Anything But Ordinary
by Ron Powell
The following is an e-mail that I had occasion to send to then candidate Barack Obama, when I received a communication from his campaign which asked "ordinary people" to participate in certain events and make contributions in support of the Obama candidacy:
Dear Mr. Obama,
I am anything but ordinary......Please find another way to refer to those of us who are not fortunate enough to be multimillion dollar celebs who are currently in the glare of the spotlights at the center of the American political stage. In many respects you are where you are because 'ordinary' people, like me, made commitments and sacrifices before you were born or came of age, in order that this moment in history might have the chance to unfold as it is.
You are the benefactor of the efforts of 'ordinary' people like myself, who, despite the personal costs, kept the faith and worked diligently to bring down the barriers that have, until now, kept us from having the opportunity to achieve precisely what you have achieved. I and the rest of us 'ordinary' people have a way to go yet before we can rest knowing that our legacy is you, your candidacy and your presidency.
Please instruct your writers, or surrogates to refrain from using language which can be construed as condescending or elitist. You and your candidacy are the product of extraordinary efforts on the part of extraordinary people.
I know you can do better than to refer to us in such an off-handed, cavalier fashion. I know you can do better, because I am convinced that you know better.
If there is anything I can do to assist you and your campaign, professionally, please feel free to call on me at any time, and do so in the knowledge that should you ask me to participate in the process, you will be acquiring the services of someone who is anything but 'ordinary'.