A couple of days ago, an exhausted and emotional President Obama visited privately with some of his campaign workers and reportedly got pretty choked up. At one point, the president’s tears began to flow.
For some reason, the White House decided to release this rare footage, despite the fact that it was recorded at an event the media was not allowed to attend.
The reaction? Pundits across the globe praised the president’s candor, his show of genuine appreciation. In fact, President Obama’s crying video has gone viral, attracting more than 1.7 million hits on the campaign’s You Tube channel.
Now let’s compare this to the public reaction from just two years ago, when Republican House Speaker John Boehner cried while being interviewed on 60 Minutes about his new role as Speaker of the House…..well, you remember, right?
Here’s what Bill Maher had to say:
“Did you see the new speaker of the House John Boeher cry? He cries a lot. Mr. Boehner you’ve got to stop crying. For one, your tan is going to run. And what’s he going to do if he loses next time? Put on a Bjork record and cut himself?”
Over the last few days, media pundits and amateur pundits on Facebook have been telling us that it is time for cooperation. It is time for the GOP to brush off its brutal losses and begin working with the Democrats. To steal a phrase, It’s time to put people before politics.
For my part, I am trying. I really am. Check the letter I wrote to President Obama on the day after the election.
But it’s damn hard to accept the media’s blatant hypocrisy. Furthermore, why is it so bad for a man… a strong man, or any man for that matter– to cry? Is it a sign of weakness?
Both Obama and Boehner were captured in honest moments of raw emotional expression. The ability to appropriately express your emotion…whether it’s grief, joy or some hidden pain is generally a sign of good mental health. Do we really want our nation’s leaders bottling up their emotions?
Now, here’s a test. Watch this video and see if it makes you cry….even just a little. I dare ya.
My friends and family know that I cannot watch this scene without crying like a baby. If I were a Democrat, I suppose that would be an endearing quality. But if I am a Republican, I best prepare for some intense criticism.
It will be a lot easier for our nation to heal, if we can just move beyond some of the hypocrisy.