News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 23, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 23, 2012


‘Scary’ movie about Obama based on false fantasy

In response to a letter from Kathie Munson published Sept. 15:

So you went to see a movie and came home, what, more informed?

No, you came home down a few dollars and more delusional. So many like Ms. Munson have flocked to the “Obama’s America” movie and gotten just what they went there for — a soft-edged version of the hate Obama campaign.

The creator of this kitschy little money-maker is Dinesh D’Souza, a very conservative serial Obama hater. Actually, he and so many like him do not want President Obama to lose in November. His presidency has been an absolute cash cow for them. What does it say about us when such open hatred of our first African American President can fuel a billion dollar multimedia industry in the name of a “better America”?

The movie’s premise rests on the relationship between a young Obama and his father. Of course, his father had very little influence on him because he lived almost his entire youth with his loving, hard-working mother and grandmother. This nonexistent relationship with his supposed radical Kenyan father is the movie’s basis for claiming that President Obama is anti-American.

Of course, more broadly, in a political campaign that is funding a lie and fear factory with hundreds of millions of dollars, it does not matter what the truth is about Obama’s life or his presidency. The GOP’s plan to influence votes with lies and fear-mongering on one side and then restrict voting for law-abiding citizens on the other side with lies about vote fraud begs the question of why would so many people be willing to stand with such illegitimacy?

President Obama’s upbringing reminds me a little of the Republicans’ favorite President, Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s father was a drunk, couldn’t hold down a job, and moved the family many times. This was perhaps even more troubling to a young Ronald than Barack’s essentially fatherless experience. The nickname “Dutch” was given to Reagan as a child by his dad because he resembled some image he had of a chubby little Dutch kid.

In spite of all this, the Gipper made it to the White House. He promised lower taxes, smaller government and more prosperity. Did he keep his promises? Well, he raised taxes 11 times and oversaw unbridled spending during his presidency which almost tripled the federal budget deficit (it went from $900 billion to $2.8 trillion) and grew the size of government to record levels. Reagan added 238,000 nonmilitary government employees. His initial tax-cutting approach created 10.8 percent unemployment, so he had to tax like crazy from then on to recover those jobs. Governing should be more precise than that.

How about President Obama? Unlike Reagan, Obama has delivered to a remarkable degree on his promises in spite of the rabid and disgraceful resistance by Republican lawmakers in their attempts to see him fail while they disregard the needs of the country. We are enjoying the lowest tax rates in decades. In fact, last year businesses and corporations paid their lowest average rate (12.1 percent) in 40 years with individual rates at their lowest in 30 years. Obama has kept government expansion in check as well. His social, health, environmental and global-political accomplishments have also been impressive and important, laying the foundation for progress over the next four years and beyond.

Obviously the slow job market recovery is a concern, but that is a shared responsibility between government and the private sector. There is plenty of money out there to create jobs and plenty of work to be done. Corporate profits are up, dividends are up, stocks are up, CEO bonuses are back up, but big money won’t pitch in and bet on America. They would rather distract us with complaints about regulations and debt while quietly cashing in big time. President Obama gave Congress a solid jobs bill a year ago and Senate Republicans wouldn’t let it come up for a vote. Apparently compassion for the middle class and poor has no place in the GOP tent, nor is there room for cooperation. The “big tent” is long gone. It has been replaced by a circus tent filled with the wealthiest Americans who created it and their familiars.

So, like the fantasies of Reagan, voodoo economics and the conservative approach to governing, this movie is trying to advance the notion that Obama is secretly heading us toward some dark place. Ooohhh, boogey, boogey. You can take those special movie glasses off now. It is time to live in the real world of facts and consequences. The facts cannot be interpreted any other way — President Obama inherited a grim reality that included significant corporate influence over Congress, rampant greed and treachery in the financial sector, crushing debt, a disappearing middle class, a crumbling infrastructure, vanishing jobs, abandonment of science, a decrepit education system, health care out of reach for many, and lack of international respect.

He has since made many brilliant and courageous decisions that are beginning to turn the tide with virtually no help from the GOP. It appears Indiana will not support Obama this time, but does that also mean we are going to support a do-nothing Congress during his second term?

Combined with our likely state administration, it paints a bleak picture for Hoosiers if we do. Let’s stop all the tea-foolery and do more to position Indiana as a viable option for sensible, forward-looking people and responsible job-creating enterprises.

— Don Rogers

Terre Haute

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