Love and war, all's fair, the old saw says. The weapons of choice are many and varied. Consider the latest brouhaha over Barack Hussein Obama's birth certificate. Among the right wing fringe, a belief subsists since the US president began running for the highest office of the 'home of the free, land of the brave'. Take his middle name, it's foreign and Arab. His father was a non believing Muslim. Ergo, Mr. Obama is a muslim, not only a closeted muslim but he is somehow affiliated to terrorism. Think Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Bokum Haram, Al Shabbab, Islamic Jamiayah, and the list is long. In spite of evidence that the US president is a practising, confirmed Christian, the disbelievers won't recognise the truth. And on top of this, now surfaces the issue of his birth right. He ain't born in America. He's not a Yankee, and by fraud, he's subverted the American constitution which simply and clairly states that only an born American can become president.
What makes this absurdity of interest, it is held by a goodly number of Republicans...58 per cent is the quoted figure. They like all Americans have lived through harrowing times. Think 9/11 and then the worst economic recession almost turning into another Great Depression of the 1930's. Such moments of crisis have turned the US in on itself, and like a tongue searching a rotting tooth,the US relives an age of intolerance and nativism, whereby the foreign or the exotic is not only not one of us, but dangerous and threatening, and what's more if the foreign doesn't look like the magazine model of a typical American, our way of live is threaten with destruction. It doesn't matter that Mr. Obama was born on American soil, in Honolulu, Hawaii. It's a lie, they believe. He really, some say, was born in his father's Kenya. Besides believing in the number of angels dancing on the head of political absurdity, it is the right wing Republican talking heads who are trying to throw rivers of water on this spreading forest fire of the Big Lie. Ann Coulter for one, Fox's Bill O'Reilly for another. They, it seems, have an inkling that such a lie can further distance the party from Main Street, if not from sanity and commonsense. What is more amazing is that joining the big mouths pushing the issue of Mr. Obama's birthright and place, is that populist, anti elitist, with a Harvard degree, the gasbag Lou Dobbs. We know from where Dobbs is coming from...look at his campaign against illegal immigrats. For all his spit and polish the birth issue is pushing Mr. Dobbs to the head of the no nothing class. But Mr. Dobbs works for CNN which is doing very little to stop his mischief and mayhem. Why? It means ratings; it's making money for the them and sponsors. It is an false claim which CNN hopes will help claw its way back to elbow out Fox and MSNBC of the race for the top dog of mindless cable television and vacuous opinion making. Yes, CNN is falling behind, and that means loss of money and influence.
Dobbs & co. are symptomatic of the chronic illness affecting the US media. They go for the jugular in trivia and gossip and innuendo. It is Grub Street or yellow journalism or mud slinging journalism, all over again.
Of course the land of birth of Mr. Obama has racial overtones. It is also a signpost that these men and women with a 19 century mentality are out of step with what's happening in the US and the world. Alas, they and the big money behind them, pull the strings, as the inflammatory rhetoric of their burn down the barn they've sought refuge in. They intend to do much harm. And they've an army of faithful who will answer their noxious call. And blindly they will sally forth into the valley of their own destruction.