Jewish World Review July 30, 2004 / 12 Menachem-Av 5764
IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, SHOVE IT!
So Teresa Heinz Kerry told a reporter to "shove it." What's the big deal?
Maybe the guy had it coming to him. Maybe he didn't. But me? I welcome any time the patented, pre-scripted, staged world of politics goes off the reservation. And the wonderful thing about Teresa is you're guaranteed to go off the reservation. Again, all fine with me.
It's why I absolutely loved it when Vice President Dick Cheney told a certain U.S. senator to do something anatomically impossible for him to do. When I interviewed him on this very touchy matter a few weeks back, Cheney didn't deny it, but he did add he felt better after saying it.
I say, hats off to both Dick and Teresa.
They got us out of the world of political stagery and into something even better reality.
I mean, how many of us haven't used a choice word or two, maybe three? The language is real, and it's earthy. It's also us. Sure, it gets a little edgy, but a lot of us are edgy. Why mask it? Or fake it? Or pretend it doesn't exist?
I'm not here to advocate this kind of behavior all the time, but some of the time it's OK; some of the time, it's even warranted. I think we live in an age where we try to politely gloss over our differences or make nice even when we're feeling steamed. Psychologists call this behavior dangerous because it breeds contained anger, or worse. The popular expression for releasing such contained anger is venting, but this is about more than venting. It's about letting people know where to get off.
It's about being real, not being fake.
It's about letting people know you're ticked off. And letting those who've ticked you off know they have ticked you off.
You know, they say the greatest problem for those who are fired from their jobs is that they never saw it coming. They never had a clue. I suspect that's because their bosses or their immediate supervisors never adequately gave them a clue, or even a dressing down. Now don't get me wrong. Some people wouldn't know how to take a clue if it hit them like a two-by-four in the chin, but more often than not, I'd bet you they weren't even given a chance. We could all benefit from a boss who lets us know what we're screwing up, so we'd know, in no uncertain terms, where he stands and where we stand.
The problem in society today is that too many of us lock up our emotions. To a degree, and only a degree, this sort of behavior is admirable. We don't want to fly off the handle at every slight indiscretion that comes our way, but we need to give people a sense of our mind, our tolerance and, yes, our heart.
This doesn't mean I flip over Teresa or think Dick is right to curse out someone. But they're both to be admired for breaking the mold or at least the perception of the mold. It's why I loved it when the president's father, the first President Bush, railed about how he hated broccoli. For my money, it was the first time I saw the guy ticked off. Sure, it was about a vegetable, but it let me inside his head, and it showed me some passion. Again, I like passion, and not just because I'm of Italian descent.
It's because I like people who let other people have it, and let the world know why they're letting those other people have it. The polite among us demand that the rude among us apologize for being rude. The rude should rightly say "shove it," then throw in an expletive to finish the point . . . not because it's the nice thing to do, or even the right thing to do . . . but, in this day and age of scripted, predictable behavior, because it's the one thing you don't count on anyone in a position of authority doing in the first place. Being themselves. Being nasty. Being human. Being . . . real.
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Neil Cavuto is managing editor of Business News at FOX News
Channel. He is also the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and "Cavuto on
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© 2003, Neil Cavuto