Once upon a time, there were three men. They all lived in slightly different eras and all three achieved notable success in their chosen fields of specialization.
One of the men was/is white, the other Latino and the third one is African-American (black) with mixed parentage.
Of the three men, Elton Joh had the earliest secret which bothered him so much that he decided to do something about banishing it; on February 14 1984, he married a woman called Renate Blauel. To everyone’s consternation, the marriage lasted four years, following which Elton John revealed the “secret” that had been gnawing at him for years: he was happy to be a gay man. Those who could bother rolled their eyes and went back to living their lives. They had, after all, known that Elton John was gay well before he wed that … woman … and their only surprise was that the marriage had lasted as long as it did.
Almost 20 years later, a phenom by the name of Ricky Martin graced stages with waist and butt wiggles that had nubile girls swooning in the aisles when they were not wading in their juices on account of his … well … phenomenal pelvic thrusts. The stadium cleaners shrugged their shoulders after Martin’s shows and gamely mopped up the fans’ hormonal fluids. Martin made a lot of money being a sex symbol even though he had just two songs in his repertoire.
Ricky Martin, like Elton John had a secret. It ate away at him, zapped his creative artistry until one day in March 2010 he decided to give up the ghost. He confirmed that he was, had always been gay. A few eyebrows were raised and then everyone went back to their business. This wasn’t really such fresh news after all, was it, even his erstwhile dyed in the wool fans reasoned.
The third man is Barack Obama. Beating the odds for a black man, and a first term senator, Barack Obama run for the highest political office in the United States and won handily. But Barack Obama had a secret. He was a liberal senator from Illinois, a black one at that, and he cared, truly cared for those less fortunate than himself. Not only that, Obama had another secret; he was a thoughtful man who understood fairness and commonsense even when the political odds were seemingly stacked against both.
So, Barack Obama pushed for the Affordable Care Act and … got it. He then refused to enforce the ridiculous Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy of the United States military even as his opponents demanded shrilly that he protects American forces from the homosexuals already serving honorably. DADT was finally repealed on Obama’s watch and Obama didn’t lose any sleep over the reversal of what had been, for all intents and purpose, a blight on America’s collective conscience.
But Obama still had another secret; his mind was “evolving” over gay marriage. Finally, in a blaze of publicity, Barack Obama told the world, that, with wise counsel from his daughters, he had come round to the view that homosexuals deserved to marry if they so wished. The headline writers went into a frenzy.
A few days later, the same writers are asking themselves openly: hang on, was this really newsworthy? Were we really surprised by the “announcement?’
Any sensible journalist, commentator now realizes that they were foolish for working themselves into a lather over the Obama pro-gay marriage announcement. They had known all along what his thoughts on it were.
Like Elton John and Ricky Martin before him, Barack Obama announced very stale news May 12, 2012. Like the two men before him, Obama will reap big from managing to excite the world about something they already knew.
Talk about selling snow to the Eskimos.