I received “The Jihad Candidate” in my email today. It brought me back to the fear-mongering lies folks sent by email prior to the last Presidential election. My greatest concern is that Republican candidate supporters, in general, seem to have no qualms about forwarding political material filled with serious inaccuracies and logical fallacies, while the Democratic candidate supporters seem to demonstrate no need to respond. Email forwards are powerful and far-reaching…and potentially dangerous. I would suggest that every thinking person who receives an email with this kind of propaganda promptly click “reply to all” and address the lies, flaws in logic, and flat-out absurdities in an intelligent, non-confrontational manner. Do the research, if necessary — our future may depend upon that.
In personal response to “The Jihad Candidate”, although I could (and would like to) pull apart every sentence in this weak, rhetorical-question-based rant, I will simply address two points.
The phrase that Obama has “…ZERO [sic] interest in traditional American values…” is the most questionable phrase in the entire piece. I was raised by immigrant parents who loved this country beyond what some might consider reasonable, and they taught me that traditional American values differ from other countries mainly in the socio-economic mobility made possible for individuals with merit and/or education. Let us hope most Americans know Obama’s basic biography. He is a man who has built his entire life on that distinctly American value. It was not a family name, or family money, or generational family power that brought him to where he is today — it was Jefferson’s notions of “meritocracy” and “education for all” that Obama took full advantage of (as did his wife). They have worked and lived the real American dream, the rags-to-riches kind of stuff from which novels and films are made. The humanity demonstrated in their embrace of this distinctly American value is that they are working to make it a reality for even more deserving Americans.
And let us consider the traditional American values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If Obama wants to bring an end to our war with Iraq, perhaps it is because he holds the value of every human life close to his heart. Liberty? Yes, that does mean religious and other freedoms for all kinds of diverse people who come to call America “home”. We say we value tolerance of differing beliefs, but we demand that tolerance as well from those who choose to live in this great country. Where the Democrats differ most from the Republicans may be in that last notion: “the pursuit of happiness”. Obama, and the Democratic party, do not believe in prescribing what constitutes happiness for individuals. In America, as long as you don’t harm or infringe upon the rights of others, your pursuit of happiness is completely of your own design.
If you feel you must add other elements to our core American values, Obama demonstrates those as well. He is a devoted husband in a long-term marriage to one woman. He is a present and involved father to his children. The family attends a CHRISTIAN church, for god’s sake…
My second and final point: The implied (again, in the form of a rhetorical question) threat that voting for Obama will change the United States of America into “another nation of Islam” displays either an unfathomable ignorance of the American government and its processes, or a deliberate move to ignore the three branches of our government — executive, judicial, and legislative. [Note the same root word in “ignorance” and “ignore”.] My daughters could have recited the functions of those three branches of government by the time they were in the 5th grade. Our system of checks and balances was designed to insure against some despot taking control of the country and violating all the previously mentioned values United States citizens hold so dear.
Well, “The Jihad Candidate” does begin with a truth — its two opening words are “Conspiracy theories…” and that is exactly what it spins. But the opening line also includes the phrase, “when the storyline is not so absurd that it can grasp our attention”. Actually, it is precisely the absurdity of storylines such as this that grasp the attention of far too many of our people. If I may, there are actually those who read (and possibly believe) the stories in The National Enquirer . Afternoon talk shows feature their own brand of absurdity that attracts viewers who would be better off exercising their rights to a free public education.
Islam will not bring about an end to American democracy. The American people who cannot or will not discern the absurd from the credible will eventually bring about their own demise.