Category: Opinion

I’m a Republican and I enjoyed “Becoming”

I’m a registered Republican and I enjoyed reading Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming.” There. I said it.

And I feel like it’s important to say, mostly because I was chatting with someone a few weeks ago and when I mentioned the title, they pursed their lips a bit and said they probably wouldn’t read it because they didn’t agree with her politics.

How sad to hear. Why would anyone deprive themselves of a good and possibly challenging read, just because they might not agree with the author’s politics?

Here’s what I liked most about “Becoming” — Michelle Obama’s voice. Like her or loathe her (or her husband), you have to give her props for knowing what she wants to say and being an expert communicator.

Not once while I was reading the book was I unsure about her perspective or her point. And who doesn’t love a good love story? The Obamas’ is delightful, full of character, quirks, compromise and strength.

To be fair, I can see how people with stronger political feelings than me could go either way on the book; Republicans might see some finger-wagging, and Democrats might sigh in solidarity over the tribulations. But I didn’t read “Becoming” to suss out secrets about the Obama Administration or to seek some sort of acknowledgement of how terrible the first family had it during both terms in office. I read it because I wanted to hear a first lady talk about her life — her hopes, her dreams, her fears and her family. And she did, in a very real, down-to-earth manner.

Politics aside, Mrs. Obama should be applauded for talking about difficult topics like miscarriage and couples counseling, if for no other reason than to help people in those situations right now realize they’re not alone. And I about busted my gut learning she and Queen Elizabeth kvetched about uncomfortable shoes together, which may be the ultimate #FirstWorldProblem.

As political parties, opinions and Twitter feeds pull us further and further apart, “Becoming” is an excellent opportunity to put a pin in politics, even if just for a moment, and enjoy a book that is thoughtful and well-written.

This article was first published in the Tallahassee Democrat.