A lot of you know that last Thursday Donald Trump failed to correct a man at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire who began his question by claiming that President Obama was a Muslim, wasn’t even American, and that there are Muslim “training camps” in America and wondered when we can “get rid of them.”
And people think that Fox News and right wing talk radio hasn’t had an impact here in the United States.
As I’ve been saying over and over again, this is the natural consequence of having over-the-top blowhards braying all kinds of lies and nonsense year in and year out. Fox News has been at it since 1996, or almost for 20 years; right wing talk radio does not have a precise opening date, but was greatly aided in 1987 with the abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine.
Donald Trump contributed to this nonsense in the most active of ways, by jumping on the “birther” bandwagon back in 2011 as part of the effort to keep Obama from getting re-elected.
I hate to belabor the obvious, but since it appears that there are people out there who are oblivious of or resistant to the most obvious facts, let’s just correct the record a little bit:
- If there was even the smallest chance that Obama was not a natural born citizen of the United States, the Republican party would have challenged his candidacy — never mind his election — in federal court and they would have won. Never mind letting him get re-elected. The fact that they did not is proof positive that there is no chance that Obama is not a natural born American. See Bush v. Gore, if you don’t believe me on this.
- Moreover, as anyone who remembers the 2008 election knows, Obama’s candidacy was almost derailed by the Reverend Wright controversy, where ABC News found that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, where Obama and his wife were members, had made dozens of inflammatory remarks, including ones that suggested that the 9/11 attacks were “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Obama had to go on national television to explain his relationship with the good Reverend. The notion that Obama’s Kenyan background makes him likely to be a Muslim is also grounded in misinformation. Kenya is a country in which approximately 70% of the population are Christians; about 25% are adherents of indigenous religions; and only about 6% are Muslim.
- Finally, it’s beneath my dignity to comment on the notion Muslims have “training camps” in America where they are learning how to kill us.
So this is what we get when we allow massive amounts of misinformation of the most idiotic kind to go largely unchallenged for decades at a time. We get a general public that is so assiduously uninformed — actually misinformed — that having any kind of reasonable “debate” on these issues is completely for naught.
Really, this is the essence of propaganda. And far too many of us have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.