Former President Bill Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press“ and when asked about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that smeared him during his presidency he said this:
GREGORY: “Is it [the right-wing conspiracy] still there?”
CLINTON: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was, .. I mean, they’re saying things about him [Obama] — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did,”
I agree with the former president’s assessment that we have changed demographically as a nation and that the virulence of the right-wing smear factory is as virulent as ever, but Clinton failed to touch on two critical points surrounding this current crusade of baseless slanders against these two democratically elected leaders.
The major platform to carry the broken logic of these claims was primarily talk radio when Clinton held the White House. Today these same kind of untrue slanders are carried by FOX News Talk Radio, FOX Cable News, and other talk mediums that include satellite broadcasting which did not even exist within the time he was in office. Then add on top of that a new spinster has come to rival Rush Limbaugh: Glenn Beck.
The McCarthyist and anti-democratic rhetoric coming from the right-wing did not start until several years into the Clinton presidency but have begun almost immediately in the Obama presidency.
Likely he seeks to try to disempower the media-jackals of FOX News, by evading the heart of the matter of the foundation-less smears directed against President Obama; he is trying to avoid giving them bait.
But it must be said: these smears have propagated themselves in much more virulent manner and much sooner than they did for Clinton. It took them years to get around to accusing him of anything even half as extreme as some of the myths about Obama that have been floated around from several months back.
What is worse is the very foundation of this conspiracy is not the same as the one that attacked Clinton. Only the tactics and one of the actors (Limbaugh) remain from that old sideshow.
This is far, far worse and I can not label it anything less than fundamentally un-American.
It seeks to undermine our very system of democracy and our very system of public discourse.
The government is trying to kill you and everyone not with you is a “shill”.
Or … if it’s not the wild conspiracy theories of those like Alex Jones, it’s the equally wild claims of those like Glenn Beck.
The government is trying to control your life and everyone who doesn’t think so is a “Marxist”.
All of this is simply designed to sow fear and distrust for both anyone who supports any not of their opinion then simultaneously spread fear about the government at-large.
In a democratic society we cannot afford to simply forgo coming to the table to discuss our positions with facts and reason then replace this with media-crusades and continuous vicious untrue labeling without dire consequence.
Those who refuse to educate themselves except from known liars need to be recognized as dealt with non-credible.
The insidious plot that is in play here is of another caliber entirely.
It is a giant media body larger and the message is wholly anti-democratic, then you add that we have race baiting going on against the first African-American president by both Beck and Limbaugh, but nobody on the right wing ever cares that they engaged in it and continue to do so at their whim.
A certain element of racism exists not just in what Jimmy Carter said about some white people in the US not feeling a black man should lead this great nation, but also within this intense rush to judgment of Barack Obama in terms of the full scope of his presidency.
The matter of those on the right who wished to keep their children home from school because Obama would address the class in a video is more short-term example of this same rush to negative judgment.
I personally will allow no person to wrap themselves in this claim that anyone is saying that everyone anti-Obama is by value of that a racist.
What is disturbing is the number of people who obviously have never looked into what people are calling “racist” or “racialist” on the left but truly have a high level of indignation more about the fact that the issue is being discussed than anything else.
To not even entertain thought long enough to form any kind of argument begs the question if they are within heavy stages of denial.
Make no mistake, once these neoconservatives no longer have an enemy to publicly defame and lie about they will go right back to trying to get people to vote for The Republican Party.