Saturday, August 21, 2010
The truth is out there
This is the kind of thing that just depresses me about my home land to no end.
Whether or not you agree with his politics, it really, honestly has been proven without a doubt that Barack Obama is not a Muslim. That he was not actually born in Indonesia or Guatemala or wherever. He may be a liberal tax-and-spender, but he's no foreign invasion leader. Yet the lies persist.
I just don't get it. Is believing in whatever the vast right wing conspiracy of the day is just shorthand for "I don't like the guy's politics"? Much as I despise the administration of George W. Bush, I never bought into the conspiracy that he somehow planned/knew about 9/11. Yet people just love their conspiracy theories. As if a secret Muslim infiltrator could actually get elected President in Fox News America?
It's frankly embarrassing sometimes at my work, where I'm surrounded by Kiwis, Australians, Brits and South Africans, and having to defend the US when a story like this comes across the wire. It feeds into all the sad stereotypes people have about my country. (Of course, every country has its idiots, demagogues and ranters, a fact I like to point out when anyone gets too high on the 'bash America' bandwagon. New Zealand politicians tend to be less brash and omnipresent than Americans, but it's got its share of well, wankers.)
A great reason for why the Obama myths persist in mainstream society lies in the fact that media are scared to death of stating an outright fact when it comes to politics, for fear of offending some demographic. Too many stories on this sort of thing mushmouth their way around the point, using vague language rather than just calling a lie a lie, an untruth an untruth. Journalists today have been taught that being factual isn't being "balanced."
I dunno. Is it just easier to believe whatever you're told that fits into your personal worldview? But as the always thoughtful Arthur puts it, propaganda works. Say something enough and people will start to believe it. It's a shame that the 24-hour news cycle, always logged on Internet world of knowledge and freedom seems to have in many ways actually made this kind of climate worse. The truth is out there... somewhere, I guess, maybe.