Anyone who proudly discusses their progressive and liberal political philosophies has undoubtedly felt the sting of slings and arrows from reactionary right-wing Neanderthals. The vitriol can be so spiteful we can become gun shy about attempting to engage in any civil discussion on vital national issues.
The most recent example of this was a simple statement from the president touting his personal experience about responsible gun use and American traditions:
“Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”
- President Barack Obama
The New Republic 2013 interview
Fighting Fire with Fire, Everyone Gets Burned
What the President should have known and anticipated was the reaction of the extreme right-wing questioning the truth and sincerity of his statement. In response to a baseless barrage of social media chatter and typical Fox News pandering to their core neo-con audience, the White House felt compelled to release a photo of the President firing a shotgun.
The irony of the response was not lost on former senior advisor David Plouffe who tweeted, “Attn skeet birthers. Make our day – let the photoshop conspiracies begin!” And the conspiracies did flow which only proves you can never get out in front of a public relations game played with dolts.
Can I get an AMEN!
For the presidential candidate who redefined and set the bar for the use of social media in a campaign, President Obama’s PR staff may be too sensitive to the conspiratorial cacophony of tweets and posts. He, and the rest of us, needs to remember that our social media musings are circulated among the sanctified brethren of our chosen political persuasion. In other words, we are preaching to the choir in hopes of getting a hardy “Amen” to our protestations.
In a partial defense of the trigger happy media image managers of the White House, the “You didn’t build this” quote was a self-inflicted wound. Plus, politics no longer rests on reasonable people making compromises but public relations management surrounding positions. The end game is always damage control from a national media that is more 24/7 reality show than news and information.
Who are the News Drivers
Before the internet and social media age, all the disgruntled rumblings of folks on both sides of the political aisle were just water cooler and porch talk. Rarely would the rants of the disaffected be the subject of any news program. Now the President of the United States has to defend his birth provenance by releasing his birth certificate because a few wackos like Donald Trump are viewed as a credible source.
This is the hysteria we live in today. We have no more civil discussions. If you don’t agree with the radical Republican Tea Party right -wing you are called a lying unpatriotic piece of pond scum not worthy to walk the face of the earth. Even the defenders of Richard Nixon were treated with more deference than anyone today who supports Barack Obama. This is the new era of yellow journalism as practiced by Fox News. As it had always been, it’s about attracting and retaining viewers in order to sell advertising, not journalism.
A Call to Arms
There are few words to express my contempt for people that put more faith in a draft-dodging, washed up guitar player, whose claim to fame is the moniker “Motor City Madman” than the President of the United States. It’s a real pisser that honest progressives have to constantly play defense with their comments and responses against the distortions of the psychologically distorted. This is the world we live in. So I will put on my breastplate of social media armor and go fight to enlighten those who have ears with which to listen.