In Aug. 21 IssueRussell County NewsBy Kathy Foley, Columnist
Last week I visited a friend who I'd not seen in over 20 years.
We had a wonderful time re-connecting and I have no doubt we'll continue to be life-long friends. Naturally, during the four-day visit with conversations lasting until the wee hours of the morning, the subject of politics came up. I was disappointed to learn that this friend had become a rabid, anti-Obama, radical right Republican.
Keep in mind that my friend is a well-educated, sophisticated, intelligent and well-read woman. I was disheartened to hear her spouting with unmitigated venom the falsities that have been propagated by malicious, right-wing evil-doers since before President Obama's election. Since returning from my visit, I've pondered the question of why.
Why do otherwise intelligent people insist on believing the lies they hear or read without even questioning the source or checking the facts?
For example, upon my return, I already had an email from my friend with a link to a YouTube video originally posted on August 7, 2009, supposedly showing Barack Obama admitting to being a Muslim. This video has been debunked as a product of "dishonest editing" by Factcheck.org:
"Although it is titled 'Obama Admits He Is A Muslim,' the president in fact has admitted no such thing. The video edits and twists his actual words, sometimes turning what were denials into false confessions. For example, it edits out the words 'I'm a Christian' from one quote and 'my Christian faith' from another. It shows him quoting from the Quran, but snips out his quotes from the Bible…"
Factcheck.org goes on to present an analysis of the entire 9 ½ minute video which blends edited snippets of President Obama's own words from various appearances as a candidate and as president, providing the reader with the edited quotes from the video with the full reality of what he actually said. For those who are actually interested in the truth, it can be found at http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/truth-on-the-cutting-room-floor/ ,
Another outrageous lie espoused by my friend was the one about President Obama not being born in America. I really thought this one was officially put to rest some time ago, but apparently not.
This lie is exposed on PolitiFact.com: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/. At the end of their explanation of the extent to which they went in authenticating the copy of the Hawaiian birth certificate that they received from President Obama's campaign committee, they close by saying,
"If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud.
They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State's office, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies.
"…There is not one shred of evidence to disprove PolitiFact's conclusion that the candidate's name is Barack Hussein Obama [instead of the lie being perpetrated of Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama], or to support allegations that the birth certificate he released isn't authentic."
Okay, so these are, by now, very old and very tired lies that were perpetrated by malicious opponents of President Obama who had their own agenda.
Let's look at some more untruths that are espoused by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, and others, which are then gobbled up as gospel by their listeners who'd rather not think for themselves. On August 17th, blow-hard Limbaugh was talking about President Obama "…bragging about his Administration's accomplishments accusing Republicans of trying to return to the policies of George W. Bush.
Oh what we wouldn't give to go back, a year and a half. Just turn back the hands of time. Before the stimulus bill, before all that rotgut bailout stuff.
What a scam. We were all hoodwinked, well, not hoodwinked. We were jobbed. Phony crisis, imminent destruction of the world economic system unless we bailed out this and bailed out that…"
The reality is that that is what George W. Bush said and what John McCain said. Last week the Pew Research Center published a new poll which says that 47 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that the TARP bill (Troubled Asset Relief Program) that bailed out Wall Street was signed into law under President Obama and only 34 percent know the truth-that it was signed into law by President Bush.
One of the more recent lies that Republicans like Lindsey Graham are promoting and pounding their fists over is the hot-button of so-called "anchor babies"-children born in the United States so that their foreign parents have a fast path to citizenship, so much so that Mitch McConnell and others are suggesting that we repeal the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
In actuality, that "fast path" to citizenry takes more than 30 years since citizen children cannot sponsor their parents for citizenship until they turn 21 and even then, the illegal parent(s) would have to return to their own country for ten years before applying. Not exactly fast…or certain.
Come on, people! The information is out there and it's easier than ever before in human history to access. Let's take control of our own minds and thoughts and really make an attempt to discern the truth instead of being led around by the nose by the likes of Fox News and others who have an agenda.
It's now being reported by Business Week Magazine that News Corporation, the owner of Fox News, on June 24th gave $1,000,000 to the Republican Governors Association. Do you really believe that they are unbiased?
Eric Burns with MediaMatters.org provided evidence over a year ago that they can't really even be considered a news organization anymore.
They are a Republican organization. In the past year alone, they have raised over $50 million for Republican candidates. Staunch Republicans will point to MSNBC and claim that they, too, are biased for the Democrats.
But I'd like to point out that GE, the owner of MSNBC, gave $105,000 each to the Democratic Gubernatorial Association AND the Republican Gubernatorial Association. So tell me, who, exactly, is "fair & balanced?"
Once again I ask, why? Why do so many people believe all this nonsense? Only one reason--because they want to.