people on the right who have been captured by the divisive, hateful
propaganda of their leaders. Some of these I use in my radio
shows in the conservative part of Virginia where I live.
In the months that Barack Obama has been president, America has seen a
tsunami of propaganda, issuing out of the Republican Party and its
media allies, attempting to demonize the new president as someone
dangerous, someone with malicious intent, possibly even a monster.
To the conservative citizenry whom this propaganda is intended to
persuade, there are various means available for recognizing the
dishonesty of the fear-mongering and divisive tactics used by their
leadership. Foremost among these is the absence of any credible
factual foundation for so many of the components of the scary portrait
the propagandists are seeking to draw of the president-- components
like the "birther" notion, like the "death panels," like the
alien-sounding use of "czars" in government positions.
But here's another one: Barack Obama clearly is a fine family
man, loving and faithful to his wife, and caring toward his daughters
who obviously adore him.
For years, it has been a basic idea of the conservative movement that
you can tell what kind of man someone is by how he is in his
family. In particular, this has been a standard by which
politicians have been assessed: the conservative politician knows
that he must have a beautiful family portrait to present to his public
to get the support of the conservative base.
If that standard is valid, then what sense can it make to demonize
Obama? The marriage appears solid, the children are well-cared
for, the whole family acts with decorum and dignity and kindness.
If a good family means a good man, then Obama can't be the monster the
right is making him out to be. Can't be the Nazi destroyer
(Hitler had no healthy family life). Can't be the
Hammer-and-Sickle Red (Stalin's murderousness did not spare his
family). By your old standard, Barack Obama CAN'T be the kind of
man who'd pull the plug on granny and seek to make himself the tyrant
over a disarmed America.
So, my friends on the right, you have a choice. Either you've got
to give up the idea that the good family man is a trustworthy
leader. Or you've got to give up this demonization of Barack
Obama. You can't have it both ways.