I love you, but just cool it, all right?
Our freedom of speech all too often transforms into a freedom to take offense.
The latest political blunder has been circulating on practically every inch of the Internet, local news networks and Pinterest humor boards.
During last Tuesday’s second presidential debate, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney engaged in a battle of rhetoric, taking on issues many undecided voters are losing sleep over.
The hot topic of equality for women in the workplace reared its ugly head, and what most left-wing analysts are now dissecting is Romney’s remark about “binders full of women.”
Let’s get real here.
When asked what he would do about women receiving 72 cents on the dollar when compared with their male counterparts, Romney replied with a story about building his cabinet.
After noticing that the majority of his staff were men, Romney sought for equally qualified women to be given jobs as well.
“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s gros and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women,” Romney said.
Maybe my language skills are slightly sub par, but I’m going to venture a guess that this was meant to be neither literal nor offensive.
Yet ever since that fateful debate, many women, wounded feelings and all, have been declaring their offense at what the media has transformed into a flippant comment.
As far back as I can remember, human beings — even politicians — have been known for an occasional blunder or two.
We all remember the seemingly harmless statement from 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin when she described the close proximity of Alaska’s foreign neighbors. I know what you’re picturing right now: Tina Fey in a red pant-suit, sporting some Palin-esque specs, saying, “I can see Russia from my house.”
Or maybe you recall President Obama speaking to a crowd in Virginia this summer about how successful businesses rely on a combination of their own drive and public infrastructure. If the words “You didn’t build that,” are coming to mind, you’re thinking what I’m thinking.
In all three of these instances, the messages the words conveyed were not what was intended.
Americans, especially women, need to calm down and take what politicians say within the proper context. Admittedly, in all instances, it was not the most eloquent of ways for our potential future leaders to convey their key issues to this great nation. We have two weeks until the elections. Get it together, guys.
But in the meantime, Americans can learn a thing or two from Elder Bednar’s general conference address about taking offense, and not be offended.
America, keep your ‘binders’ in check