be shaped by this person who is now being an entertainer, who is in the limelight, ironically, because of this authority and the trust that the electorate bestows upon him, whether deserved or not.

We revere Abraham Lincoln because we believe he agonized over the decisions that he made. When the decision was thrust upon him of war or dissolution of the States, he chose a brutal war based on a vision of a better future, bringing widespread suffering that is beyond our imagination. How different would his place in history be if he had a dinner, a celebrity roast, to attend rather than a play at Fords Theater. Would he have laughed at the owners of the Plantations running for their lives, or the liberated slaves who never were going to get their promised forty acres and a mule. Would that have gotten laughs and garnered praise for his being edgy? As the writers of our Constitution knew, A President in many ways, as both head of government and head of state, has some elements of a monarch for his term of office. When even for a single night once a year, the respect for the office is subordinated to garnering laughs, something vital is jeopardized.

It's just not worth it.

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Addendum: Here's Larry Willmore's talking about this last line on his T.V. Program. He sort of conveyed the sentiment that I concluded above, but since he did not bleep the N word, as every other video had, he pointed out that the word he used was not n-word, which is an insult, but nigga, which is a different "conjugation." and a sign of affection. If interesting in this subject in more depth, read this essay,

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Retired Commercial Printing Executive, developer of I.T. systems for the industry. Advanced degrees in Social Psychology, now living in Southern California
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