Sunday, March 02, 2008

Blessed Handsome has his haters

While I'm not at all new to the idea that base emotions override logic among Americans in times of decision, I nevertheless continue to be surprised by the depths such idiocy reaches. And for Barack Obama, this more than anything else will be the ultimate decider in his presidential bid.

Up until now, I assumed the recent thicket of Obama criticism came about because he is the Democratic front-runner. As such, anyone can and should become the target of pot shots; after all, the leader of the free world's got to be able to handle some grief, right? Especially if the dirt is legitimately crusty. Not that it usually is, but the possibility is always there.

I figured by now that the twin juggernauts of the Hillary and GOP Smear Factories would have dug up some great-tasting mud regarding Obama's experience or policy as a leader. But then I realized that, at this point, even the Smear Factories have outsourced all their resources to Mexico. So much for that.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, then, to have received a new e-mail from a friend criticizing the first-term senator from Illinois. It was a crafted and reasoned treatise against his candidacy, eloquently titled, "Fuck Obama."

The Bible has warned us that 'A man will come from the East that will be charismatic in nature and have proposed solutions for all our problems and his rhetoric will attract many supporters!' When will our pathetic Nation quit turning their back on God and understand that this man is 'A Muslim'....First, Last and always....and we are AT WAR with the Muslim Nation, whether our bleeding-heart, secular, Liberal friends believe it or not. This man fits every description from the Bible of the 'Anti-Christ'! I'm just glad to know that there are others that are frightened by this man!

I always assumed the above-quoted Bible passage (Asshats 3:16?) referred to John F. Kennedy. Or was it Charles Manson? The Good Book can be quite ambiguous sometimes.

What isn't ambiguous is the pathetic and desperate rhetoric that still defines the anti-Obama camps. To wit:

1) He has a Muslim name and spent time at a school in the Middle East. He is also brown, ergo, he is a terrorist sympathizer. Oh, and a MUSLIM too. A capital M-U-S-L-I-M!! Didn't you see him wearing that red thing?!!

2) His speeches are soaring, which can only mean he's dressing up a lack of definitive solutions.

3) He recently gave up smoking, which is a sign of weakness. Or something.

4) His wife, Michelle, had the audacity to say that America hasn't always been perfect.

Even all that would be excusable, were it not followed by the very same stupid and libelous forward that I had already pointed out to him and all my other friends was demonstrably false! After I called this out a second time, the first guy who had sent it (the inspiration for my first dismissal) commented that he had his back.

Sticking up for your friends is one thing. It's another entirely to willfully back up someone on bigoted words that aren't even close to the truth. And have been proven wrong at least twice.

Part of me thinks this is actually a positive development, that Obama criticism has become defined by such obvious lies and prejudice rather than by anything substantial. But then I realize this is 2008, a time when logic hasn't ruled in quite a while. As always, there is going to be a strong contingent of Americans who aren't ready for a black president, or a Muslim president, or a black Christian president with a Muslim-sounding name who speaks better than Dubya. But I'm not worried about them as much as I am about smarter voters who might feel this cycle is a given for the Democrats, regardless of the eventual nominee, and stay home (or worse, feel a wave of irrationality at the ballot booth and go McCain).

I can only hope that the young/educated voters come out in force in November, as they have been throughout the primaries, and show up those who want us to continue to be scared into xenophobic submission. If enough of us show up, no amount of fear, ignorance or computers can stop us from effecting change.

(*-The title of this post refers to this Salon article that explains that Barack means "blessed" and Hussein means "handsome." And you know what? He is.)


rhonda said...

um, least i can say i haven't personally received that version of those moronic smear emails. that's a rather cold comfort, though. it's still pitiful that it's out there circulating.

sooner or later i'll be signing off as

your friendly (but guarded) local ambiguous girl,

Rhonda Joseph

just to keep the troglodytes at bay, since arabic names are apparently among the bluest of words now.


NOLA radfem said...

I've received those three times in the past two months. Each time has been from family members who are lifelong Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters!

I've backed off the old family email ring for a while. I can't stand it. They are bitter, which I can understand to a point, but I don't understand their spreading lies about Obama. As I pointed out to the offending emailer, I could find stuff online all day long that says the Clintons are cocaine runners and murderers, but just because I am FOR Obama doesn't mean I'm going to do the Republicans' dirty work for them. Geez.

gg said...

I've heard people (I'm related to them) say Hillary was the anti-Christ. Same thing about Bill.

Ian McGibboney said...

To paraphrase Bill Maher, they think these people have powers!