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Politics And Facts In The Age Of Obama

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"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

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- Joseph Goebbels

With the evil canniness of a man drunk with power, the Nazi evil genius was right. And while America today could never remotely resemble the German Reich of 65 years ago sometimes I wonder if many in the mainstream media read the playbook of the Nazi minister of propaganda. In a climate of political hostility towards President Barack Obama, the national rhetoric has become angry, uncivil, hateful and untruthful. Lying now trumps truth each and every day.

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In fact, lying is now as natural to the nation's top leaders media, civic, political, financial and otherwise that the American public expect it and have become so desensitized to it that it has become an integral and normal part of doing the business of politics. So that every word that President Barack Obama utters is routinely distorted and regurgitated by a groups of people with a one-dimensional agenda. For example, not satisfied to blame the president for the BP oil spill, the TV pundits were out in force spinning the lies that his pick for the US supreme Court was another "Harriet Miers" an allusion to President Bush's failed candidate.

Still, in the end President Barack Obama and his Administration will not be judged and remembered for the mountain of lies and innuendoes that their political enemies including the rabid, neoconservative elements in the Republican Party and right wing fringe lunatics like the Tea Party and Birther movements conjured up, but by the positive results of far-reaching domestic policies, protecting America from the threat of terrorism, and how much the quality of life of all Americans improved or declined during his tenure.

But make no mistake about it, unfortunately, the President and his party still have to contend and deal with those who dwell in the realm of conspiracy theories, irrationality, rumors, distortions and untruths. It becomes a real drag on one's sanity to have to relate as sane, reasoned people who hang their hats on sanity and rationality to a loud, boisterous, clanging group of near-zealots the kind of folks led by the vapid and intellectually challenged Sarah Palin who the mainstream media treats as some heroine completely obfuscating the fact that she is nothing more than a presidential also ran and first time loser.

And too, this group has been aided and abetted by their sponsors and friends in the mainstream media that have given its members a public stage and platform that has banned reason and truth from a parallel universe where lies are packaged as facts; where falsehoods and accusations become exchangeable as the situation demands; and where truth is a casualty of political shennanigans. It is here in this Political Twilight Zone that people move zombie-like slopping up one conspiracy theory after another and drinking in such zany nonsense as to make a lunatic asylum appear reasoned and sane by comparison.

In this hazy nether-world of lies, distortions, and "its Obama's fault," lurk those who reverently believe and discuss with copious doctored facts and convictions that September 11 was a "set up," that "the Jews knew about it so they stayed home" and that "George W. Bush also knew before it happened." Then there is the "Obama is not an American" version pushed by Rush Limbaugh and others in the so-called "Birther movement" who steadfastly and fervently cling in imbecilic halo of deniability to a proven and undisputed fact that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Lunacy and crackpotism are now important residents of the formerly sane American mainstream.

At every turn talk radio and TV hosts trot out the usual Republican suspects posing as "experts" who dream up every kind of stupidity packaged as "facts and truth." One recently appeared on television telling the world that the British Petroleum oil-rig leak was an act of sabotage (presumably to embarrass the Obama Administration and give the president "his Katrina"). This was the talking point from the Rush Limbaugh show that aired less than a week after the spill. They "enhanced" these lies by claiming that the President did not act in a timely fashion perhaps wanting him to swim the Gulf of Mexico and sweep up the spill with a bamboo broom.

But beyond these now routine lies and spurious "facts" packaged as expertise and endorsed by the leaders of the mainstream media and political establishments is a deeper and more sinister development. The callous disregard for the truth and for demonstrable, proven facts is evidence of a Josef Goebells-like tendency to tell a lie consistently and long enough to condition people to believe it is true.

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When over 50% of Americans support the anti-immigrant Arizona law and have a negative reaction to the newly passed healthcare law then the degree that the American public have become brainwashed is self-evident. Critical thinking is dead and has been replaced by intellectual laziness that is driven by the absorption of television force-feeding as a substitute for constructive and objective inquiry.

This has placed the young president at a distinct disadvantage. He is trying to do a good job and is being hindered and obstructed by a Republican Party that has circled the wagons and is united in their collective opposition to all that he does or will do. In the face of attacks by Republican-leaning radio, TV and newspapers the Democratic Party has no counter-weight and cannot answer each charge, each lie, and each distortion by providing an explanation of the pattern of deceit being practiced.

The Obama Administration inherited a very difficult situation and the president has handled the ship of state admirably and well given all of the circumstances. The economy is slowly turning around, companies are hiring again, and consumer confidence is building. There are new jobs being created and he has taken on a number of very, very difficult and unpopular issues. In the process his stimulus plan has had the effect of cutting taxes for ordinary Americans to the tune of nearly $300 billion.

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MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City's Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local (more...)

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