The nation recently celebrated the July 4 holiday, and right on time, there was a new right-wing myth spread to smear President Obama.
Andrew McCarthy, a blogger for National Review, wrote an article that claimed that President Obama was planning to spend the Independence Day celebration in Paris. Yes, the American president was going to goof off and spend July 4 with those French cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
But actually the president spent July 4 at the White House hosting a barbecue for military personnel who were recently sworn in as U.S. citizens. You can't get more patriotic than that.
Although this story was proven incorrect and the writer later apologized for the error, it quickly whizzed around the blogosphere and further blackened the president's reputation in the eyes of the right-wing.
This again proves the danger of the false reality promoted by conservatives. Here are five other myths promoted by right-wing media.
- American soldiers in Iraq were defending freedom. This lie particularly rankles me. This is a jingoistic phrase that means nothing. American soldiers in Iraq were there to protect oil interests, not freedom. I have talked to soldiers on the ground who admit the official reasons for the Iraq war were total BS. The American presence actually made the state of Iraq less stable to the point where many Iraqis had to stay in doors at night because their neighborhoods had become so chaotic. Saddam was bad, but we made Iraq even worse.
- America has the best healthcare system in the world. No, actually the United Nations ranks the U.S. healthcare system as no. 37 in the world. The French system is rated as no. 1. America has the most expensive healthcare system, but the delivery of the care is pretty awful. And also contrary to health insurance industry propaganda, Canadians are perfectly happy with their healthcare system and are not jumping the border to come here. Also Britons are not clamoring for a privately-run healthcare system either.
- President Obama raised the debt more than all the other presidents combined. Although the national debt hit $14 trillion, since Obama has become president he has only raised it by $4 trillion according to figures from the Treasury, and this was largely to pay for Bush-era tax cuts, two foreign wars and the prescription drug benefit.
- Democrats don't know how to handle the economy. A former boss of mine, who was a died in the wool Republican, said the economy usually does worse when Republicans have both the White House and the Congress. Ronald Reagan pushed the deficit over the trillion-dollar mark and Bill Clinton inherited a recession from George H.W. Bush and left with a surplus. George W. Bush's eight years left the nation in an economic mess.
- Government policies favor African Americans and illegal immigrants. This is laughable. African American unemployment is 15 percent, almost twice the national average. African Americans are also subject to Stop and Frisk laws in New York, racial profiling, police brutality nationwide, harsher sentencing and the ravages of the War on Drugs, which has put more black people than any other race behind bars. American-born and undocumented Latinos are also subject to racial profiling and harassment by authorities in states such as Alabama and Arizona. In Arizona, Latinos can be thrown in inhumane jails that have horrible mortality rates. Seriously, if you think that a Mexican migrant worker, who doesn't speak English and has no support network, has it easier than a White Anglo Saxon Protestant male, you have really lost touch with reality or maybe you're just a Glenn Beck fan.
So next time you get one of those chain emails telling you some outlandish story about Obama hating America, please check it out first. And I suggest you start with Snopes and Fact Check.