Over the months that I’ve been writing this web site and hosting a great online community of commentators, I keep coming back to some basic questions. Why do conspiracy theories about Barack Obama have as much support as they do, and why to people say things about Barack Obama that are extremely offensive and totally false? Why are people willing to believe criminals and cranks while rejecting Senators, state Governors, federal judges, established news organizations and eminent legal scholars? I’ve wrestled with these questions in my articles It’s an insult to his mother, Scapegoats and lynch mobs, and again in The President is a ni–, as well as in countless comments.
Why do some people see President Obama like the image below?
Asking where it started is rather a chicken or egg situation1. For whatever reason, there was a concerted effort to smear Barack Obama as an election tactic. Obama was called pretty much everything imaginable, and some things unimaginable. The tactic didn’t work so far as the election went (and perhaps even backfired) but it still left some people who believed those things. In addition, there are some true things about Barack Obama’s views on some issues that are deeply antagonistic to some people (whether they are pro-life or pro-gun or anti-tax or just raised to hate liberals).
Just as the soldier has to dehumanize the enemy before he can kill him, so the political assassin has to demonize his opponent too. And once the opponent is no longer a human being, then it’s OK to tell lies about him and to say disgusting things about him and his family. Slander and rumor mongering are OK and false witness is not a sin if the victim is not your neighbor. You may think this is OK, but I tell you truly, you are the victims of what you do, not Obama. You cannot play with evil and escape undamaged.
1In case you’re wondering, the egg came first.