Why am I not surprised with the snarky comments made around the anniversary of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign? It was entirely predictable that if Mrs. Obama celebrated any success in her campaign, the classless and clueless critics would go for their knives. That’s exactly what has happened.
On this third anniversary of “Let’s Move,” the First Lady went to obesity’s ground zero in Mississippi to celebrate a 13 percent decline in overweight and fat children. And before she could get back to the safety of the White House, Mrs. Obama was being shot at.
As I’ve said before, I view First Lady as the nation’s No. 1 volunteer. Just as I don’t think it is appropriate to criticize people who volunteer in the community, I don’t think it’s proper etiquette to pour criticism on the First Lady.
We have about 10,000 elected officials in the country that we can all beat up on, but the First Lady is not one of them. But normal manners and proper etiquette are in such short supply in this country that we have people with nothing better to do who contribute nothing on their own piling on Mrs. Obama with their snarky comments.
There’s a Washington Post columnist who says the First Lady needs to “raise her game” and was critical of her “hand-jive dancing with Jimmy Fallon.” Does “hand-jive dancing” sound just a bit racist to you or am I being overly sensitive about some of these comments?
And then there was a truly snarky sounding writer over at the Huffington Post who said: “I believe that history will remember Let’s Move as another ‘feel good’ first lady program that’s long on public relations and short on substance.” Really?
Actually, history records Mrs. Obama as playing a major role in getting Congress to adopt both school lunch and nutrition bills that put healthier eating choices in front of children. She also persuaded major restaurant, grocery and other food companies to voluntarily reduce calories and/or make healthier food choices available in more places.
What her critics truly do not like is the physical fitness part of her “Let’s Move” campaign. Mrs. Obama is out to get kids more active by setting an example and pressuring schools to bring back physical education classes. It’s a similar approach to the one used by President Kennedy a half century ago.
Mrs. Obama’s critics do not see lack of physical activity as a cause of obesity in children. They do not like educational and volunteer efforts. They actually want to put Michael Bloomberg in a dress and make him First Lady. They want to make it impossible to get a 2-liter soda delivered with pizza anywhere in America.
One of those un-named scribes in The Economist even joined in by mocking the First Lady’s program as “Let’s Move Slowly.” Their take is that the dipping obesity rates in some of the country’s fatter locales represent a “tactical problem” for Mrs. Obama because it makes speeding up progress more difficult without turning to dictatorial bans.
The reason these critics are willing to mock or ridicule the First Lady is because no one will slap them up side their head and send them to their rooms, which is really too bad because that’s exactly what they need. We have a First Lady who is doing a lot of good, drawing Americans together to solve a problem we can all agree upon. She is trying to do most of it not by government dictate but by voluntarily action. Her job is strictly voluntarily. She does not draw a paycheck.
So, let’s cut her some slack. Mrs. Obama deserves our respect and these fools need to learn some manners. It’s not too late to beat some manners into some them.
Photo Courtesy of the White House.© Food Safety News