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Friday, 21 February 2014 08:42
The GOP race to demonize Obama
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obama-brother2The American political system has traditionally exemplified the fundamental principles of democracy.  It is a system that Americans take pride in, and among other things enables them to promote their country as the leader of the free world. However, America's political system is not perfect, as it does not prevent those we elect from abusing and undermining it. Such abuse is currently playing out with the current Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

 The GOP and the Republican-controlled House have relentlessly pursued a mission to bring down President Obama. This mission, which facilitates the unprecedented attacks on the president, includes blatant disrespect, baseless conspiracy theories, character vilification, and propaganda to demonize and ultimately render him unfit to be president. President Obama has been called a liar, lazy, unpatriotic, a Muslim, a racist, divisive, a socialist, and even caricatured as Hitler. The GOP also rants about the president taking the country down the wrong path and that his policies are not good for Americans. Their latest rant aimed at smearing the president's character is "he cannot be trusted."

One word that characterizes the GOPs anti-Obama mission is obsession. This obsession has continually prevented the GOP from acting in the best interests of the country. Consequently, they are miserably failing to bring down the president. The only things they have succeeded in doing is undermining democracy, shutting down the government, blocking most of the president’s nominations, calling for investigations without any real evidence of wrongdoing, trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and blocking efforts to get the unemployment benefits extended for thousands of unemployed Americans. Having wasted their energy in doing these things, it is no surprise that the U.S. Congress has the lowest approval rating in history.

Despite the obstructionist schemes and personal attacks, President Obama has accomplished more than many of his predecessors who did not face such obstruction and disrespect. His accomplishments include: bailing out the auto industry; passing a healthcare law; putting an end to don't ask don't tell; implementing the Equal Pay Act; dismantling Al Qaeda, by eliminating its leader Osama bin Laden; creating the Consumer Protection Agency; expanding Pell grants; creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the  Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; andincreasing fuel efficiency standards in vehicles.

So what is it about President Obama that has driven the GOP and the right-wing media into this obsessive frenzy to take him down? What is it about him that in trying to destroy him they do not give any thought about the damage they are doing to the political system, the country, and the American people? President Obama has not done anything egregious or over and above what other presidents have done. If this were the case they would have impeached him (not withstanding some in the GOP who have called for his impeachment).

Since the attacks on President Obama are more personal than political, the likely conclusion is that his race is the reason for the attacks. Yes, I am playing the "race card" here, but what exactly is the race card? It is nothing more than a defense mechanism to shut-up people from using racism as the cause of mistreatment or unfairness towards non-white people. In this case, those who want to deny racist behavior will try to muzzle anyone attempting to use racism as a reason to any conflict involving whites and non-whites.

Because of their obsession, the GOP has been more than willing to use hatred, divisiveness and fear mongering to the extent that the attacks have reached unprecedented levels. The true tragedy is that this hatred of the President Obama has prevented Congress from accomplishing anything meaningful on the major issues like the economy, jobs, unemployment, healthcare, immigration, gun control, or energy policy.  This is unfortunate for the country and it is not a good example for other countries that look to America as the leader of the free world. Even more unfortunate is that the American people feel abandoned by the very people they elected to serve them.

By Jermel Shim, author of A New Perspective on Race-related Problems in Corporate American Companies (Outcast Publishing) and Whom God Has Blessed Let No Man Curse (Infinity Publishing). For more information, visit www.jermelshim.com.

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