Obama is black. And not just that. His background is partially Kenyan. That's an African nation. They do stuff differently there. It's like a whole different culture than in Europeanized America. Plus, do you remember that crazy, anti-American preacher of his? Seriously, Obama must really hate America. Obviously, there is no way Obama could be a real American. Ya gotta be a European conservative to be a real patriot.
Obama has a funny middle name. I hear it's a Muslim name. That means we should be afraid of him. After all, he might be a secret terrorist. There's no way to really know for sure. In any case, there is no way Obama could be a real American. Ya gotta be a deistic Christian in order to be a real patriot.
Obama wants to help poor and working-class people. That means he's a hard-core socialist. Maybe even a communist. I got an e-mail that says he wants to steal from the rich and give it to the poor. Who does he think he is? Robin Hood? This is an outrage. Ya gotta be a free market fundamentalist in order to be a real patriot.
Thus, it stands to reason that Obama is an anti-American Muslim communist. Just look at him. He's not one of us.
Does this rhetoric seem extreme? Or maybe even puerile? Well, this is the kind of rhetoric that is going around about Obama. In fact, Newt Gingrich just said Obama has a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview. The sad thing is that Gingrich isn't trying to have a dialogue about Kenyan philosophy or colonial politics. Gingrich is only using these terms to attempt to "otherize" Obama. It's all a part of the fear-mongering agenda that seeks to make Obama look unlike "real" Americans. They try to paint him as radically liberal, radically socialist, radically African, radically Kenyan, radically anti-colonial, radically Muslim, radically pluralistic, radically compassionate etc. In each case Obama is made out to look radically bad. And, in the end, the goal is to make Obama look radically un-American.
Such extreme, polemic rhetoric has to stop. It's destroying public discourse, sowing national discord, and creating political gridlock. Plus, it's heartless defamation of character against other human beings. We need to speak out as proud Americans and demand an end to such harmful rhetoric.
We don't always have to agree. In fact, disagreement can help us gain deeper understanding. But harmful rhetoric only poisons the process. In the words of Obama, "We can disagree without being disagreeable." Or at least disagree without destroying one another.
We're all Americans. We're all sharing one nation - and one world. We're all working for a decent life for ourselves and our families. Let's treat each other in ways that recognize these facts. We're all in this together. Let's continue to work toward building "a more perfect nation." And let's do it as partners instead of adversaries. We're all Americans. Including Obama. Including Gingrich. Including me. Including you.