A friend of mine reposted a link on Facebook today. It was an article expressing outrage over this photo:
The text accompanying the post pleads for everyone to spread the news, and speaks of the importance of exposing “Obama’s radical ideas and his intent to bring down our beloved America”.
This photo, by Doug Mills of the New York Times, originally accompanied a New York Times article by Dwight Garner. It was taken in 2008, when President Obama was just candidate Obama, and it caused controversy at the time as well, for the same misguided reasons. The book, by Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek editor and CNN journalist, is about the rise of the rest of the world, and is not about the radical overthrow of the United States.
Is this really where we are as a country? Where such an obviously absurd notion (that the President of the United States is secretly working to destroy our country) is just taken at face value, with no effort to check the facts involved? Is that the level of political discourse we have now? Is that the level of cognitive reasoning we aspire to now? The friend who reposted this article is someone I have worked with. He is smart, well educated, and an overall good person. These types of fringe thinking are no longer on the fringe. It’s now mainstream. It’s reported on FOX news and debated on the floor of Congress.
The world is a complex place. With the advent of modern media we don’t only know what is going on at the corner store, but also in the farthest reaches of the world. The crush of information and viewpoints is so overwhelming that it’s easier to just blindly pick an easy view rather than parse through all of the nuances of the discussion.
I started this blog to discuss my views, mainly on politics, although other topics that interest me may creep in from time to time. The posts will be a mix of facts (as many as I can incorporate), as well as my personal opinions. More to come…