Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A year since Obama's election, the lies from the right continue

A year has passed since the election of President Barack Obama. In that time, many things have happened, each a noteworthy piece of the president's short history in office thus far.

But I'd like to take a moment here to discuss what hasn't happened, to alleviate the concerns of some out there who may have been worrying...

The rule of law has held true; the president has not disregarded any law or conducted himself or his office in a way unbefitting of the office he holds. In fact, the president and his Justice Department have kept in line with laws they themselves find to be distasteful, such as the Defense of Marriage Act. Despite Obama and his administration finding this law to be reprehensible and unjust, the president has made it clear that it will be enforced (perhaps, in a way, to push Congress to repeal it themselves, the legal way it should be done).

Democracy is still going strong in our nation -- today's elections are clear signs of that. A strong example of democracy in action took place today, with several key races going in favor of those who oppose the policies of Barack Obama and Democrats in Washington. In what many conservatives will label a decline in the president's popularity (not necessarily true), Americans should also see as proof positive that this president respects the will of the people in choosing their leaders.

America is not the socialist wasteland that many thought it would become when Obama took office. In fact, an interesting graphic (see image above) provided by the Atlantic Magazine shows just how socialist America became after the acquisition of GM -- less than a quarter of a percentage point (.21 percent of the entire economy). Obama has also made it clear that his administration doesn't intend to hold onto GM once it's back on its own feet again, and there hasn't been anything that would suggest otherwise.

The right to dissent, by an individual or a news organization, is still strong today: TEA Party protesters and FOX News commentators are indicators of that. Despite the administration's clear belief that FOX isn't actually news and should be disregarded, it's clear that the president has no desire to remove the network or infringe upon their right to report what they want about his administration, despite what right-wingers may want you to believe.

I bring forth these four facts -- the rule of law being preserved; democracy continuing unabridged; America's continued capitalistic tradition; and the right to dissent -- to make a point: the fears exhibited by the right over what an Obama presidency would mean prior to his election have not come to fruition. These fears have been continued well-into his presidency; but as we have seen a year after his election and ten months after he has taken office, the president has not yet executed his "master plan" to bring down America. He has not filled his White House with terrorist sympathizers; has not made Islam the official state religion (or ruined the rights of others to practice Christianity); he has not made the nation any less livable for white people; has not compromised our national security; and yes, his birth certificate is still authentic.

Despite all this, despite what has NOT happened in the ten months since he has been the chief executive of our nation, conservative commentators and extremists continue to believe that this president will bring down our country somehow, and continue to spread the hate of Barack Obama in a fervent attempt to bring down his presidency.

Is there no decency left in this nation? Are conservatives really that desperate, really that willing to do whatever it takes to gain power again, even if it means disseminating lies and inaccuracies? To hold a position is one thing: conservatism isn't "wrong" as much as liberalism isn't. But what IS wrong is the method conservatives are utilizing in order to win more to their side.

It is the method of fear in conjunction with lies. Think about it: if you believed everything the right has told you in recent months (or years), what would you believe? You'd believe that Obama was a Muslim and that he wasn't born in this country. You'd believe the health care bills proposed by Congress would create death panels, would give illegal immigrants free health care coverage, or create a massive debt (latest CBO numbers show a reduction in the deficit by 2019). You'd believe that ACORN was running the Census in 2010 (it never was running any aspect of the Census). That's just the short list.

Fear is a dangerous tool in politics today. It isn't being used exclusively by the right, but they are using it extensively. We must be sure that what we hear isn't fear-based misinformation, that the information we're being given is factual. Hopefully, more Americans will disregard the lies fed to them in year two of the Obama era of presidential politics.

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