THE ONLY STUPID QUESTION IS THE ONE YOU DON'T ASK:
When I was little I remember thinking my Dad was the smartest man in the world. Now I know the truth of course, he's just a really smart 81 year-old guy (who likes to think he's the smartest man in the world). He asks a lot of questions. I know my dad would agree with me that Barack Obama is ONE SUPER SMART DUDE. For that reason, my Dad, like me, is a Barack-Star.
My Dad used to say, "The only stupid question is the one you don't ask." This gave me confidence as a kid to be curious, to ask questions, to ask what do things mean, even when I was self-conscious that someone might think I was stupid for not knowing. I can't remember anyone ever thinking I was stupid. Nosey, maybe, but not stupid. In fact, I had a reputation for being smart.
People who ask questions, who are curious, who want to know more, about everything and anything are interesting. They are interested, interesting people. These are the kind of people you want to hang out with, to text and twitter, to share a latte with, to be friends with -- the kind of friend I know has my back. That's a Barack-Star.
Now, the McCain/Palin campaign would have you think that Barack is elitist or intellectual or not a regular guy. But really he's just inquisitive and introspective. (Unlike McCain/Palin, or our current president which to me is just plain sad).
I only wish that most "regular" people — like you and me — were as smart as Barack and the people he surrounds himself with — can you imagine what kind of world we'd have? I know the teens I write for are smart, questioning, curious teens. I know this because they write to me and ask me questions. I always write them back because I think that if they took the time to actually write me, they deserve the time I can take to write them back. They should be rewarded for asking questions and reaching out. They deserve to have their questions taken seriously, the way they thought about the question themselves.
I feel this way about Barack Obama. No, he doesn't know me, Jenny Pollack, personally, but I see him taking the time to think about and be curious about all kinds of Americans, (including me) and to ask questions about us. I can see it in his amazing wife Michelle Obama too — I mean, can you imagine having a first lady like Michelle? She is not only smart and curious but she is down-to-earth, and can effortlessly boogie with Ellen DeGeneres as she makes jokes about her husband and her daughters' sleepovers. She is so comfortable in her skin, so confident, so funny and smart, I wish Michelle was my friend. I pray she will be our first lady.
Okay, but back to my dad. The best lessons I got from him were to ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS. WONDER ABOUT EVERYTHING. BE CURIOUS. You just know Barack and Michelle are doing this. Daily. Moment-to-moment. That's what Barack-Stars do. I don't get the same sense from McCain (or please — Palin? A 44-year old woman who only got her passport a year ago? I mean, I know not everyone has the means to travel and explore the world — but wasn't she interested in the world outside of Alaska before now when it suits her politically?)
I was lucky enough to go to Europe when I was 21 and that experience made me smarter, more inquisitive and just better. I can't imagine having a vice president or —gulp—a president, as she could very well be — who hasn't tried to expand her horizons through travel. Sarah Palin is no Barack-Star. And that, to me, is not smart.
I want a smart president who will save our environment and economy, protect a woman's reproductive rights, make friends again with all the countries who hate us and never stop asking questions. For this kind of Barack-Star there is only one choice — Barack Obama himself.