Thursday, July 30, 2009

... a giant keg for mankind?

Not long ago, I blogged about Obama's commitment to world peace. A lofty goal, but not one that most of us can impact directly. But before long, Obama himself became embroiled in a little war of words about a certain white police officer arresting a certain black professor in his kitchen - a conflict decidedly more down-to-Earth.

Obama's solution? "Let me buy you a beer." And in less than a week, they were all together, Obama, Crowley, Gates, and even Joe Biden, hanging out on the white house lawn with brewskies.

Some may dismiss this as a publicity stunt, but I think Obama is making a point about how to resolve our differences. It's human nature to be sucked into interpersonal drama, especially when someone offends our brain's delicate sense of 'identity'. But go out for beers, and something else kicks in: suddenly, you're buddies. Something deep within our psyches identifies friends emotionally, through shared social interactions, and such interactions are a shortcut to peace.

In other words, a beer's a hell of a lot cheaper than a lawsuit - and a lot more fun.

3 comments:

therapydoc said...

I think he could have used it as an opportunity to push non-alcoholic beer. I think VP Biden did, actually. And there's no way he drinks Bud. Please. But you have to love the "teaching moment".

YZF said...

I saw it more as "I just called you stupid in front of the entire nation? And now every cop in America is pissed at me? Sorry about that, lemme buy you a beer."

Samurai Scientist said...

@therapydoc,
I think he could have used it as an opportunity to push non-alcoholic beer... And there's no way he drinks Bud.

This is one of the rare cases where I think an alcoholic drink is actually pretty appropriate... helps people loosen up, feel good. The Bud I think was a political move... if he'd drunk some foreign beer we'd never hear the end of it from the Limbaugh-types.

.. But you have to love the "teaching moment".

Absolutely, that's the main thing here.

@YZF,
I saw it more as "I just called you stupid in front of the entire nation? And now every cop in America is pissed at me? Sorry about that, lemme buy you a beer."

There was certainly some regret on Obama's part, but he already covered that in a press conference days earlier, saying he'd chosen his words poorly. This was him taking the next step and being the peacemaker.

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