March 10, 2009
American Thinker, Ready-made Propaganda For The Ditto Head Conservative
Barack Obama has been in office for one-and-a-half months now, but if you’d listen only to the right wing media you would think he has been terrorizing the U.S. since the days of Jimmy Carter. If you’d swallow every talking point that’s thrown out by the wingnuts, you’d soon feel oppressed and even crushed by Obama as if a Stalinist dictator’s iron clad boot has been laying down the law for years.
Here’s a random sample of headlines from a typical right-wing media website,
- Let ‘Em Pay - Worried about the “generational debt” that President Obama is in the process of placing upon this country’s youth?
- Heads Roll in Havana, Baffling ‘Cuba Experts’ – The very week Obama proposed cozying up to Castro by dropping some economic and travel sanctions, the biggest political shake-up in twenty years rattled Cuba’s regime.
- Welcome to Thunderdome – the president’s assault on capitalism is being waged with the organization and intensity of a counter-insurgency.
- US Public Schools Teaching Children Pro-Islamic Propaganda
- Obama’s Political Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome
- Obama and the Disunited States
- It’s only bad to want the president to fail if you are a Republican – Many things go down the memory hole when Democrats take office – like how they treated a Republican president at the time he was in office.
The last headlines is great: it sort of conveys the weird idea that, while their own website is full with the most manipulative, negative, insulting, covertly racist trash, still it somehow has the same weight as well thought-through criticism. I don’t mean to say that Bush was always treated well by left-wingers, but at least most criticism from the left was either serious in nature or blatant mockery- but rarely the propagandistic, manipulative half-truths and fear mongering spin like the stuff American Thinker is spouting.
Just for entertainment, let me go through these headlines one by one:
- Worried about the “generational debt” that President Obama is in the process of placing upon this country’s youth? What about the Iraq war then? How many billions of U.S. dollars has that baby cost up to this stage? Not to mention those thousands of American and (the somehow not that important number of) Iraqi lives that have been lost already – which is believed to be in the 100,000. Just for your information, most of the latter were civilians, not “enemy combatants.”) Now, at least there was justification for the war in Afghanistan, but the Bush administration duped the U.S. and the world into an unnecessary war in Iraq. As for the right-wing talking point that Obama’s bail-out plan can never work: it worked for Sweden. It worked for several democracies that tried, actually, including the U.S. during WWII, when even entire branches of industry were nationalized for the war effort. And by the way, how dare you try and manipulate your readers by hauling in the poor children of the future, when not a single conservative president in history has ever lowered the U.S. national debt? Instead, conservative presidents gave your country increased power of corporations over civilians, international wars, and tax cuts for the rich. Conservative political leaders are without equals in short-term thinking and planning. How’s that for a legacy to brag about around your kids?
- The very week Obama proposed cozying up to Castro by dropping some economic and travel sanctions, the biggest political shake-up in twenty years rattled Cuba’s regime. Now, the author repeatedly calls the Cuban government a “Stalinist Regime.” Now, don’t get me wrong, Cuba has a nasty government, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Stalinist Russia. This article is just classic fear mongering. Remember where Gitmo is located? Exactly: Cuba. Think Stalin would have allowed that? Did you see Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ where he went ashore and took U.S. citizens in Cuban health clinics for treatment? Think Stalin would have allowed that? And lastly, what about the millions of tourists that visit Cuba every year? Tourists, for the most part from liberal, democratic nations. …Enough said. Even though Cuba could do with drastic national reforms, insinuating that Obama is loosening the death grip around the neck of a ferocious red lion is just one more propagandist right-wing talking point. In other words: it’s a deception.
- The president’s assault on capitalism is being waged with the organization and intensity of a counter-insurgency. This article focuses on defending a CEO of the Caterpillar corp. who says Obama ambushed him into rehiring staff. It turns out that the CEO has now got to lay off even more staff than before he was bailed out. But the article is not about all those workers who are now out of a job – no, it’s about how the poor CEO was trapped into saving his Caterpillar plant and dozens of jobs. Now, I will agree that Obama’s involvement in this Caterpillar business is something of a political move, but that bailout money Obama granted was real, and Caterpillar’s CEO took it and promised everyone he would rehire and continue to do business. Where has that money gone? To me, the fact that he is (after the fact, of course) blaming Obama for his company’s (our maybe, just maybe, his own) failures showcases the worst corporate thinking can get. We, the corporations, are not responsible for anything that goes wrong. We don’t even have to apologize for our failures; instead we can blame those that gave us rescue money when things went south for us. And American Thinker defends this drivel, sparing not a thought to the people who have just lost their jobs.
