by Rodimus Dunn
I recently heard Rush Limbaugh’s criticism of Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign “Let’s Move.” Essentially Limbaugh called the first lady a hypocrite because she was seen eating ribs with the president at a restaurant. A summary of his statements were that Mrs. Obama wouldn’t be seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue, and that baseball player Alex Rodriguez would never date her, so she shouldn’t tell us what to eat. On a recent episode of Sarah Palin’s reality show, she joked that Michelle says that we’re not supposed to eat dessert anymore. This is my problem with America’s current state of “politics.” Instead of actually debating the issue at hand, the ensuing banter is nothing more than mudslinging and personal attacks. Limbaugh and Palin are missing the whole point of her campaign. The point is to put an end to childhood obesity, which countless studies show leads to adult obesity and a higher probability of developing diabetes and heart disease. Michelle is clearly not overweight or obese, so the criticism is so bizarre. Yes spare ribs are very unhealthy, but when you work out regularly trainers encourage you to have cheat days. It’s a very important way to manage cravings. The first lady will never look like the models that grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, but she’s a 47 year old lawyer. How many 47 year old lawyers with children have a body like Brooklyn Decker? Moderates generally don’t have television or radio shows that garner much attention, so what fills the airwaves are highly conservative or highly liberal propaganda. If a Republican advocates for anything, it is immediately denigrated by Democrats (and vice versa). “Obamacare” certainly has its flaws, but instead of trying to figure out how to get those countless millions of American’s without health-care insured, Republicans are wondering whether Obama was really born in Hawaii or is a Muslim. Democrats immediately disparaged Bush about fighting his father’s war against Saddam Hussein instead of actually listening to his ideas about how long to keep the troops in Iraq. Instead of a highly sophisticated debate amongst highly educated adults, it more closely mirrors a heated campaign for senior high class president.
A 2010 Gallup poll published through WebMD showed that over 62% of American’s are considered overweight or obese, which is an increase from a similar poll conducted in 2009. Current testing has also shown that 33% of all American children are overweight or obese. Moreover, recent testing conducted by the military discovered that 27% of all Americans 17-24 years old are too obese to serve in the armed forces. American’s girth problem needs to be attenuated, and the best method to do that is what Limbaugh and Palin should be focusing on, not what the first lady ate for lunch one day. Even if Obama had the body of Adriana Lima, it wouldn’t change our obesity numbers. I want people who are clearly as intelligent and galvanizing as Rush and Palin are to center their attention on problems to solutions, not personal barbs.
Here are recent comments from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee:
I still think that her approach is the right one. I do not think she’s out there advocating that the government take over our dinner plates. In fact she’s not. She’s been criticized unfairly by a lot of my fellow conservatives. I think it’s out of a reflex rather than out of a thoughtful expression. And that’s one of the things that bugged me most about the political environment today – we don’t have to believe everything the other side proposes is immediately and all together bad. And the reason I have been very vocal, even doing an event with her and publicly speaking out for her initiative, is because it’s exactly what Republicans say they believe: that you put a focus on individual responsibility, you encourage people to make good choices, and you reward them for doing so. I thought that’s what we were about. She does not, in the Let’s Move campaign, dictate what families do with their own children. She doesn’t say, “you can’t have a cookie. You can’t have a birthday cake.’ That’s not anywhere in her program. The one thing I think she’s been criticized for maybe by some is that she’s asking for or insisting upon or pushing for that school lunches and school breakfasts offer healthier choices. Well, the federal government’s already spending that money. You know we can argue whether or not you ought to have a school breakfast – it’s a point I make in the book. I talk about the whole school breakfast program, but the conclusion is, if you don’t feed these kids, it’s the only food they’re going to get. But if you’re going to feed them, we’ve already made that decision, and if USDA is going to subsidize the food that goes into their plates, then shouldn’t it be healthier food? And here’s a couple things that are pretty startling – 75% of the kids who are recruit-age for the military cannot pass the physical because they’re obese by Army standards. If you really want to talk about obesity, let’s talk about it as a national security issue. It’s an economic issue, but it is a national security issue because at the trend we’re going, we better hope we don’t have a war with anybody because we’re not going to have anybody who can pass the physical to wear the uniform. That’s pretty scary. So, rather than us condemn Michelle Obama, I think we ought to be thanking her and praising her for what she’s done.
Clearly this guy gets it. He’s a strong Republican who understands that not everything a Democrat says is completely erroneous. He may not be the leading candidate right now to win the Republican ticket, but if he wins the GOP nomination for the 2012 election the state of American politics will be much better than it is right now.