Hating Obama the Ugly Fringe Way

Posted on April 7, 2011

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You may like, dislike, hate or loath President Obama – the question is what do you do about it?    In the past America had the ability to be loud and a bit aggressive about choosing its Presidents but once that person was chosen they became galvanized, united and supported their Commander and Chief.   What has changed?

 For me it comes down to the same conclusion over and over again, the new media’s openness – particularly the Internet.  The loud abrasive section of the community that usually is voted out and ignored completely now has accessibility over the World Wide Web and is happy to saturate it.   Simply put the average person would not go out of their way to make or support websites, blogs and post comments but the “vocal minority” are and have always been willing to but instead of it being letters to the editors and standing in front of Town Hall waving signs can now unite and support each others’ productions and without any censoring other than by themselves – meaning a moderate disapproval is either drowned out by the mob or it simply gets deleted regardless of the “free-speech” quotes.   Professional journalists do not mob and instantly brand you a “lefty”, “commie”, “troll” or the popular catch-phrase “appeaser” but the uncontrolled mob-run blogosphere is another matter. 

The election of President Obama is unique in that it not only brought the first ethnically different leader to the country but it is the first to suffer the attention of the Ugly Fringe community.  The ability to viscously attack, spread rumors and lie about President Obama was and is to this day used incessantly and with some affect.   Though proven beyond doubt and even wondering if the question should have been raised in the first place, the mob has created doubt in approximately 19 per cent of Americans’ minds that Obama is a Muslim and to a lesser degree that he was born in Kenya.   The reason for this smear campaign is obvious enough, to try and not get him re-elected.   For those of you who have doubt, President Obama was born in Hawaii, is a natural born citizen  and is and has always been a practicing church-going Christian.  The “Birther” Movement – the group that still either claims he is not a citizen or must produce proof (though the Hawaiian State authorities has and FactCheck.Org confirms that they did) is relentless even when inundated by facts.   It comes down to being able to continue to say the contrary, through mountains of conjecture and ambiguous data and sheer rumors and most of all emotive nationalistic lines about protecting the nation and the right to know (even though the knowledge is there).  We could argue safely that many simply “want it to be” and the need to feed the general public scandals is a proven success as tabloid journalism has proven time and time again.   My personal question would be what percentage of “Birthers” are democrats?  I suspect very few.

The self-proclaimed leader of the Birther community is a lady called Orly Taitz who is a dentist-lawyer-activist and it is full of “defending our freedom” type of nationalistic jargon which psychology students would love to discuss endlessly.   She had declared FactCheck.Org to be a politically motivated website because it has proven her data as not only flawed but questionably motivated and even hypocritical.  Taitz started a rumor that a Judge (David O. Carter) was viewing the subject of President Obama’s legitimacy.  In fact a legal challenge was raised and instantly dismissed by Judge Carter and who raised the matter – Taitz.  The resulting response from Judge Carter sums up the motives and legal quality of Taitz when he said: 

“Judge David O. Carter, Oct. 29, 2009: Plaintiffs have encouraged the Court to ignore … mandates of the Constitution; to disregard the limits on its power put in place by the Constitution; and to effectively overthrow a sitting president who was popularly elected by “We the People”–over sixty-nine million of the people. Plaintiffs have attacked the judiciary, including every prior court that has dismissed their claim, as unpatriotic and even treasonous for refusing to grant their requests and for adhering to the terms of the Constitution which set forth its jurisdiction. Respecting the constitutional role and jurisdiction of this Court is not unpatriotic. Quite the contrary, this Court considers commitment to that constitutional role to be the ultimate reflection of patriotism.

Therefore, for the reasons stated above, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. “

(source : Case 8:09-cv-00082-DOC-AN Document 89 Filed 10/29/2009)

Noted scholar and psychologist Pascal Boyer  puts a very interesting view on the reason why Ugly Fringe dwellers like Taitz get a hearing.   In referring to the view of the general public he says…

“Why this deranged notion? Well, in the spirit of a pop psychology of the masses, let me offer the diagnosis that a large segment of the US population may be experiencing something somewhat similar to the Capgras delusion. That is, when they switch on their TVs and watch the news, they see someone who has all the trappings of a President, acts like a President, lives where the President lives, is treated by everybody as the President, signs bills like the President, gives a State of the Union address to Congress every year like the President… But these people at the same time have a clear and vivid intuition that:

This man is not the President

Now, once you have the intuition, in the same way as in Capgras, all sorts of strange beliefs may seem almost plausible, if they provide a good explanation for why this particular person, with all the right details, still does not quite ring true. In the “two-step model”, Capgras patients come up with alien abductions and suchlike to account for the Unheimlichkeit of their situation. More reasonably (these things are relative), the birthers come up with a conspiracy that this particular American is a Kenyan, that he forged his birth-certificate, that he made up an entire family history, that the entire world media agreed to cover all this up. “

I highly recommend a full reading of the article by Pascal Boyer in the quality Cognition and Culture website.

A part from the attacks on Obama, the increased accessibility and influence of the Internet and the radical blogosphere has given ground to political power of the radical politian themselves.  Though I intend to look into some cases more closely, it has a baring on this item about the unwarrented attacks on Obama and the loss of partisanship that was such a corner-stone of American efficiency.   To appease the radicals and their growing influence, politicians themselves simply sell themselves to that element because they may chose to not vote for them in the next election because they were not radical enough.   Republican Representative Michele Bachmann may even be getting her data from the blogosphere because of her regular wild claims in America’s most hallowed ground.  Even stalwarts like Newt Gringrich appears to be getting the facts wrong more often.

I read with dissapointment an item in The Hill by Armstrong Williams  who is an African-American Conservative pundit and columnist.  In his item about Obama and the “Black Vote” for 2012 Williams argues that he had relied on and basically lost much of the Black Vote.   Though I let the reader merit the item I raise the question who has actually discussed race in regards to Obama and his election in the first place?   Obama certainly cannot deny that the African-American community was proud at the possibility and elevation of an African-American President but I thought it was clear enough that the symbolism was understood by everyone and that nobody of any race was giving Obama a free run because of his colour and that the only discussion about race these days apart from actual Racists are now only by African-American Republicans such as Williams himself.  What is the motivation Mr Williams?  I will try and send him an email and ask his comment – not sure if there will be a reply though.

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