George Graham

Now Trash Talkin’ Must Be the “In” Thing

I was stunned this morning to hear a television news commentator categorize Barack Obama as “wimpy.”

The young woman, with her expensive hairdo and designer clothes, looked civilized. Her voice was fairly well modulated. She did not look or sound like a toughie from the street.

Yet she was disappointed in Obama’s civility during the ABC debate last night.

She apparently thought he should have been more bellicose in responding to the moderators’ innuendo and Hillary Clinton’s accusations.

I thought he showed great restraint in very trying circumstances.

He did not sink to the level of Clinton’s trash-talkin’ vulgarity. I guess that’s why Clinton thinks he is elitist.

He did not flare up in the face of the “have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife” cross-examination by two hatchet men who sounded as if they were on the Republican Party’s payroll.

The so-called moderators disgraced themselves by employing such devices as guilt-by-association and deliberate misinterpretation to smear Obama.

Did he know a man who used to belong to a radical movement in the Sixties? He did.

Did he attend a church where the pastor made intemperate remarks that could be construed as unpatriotic? He did.

Does he not wear a flag pin in his lapel because he is a secret subversive? Really, isn’t that too absurd to warrant a reply?

I once met Jimmy Hoffa. Does that make me a member of the Teamsters Union?

I attended several Roman Catholic services. Does that make me a Catholic?

I play golf. Does that make me Tiger Woods?

In Obama’s place, I would have walked off the stage. But he showed better breeding than that. He was polite and gentlemanly, refusing to accept an invitation to embarrass Clinton when the moderators brought up her epic (and apocryphal) adventure in Bosnia.

For that he is seen as “wimpy.”

I suppose the TV commentator thinks that Hillary Clinton’s new booze-swiggin’, gun-totin’, trash-talkin’ persona makes her a “fighter.”

But I disagree. It just makes her seem vulgar.

And if that makes me an elitist, so be it.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for