- US Public Schools Teaching Children Pro-Islamic Propaganda. Did you know the liberals are going tough on Christianity in schools while pussyfooting around Islam? After reading this article, you will. And all of this is caused by Islamic activist groups pressuring school boards. It’s all outrageous. One example: children might now be taught that “jihad” means something like ‘overcoming struggles’ without any mention of violence of terrorism. The fact that for the greatest majority of Muslims violence is abhorrent and that jihad is precisely that: a struggle within one’s own mind, is left by the wayside. In fact, I wonder if the author even knows this. If he does, he probably doesn’t care. But let’s get around to the real scandal here, that the author expressly does not mention. What about Christian creationist pressure groups trying to get Christianity, such as prayer (that is: Christian prayer,) back into schools? What about the Dover trial, where a conservative school board was tried and found guilty for forcefully injecting religion into science classes? Every now and then, Dover-like cases spring up in the most conservative parts of the U.S. In other words, why should a conservative media website like American Thinker complain about the more positive treatment of others instead of educating their own readership? By the way, the article is filled with references to people and institutions that probably require some closer investigation. “Textbook League” for example. “American Textbook Council” is another. I can’t be bothered to Google them, but I’ll bet you those are privately owned Public Relations firms or something or another. In other words, Christian pressure groups. A final word: religion has, in my opinion, nothing at all to do in schools in the first place, outside of theology and social studies. I’ll leave this piece with a quote from the article that says it all, I think, concerning American Thinker’s role of propagandistic outlet: “So now, more than ever, it’s imperative we monitor school books, and stand up and scream at teachers, administrators, and superintendants should we discover any ideology beyond the sprinkling of liberal bias we reluctantly accept as inevitable.
Just as with curricular green globalony, your best defense against scholastic Dhimmitude begins at home.
Discuss what they’re being taught, and be prepared to teach them the truth. Teach them about Jesus, or Israel, or both. Once they’re old enough to understand, teach them about 9/11. Teach them about Sharia and jihad and oppressed women and terrorism and honor killings and barbaric execution methods. Teach them that only just and nurturing cultures deserve to be celebrated, not diversity itself.”
- Obama’s Political Munchhausen by Proxy Syndrome. Now it’s not only Obama’s plans that are questionable- it’s his sanity as well. Now, the leftist extremists called Bush dumb, greedy and a puppet for big corporate interests, but never mentally insane. Calling the mental health of opposing presidents in question is solely the domain of right-wingers. Here’s a nice quote from the article: “FDR (Obama) appeared to be so caring and attentive, few suspected any wrongdoing. Just as in the case of the abusive parent, FDR (Obama) was jovial, cool, and unusually calm in the face of serious adversity.
In both versions of MPS, blame is typically placed on a previous caregiver as part of the deception and to provide a scapegoat. In the political version of MPS, instead of an incompetent nanny the New Dealers (and Obama) create populist villains, Hoover, Wall Street, Bankers, or G.W. Bush. The denial of reality is crucial.“ The use of this approach tells me they’re desperate for angles. Calling someone crazy is always a last defense and a telling sign that you’re being lied to. The entire message of the piece is about Obama purposefully driving the U.S. to the brink of bankruptcy. It doesn’t tell you why, apart from courteously hinting at similarities with MPS. This masks the real answer: they have no clue why Obama would do such a thing. In fact, Obama has zero interest in ruining the country, because the best way to get re-elected is by helping the country back up on its feet. Also, looking at his past, there is no reason to presume he would do such a thing. The opposite, in fact. But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? The most effective ways for the U.S. to recover from the financial crises would positively not help conservative interests – expansion of government, higher tax rates for the wealthy, reduction of corporate influence – and they just will not swallow it. Instead of toughening up and accepting that conservatism will be in rough waters for a while, they go as far as making ridiculous claims about the mental health of their opponents, as well as setting up a propaganda machine in an attempt to brainwash the gullible into believing it was never their fault and they bear no responsibility for anything bad that ever happened.
- Obama and the Disunited States. This article desperately tries to tie Obama to communism in addition to anything that’s evil in a conservative worldview: “Social democracy is Marxist political entrepreneurship. Gay marriage, eco-terrorism, white guilt, Black Panthers, gays in the military, academic leftism, global warming, carbon offsets, marijuana, veganism, transsexuals, organics, anti-globalization protests, porn, anti-genetic modification, multiculturalism, abortion, animal rights, embryonic stem cell research, new age cults, tribal casinos, affirmative action, political correctness, the Akaka Bill, reparations, apologies — they all seem like a grab-bag of disconnected, even contradictory, issues and phenomena. But they’re not. These products of the 40-year rise of social democratic political entrepreneurship are the foundations of the ‘consciousness nations’ which now make up the Democrats’ voter base.“ Yes! All of the above is the result of the liberals! Now, I could go into a critical review of how he feebly tries to tie Obama and Hillary Clinton to communists and anarchists, but upon reading this paragraph I realized I probably should not even bother. Why argue with a man who thinks gay marriage, transsexuals, veganism, stem cell research, abortion, white guilt (for crying out loud, as if they have nothing to apologize for!) and gays in the military are all antithetical to civilization? Why bother? I won’t.
You can’t leave comments on their website, nor can you contact any of the authors, except through a single, general mail address, which is easily censored. [Update: you can leave comments, as I've been pointed out. Something I managed to miss, somehow, probably because the comments don't automatically show at the bottom of articles. Anyway, I suggest you post comments, as much as you can, to educate them about the drivel they're disseminating.] American Thinker acts as if it’s promoting free thought, while in fact it’s nothing more than a hub for neo-conservative talking points and unfunny cartoons, so Orwellian it’s doubtful any of the contributors can even read.