I admit that I’m politically schizophrenic, mixing right-and left-wing positions on different subjects. Those of my friends (those that remain) who have consistent ideologies invariably come to regard me as a extremist in favor of whatever they are against.
Anyway, the other day I was listening to a woman of the progressive persuasion talk about the really distressing phenomenon of Obama-hatred on the Right. The President’s statements and his motives are misrepresented, attacks on him are personal and possibly racist, he is portrayed in vile caricatures, he is simply hated — far beyond any criticism of policy. And she added that she was honestly afraid for his safety as a result.
Now I think his administration’s Mideast policy — worse, his entire view about the proper place of the US in the world and the intentions of its adversaries — is entirely wrong and off-balance. It’s both immoral and disadvantageous for the US and for the human race. But I absolutely agree with this woman that his political enemies have gone way too far in the direction of misrepresentation and personal vilification. And yes, it’s worse than it was with Clinton and even worse than the Left’s treatment of Bush.
So I asked her if she saw any parallel between the way the Right relates to Obama and the way she and other ‘progressives’ think about the state of Israel.
Did she see any similarity between the made-up stories about Obama’s birth and religion and the absurd blood libels against Israel spreading rapidly around the world?
Is she aware that motives attributed to Obama and Israel by opponents are always the worst possible, no matter how irrational? So Obama is said to want to wreck the economy in order to ultimately destroy capitalism and replace it with some form of socialism — and Israel is accused of acting to ‘punish’ Palestinians in order to humiliate them and destroy their culture.
Did she notice the caricatures and cartoons vilifying Israel?
Did she worry that the constant din of Israel’s enemies like Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah, Meshaal, and countless others calling for and predicting Israel’s destruction might stimulate terrorists to act?
Does she see that the goal of the assault is the same — to soften up the target so it can be destroyed?
Does she notice that she herself — someone who tries very hard to live ethically and fight against every form of oppression and unfairness — sometimes repeats false accusations against Israel that she heard on KPFA, the left-wing version of conservative ‘hate radio’?
It seems to me that anti-Israel lies and distortions are in many ways worse than those told about the President. For one thing, what are the rantings of a Glenn Beck compared with the official pronouncements of the Goldstone Commission of the ‘United Nations’ — although the credibility of the latter should be no more than that of the former?
And as far as I know, nobody has yet accused the President of stealing organs.