The July 22 Ideas article “Revealed! Obama’s secret agenda” was a disgraceful validation of right-wing crackpot theories about alleged plans by President Obama to “radicalize” the country in his second term: Islamization, taking away people’s guns, nationalizing private lands, etc.
While pretending to present this whole sorry mess of heinous falsehoods as outlandish conspiracy theories, Leon Neyfakh makes barely any effort to refute them or expose their origins and motives. Aided by a graphic format and boldface headings that push these theories into the reader’s lap, Neyfakh’s turns of phrase repeatedly turn paranoid fantasy into supposed fact. For example, he writes, “That Obama wants to expand the federal government is, of course, a central plank of the conservative case against him. What is less well appreciated is that he literally wants to increase the amount of America that the federal government owns.”
So much for objectivity.
It is even less well appreciated that the anti-Obama crusade is part of a well-financed effort by powerful special interests to radicalize the country in a different way: dismantling the social safety net, progressive tax structure, and concern for the public good that made America into a prosperous, well-educated, and innovative nation.
Such an America was sustained by decades of bipartisan consensus, but it’s headed for the ash heap, thanks to the poisonous lies that are now, among other aims, fueling hatred of Obama.