Opinions On Obama
Are A Microcosm Of America
Obama Image by Intel Photos and used under a Creative Commons license.
The President’s Recent Trip To Arizona Allowed Us In The Grand Canyon State To Take A First-Hand Look At The Underlying Causes Of Many Political Factions — Especially the Regressive Right
By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine
Aug. 20, 2013 — President Barack Obama’s visit to Arizona earlier this month highlighted a disturbing theme of his presidency, a failure on the part of the general public to parse fact from fiction.
While the president’s visit and keynote speech were very much run of the mill — he visited a company that builds house panels and gave a speech on the economy and housing recovery at Desert Vista High School — the protesters that gathered outside the school were also disturbingly familiar.
The group of Obama detractors ranged from the woefully uninformed to the downright racist.
The President even joked about protesters, some of whom called him a socialist. He made light of those comments when discussing a bipartisan plan he supports in the Senate aimed at ending government support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a decidedly un-socialist move.
Despite the fact that the President has proven himself to be more neo-con than communist since 2004, uninformed protesters insist on labeling the president a freedom-hating leftist. If these people would look at the president’s track record on immigration, unilateral military action, or the economy, they would easily see that he is more Bush than Stalin.
An even more disturbing trend is the frequency with which the conservative fringe resorts to racism and petty bigotry in order to cover for its lack of actual political grievance.
According to the Huffington Post, protesters outside of Desert Vista held signs calling Obama a, “half-white Muslim” and chanted, “Bye, Bye, Black Sheep.”
Once again, there is absolutely zero evidence — flimy or otherwise — that the president is a Muslim. However, his unique name and African ancestry seem to have given the fringe a blank check to make those accusations in an attempt to associate the president with the terrorists that attacked New York City on 9/11 and the enemy militants in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Additionally, the negative nature of the sign also highlights the pervasive racism that controls the movement.
Speaking of racism, how about that lovely chant? When in doubt, bastardize a children’s song in order to perpetuate antiquated ideals on race relations that have no place in contemporary society.
And instead of deriding this behavior, the mainstream republican media and leadership chooses to either remain mum on these gross accusations or actively support them.
All in all, the conservative fringe, and increasingly members of the more mainstream republican party, are choosing to resort to petty lies and blatant racism in order to deride a President who, in all reality, is very aligned with the right.
On the other side of the coin, the only really refreshing moment of the president’s trip came from another group of protesters, those seeking to force the president to address his questionable position on immigration.
The immigrant rights activists in attendance had signs calling Obama “Deporter in Chief,” according to Arizona Public Media. Unlike their fringe right counterparts, these protesters were actually drawing on the truth, as the Obama administration has overseen more deportations than any presidency in American history.
Despite being elected and re-elected largely due to the support of minority voters because of his perceived position on immigration, Obama has proven to be rather conservative when it comes to immigrants. Outside of the DREAMER program, which allows some illegal immigrants brought to this country as children to stay for two years without deportation, the administration has done little to clear up the murky state of immigration in this country, choosing to pass all blame to a do nothing Congress (which does actually deserve a good deal of it).
While the President briefly addressed immigration and gave a generic response urging Congress to pass reform, it is unlikely anything will occur soon. However, it is refreshing that some people affected by this inaction are waking up to that reality and trying to do something about it.
President Obama’s visit to Arizona functioned as a microcosm of politics as a whole in this country by bringing many of the main players to the forefront: The broken and badly misguided Republican party that is grasping at straws to maintain relevancy; A center-left (but sometimes center-right) political elite that chooses to take advantage of its opponent’s impotence to maintain power without enacting real chance; and a public either too stupid or too powerless to do anything but vote for one of the two.
Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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