Sunday, October 26, 2014

Obsessive-Compulsive Obama Hatred Disorder

Krauthammer is at it again. This right-wing reactionary can’t help himself. For years, his syndicated columns and his rants on Fox News are about one thing: Bashing Obama. It’s an addiction and a disorder, and he should know it, as he is a psychiatrist. On July 25 he wrote a column titled - “Obama’s Cool Detachment is Calculated - and Very Dangerous.” On October 24, he wrote “Obama a Bewildered Bystander to his Own Government.” And it goes on and on. There is no problem on the planet that is not Obama’s fault - Syria, Ukraine, Gaza, ISIS, Ebola, secret service missteps at the White House, in Amsterdam and in South America, Benghazi, unemployment, crime. Krauthammer might as well blame the President for Hurricane Fausto, the Vietnam War, World War Two and his hemorrhoids. One wonders what he’ll write about after Obama is gone.

While the rabid Krauthammer is an extreme example of blind, knee-jerk Obama hatred, a worse problem is that his condition - let’s call it obsessive-compulsive Obama hatred disorder - has become an epidemic. Obama’s ratings are bad because a majority of Americans have become brainwashed by the likes of Krauthammer.

Also, America has become a resentful society. Discontent and blame are the names of the game, and someone must be held accountable.

Americans have become a “glass-is-half-empty” country. But this is puzzling, when you think about it: To be sure, the American Dream, as it existed when I came to this country in 1960, is gone, as is American exceptionalism. We are now muddling and struggling, like the rest of the Western World.

Yet we’re doing relatively well: Thanks to the Obama administration, since the 2007-2008 Wall Street collapse, our unemployment rate has declined from 12% to under 6%, there have been five years of uninterrupted job growth, 6 million new jobs have been added to the economy, which is growing by 3% a year. Compare this to Europe and Japan, where the economy and the job market are stagnant.

Obama pulled us out of the cataclysmic economic meltdown for which President George W. Bush, the Republican Party and Wall Street were responsible.

But the American people are like lobotomized zombies - no memory, no credit given to Obama. Instead, visceral hatred.

In the long run, I predict that Obama will go down in history as one of our ten best presidents.

The most charitable accusation leveled at the President is weakness - reminiscent of what was said about President Carter. The other one, voiced as a refrain by my conservative friends, is that he is “extremely left.”

Both of these accusations are bogus: it is not weakness which has guided Obama’s brilliant decisions, but something akin to the Hippocratic principle: First Do No Harm, or in the President’s own words: “don’t do stupid stuff.”

Whether media-induced or not, it is fair to say that there is now a great deal of panic going around. Ebola, ISIS, shoot-outs in Ottawa and in local high schools, every day there is a new reason to panic. The political right exploits this very effectively, and the populace laps it up.

But the President, you see, refuses to cave in. He insists on staying calm. How does he dare! Instead of pouring fuel on the innumerable fires that have erupted on his watch, he DEFUSES crises. Instead of ratcheting UP each crisis, he winds them DOWN. How aggravating! Instead of panicking, he responds in a deliberative and responsible manner. Instead of escalating wars, he ends them. Instead of dragging us recklessly into new military adventures, he proceeds cautiously and intelligently, thus accomplishing far more.

You see, President Obama is our science officer Spock. Rational, endowed with superior intelligence, always in control of his emotions, and above all: ALIEN. He is the opposite of James T. Kirk, the charismatic but emotional and fallible Captain.

And what about the other bum rap - that he is an extreme leftist?

Also utter nonsense. He is a centrist. Why else would the Democratic Party’s left wing criticize him for being too cautious? Has he raised taxes? Is Obamacare a single-payer government-run health plan, as is enjoyed by dozens of other countries?

Take President Franklin Roosevelt, perhaps the greatest President we ever had. Now there is a true left-winger for you. He introduced Social Security, for starters. And then came his dozens of other federal programs, aimed at getting us out of the Great Depression. Ever heard of the New Deal?

Or take President Johnson’s Great Society. Johnson gave us Medicare and the most progressive civil rights legislation ever.

Heck, some of Obama’s REPUBLICAN predecessors were in some ways more liberal than he is: Eisenhower sent federal troops to enforce racial integration in Arkansas, spent billions on infrastructure and spanked France, Britain and Israel for attacking Egypt. Reagan and Bush Senior RAISED taxes, for crying out loud.

None of the “liberal things” these previous presidents did - whether Democrat or Republican - are conceivable under Obama. The country has moved fiercely to the right. Obama is a moderate centrist.

There are only two explanations for the bogus accusations by the likes of Krauthammer and for the public’s high disapproval ratings of the President: For the general public, it is a need for a scapegoat. When there is widespread dissatisfaction and diffuse anxiety, someone must be blamed. Obama is simultaneously God, who is expected to solve all our problems, and the Devil, who is blamed for them.

As to the yahoos on the far right, there can only be one explanation, and that is racism. They will never admit it, but that is what it is.

© Tom Kando 2014

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