By Seana Sperling
We have our first President of color in the White House and I have never seen such a backlash against a President before. It is a virulent hate campaign instigated by the Neo-Conservative Rightwing and unfortunately some on the Left are joining the ranks. This is Mobbing—a ganging up by the many against the one and I’m not joining the mob.
President Obama may not be perfect, but he is doing many good things. Protecting women’s reproductive rights—good idea. GLBT can serve openly in the Military—good idea. (Even though I’m heterosexual and a little bit thick, even I have noticed the unfairness that GLBT people have had to endure, well, forever.) A Universal Healthcare program—good idea. (Although I would prefer the Single Payer system, the new healthcare program is a start.) Troops are being pulled from Iraq–finally. Even the bail out of the big auto companies seems to have been wise as more people are re-employed at the plants now and the companies are paying back their debt. There are many more good things that President Obama has done, but the reactionaries are always in attack mode.
First we had the Birthers, “Show us your Birth Certificate Obama!” It made for great comedy, but seriously folks, actions like that demonstrate the hate and racism that is still feeding on our society. Then we had the controversy over “Death Panels,” when the Universal Healthcare Plan was announced. The Neo-Conservative Republicans gaslighted their constituency into thinking that it was going to be a scene straight out of Soylent Green and that all the seniors were in danger. “Quick. Hide Granny! The Death Panels are comin’!”
Some in the news media are critical of President Obama’s every breath and try to rally the ranks by blaming this administration for the economic crisis, unemployment and the two wars that began long before President Obama took office. They try to pass this propaganda off as news. Real news is based on facts and is supported by looking at both sides of the story. If a story is completely slanted, we should view this as editorial/opinion and not a news story. Synonyms for propaganda are misinformation, half-truths and party line. In this election year these synonyms are very appropriate.
There is also the alarming trend of the growing lack of decorum in the media towards the President and the Leftwing in general. Some commentators will actually scream at interview subjects that disagree with their Neo-conservative views. For example, Shepherd Smith verbally attacked Naomi Wolf in the 2008 interview on FOX News. The commentators that are engaging in these tantrums and the spread of propaganda indicate the decline of real Journalism. Even more disturbing is the fact that some in society consider these commentators role models, which justifies the spread of more incivility to every household, school, workplace, church, temple, etc. creating the impression that it is acceptable to disparage, spread rumors and out right lie about this administration and the Leftwing.
I am not saying we shouldn’t be critical when our Leaders are involved in things that do not promote the ideals of the country. (The real ideals as outlined in The Constitution and The Bill of Rights, not the mythological rules imposed on us by any religion.) I am certainly no fan of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), which I view as worse than the Patriot Act and will only cause more Civil Rights abuses, but I am saying that President Obama is under attack more than any other President and we need to examine the reason behind this. Hmmm. What could it be?