I’ve been hearing this a lot lately – from the experts.
Barack Obama is “nuanced.”
It must be true because I hear it on CNN and read it in all the respectable sources.
Just Google the terms “Obama” and “nuanced” and see what comes up, if you think I’m exaggerating.
Having watched his performance (and I use that word advisedly) on the “Rick Warren Show” Saturday night and immediately heard it described as “nuanced,” I was forced to look the word up in the dictionary.
Could “nuanced” possibly mean “inarticulate,” I wondered?
Could “nuanced” be a euphemism for halting, stuttering speech to the point of being either affected or, in the case of a presidential candidate, alarming?
Could “nuanced” mean “clueless overachiever having reached the level of his own incompetence”?
Could “nuanced” mean unprincipled phony?
Could “nuanced” mean incapable of giving a direct answer to a question?
Could “nuanced” be a new definition for a man, generally, with no shortage of opinions, who, suddenly and inexplicably, considers it “above his pay grade” to venture a guess as to when life begins?
No, nuanced doesn’t mean any of those things, according to my dictionary. It means “treated or done so as to show or display small, delicate or subtle variations, gradations, etc., as in meaning.”
Yes, indeed, Obama does that – especially when someone points out his extreme positions by citing his own voting record. Suddenly, you must hear about all the small, delicate variations and gradations in, for instance, the meaning of a law he supported that required the withholding of life-sustaining support for babies born alive after abortions.
You’ve got to be “nuanced” to perform that feat – and, at least to the satisfaction of his legion of admirers in the media, he continues to perform above expectations.
“Nuanced” seems to be the new “gravitas.”
Every four years, the media wing of the Democratic Party searches out new words of wonder and bedazzlement with which to decorate its chosen one. This year that word is “nuanced.” I have to tell you, it’s not nearly as impressive as “gravitas.”
Bill Clinton was “nuanced.”
When we all agreed that the Slick One “parsed his words,” that was another, less polite way of saying he was “nuanced.”
Therefore, I have to ask myself: “Is this one of the chief characteristics for which we look in a potential president? Do I really want a ‘nuanced’ president? Or would I prefer a president who is clear and plain-spoken, who means what he says and says what he means and pulls no punches?”
No one ever accused Ronald Reagan of being “nuanced.” You didn’t need to read tea leaves to know where he stood on the issues of the day. No one doubted his faith. No one doubted his patriotism. No one doubted his commitment to the Constitution. No one doubted his fundamental and unwavering devotion to America.
No, there was nothing “nuanced” about him.
I don’t think I’m a fan of nuance – at least not in politicians.
It seems to me the kind of nuance Obama is admired for is the kind that fools some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.
In other words, he’s a showman, a performer, an actor playing a part.
So, if nuance is your thing, if that’s what you look for in a leader, you’ve found your man in Obama. He’s the king of nuance – all right.