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  • The Politics of Fear

    Back in 2004, then Senate candidate Barack Obama delivered a powerful speech on the floor of the Democratic Convention challenging our country to shatter the idea that we are a divided people.  Obama went on to say that this country is not a country of Black America, or Hispanic America or White America, but a United States of America.  “We are one America,” Obama would go on to say culminating a speech that would go on to eventually propel him as the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 2008.

    Six years after that stirring speech, now President Obama has replaced the lofty rhetoric of hope and unity with fear and divisiveness.  With his political party facing the prospect of a receiving a resounding thumping in the upcoming midterm elections, President Obama has resorted to name calling as a last ditch effort to sway the outcome.

    Appearing on a popular morning Univision radio broadcast called “Piolin por la Mañana,” hosted by Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, President Obama urged Hispanic listeners to vote for his political party in the upcoming elections and punish the enemies. “If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

    You don’t need to speak Spanish to discern that the President was clearly referring to conservatives as the enemy.  President Obama went on to remind the listeners not to forget who was on their side come election day.

    So much for there not being a Hispanic America but a one people comprising the United States of America…

    Looking to blame others for his Administration’s ineptness , President Obama blamed Republicans for inaction on a comprehensive immigration reform bill despite the brutal reality that Democrats control both chambers of Congress and The White House.  Obama went on to say that Republicans such as Senator John McCain, who formerly supported an overhaul but now are stressing border security and supporting strict immigration laws like Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration measure “aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

    In other words, enforcing our immigration laws is unpatriotic.

    The irony is that if President Obama really understood the Hispanic community, he would know that Hispanics are more concerned about the economy and jobs than immigration as confirmed by a recent Pew Hispanic Center Survey. Hispanics, like the rest of the country, are rightfully concerned with the direction of our country.  It is painfully clear that President Obama’s reckless spending and failed economic policies are not creating jobs or jump starting our economy as evidenced with a national unemployment rate of nearly double digits, and closer to 12 percent for Hispanics.

    For liberals like President Obama, it is inconceivable to think Hispanics could even think disagreeing or doubting the merits of a progressive agenda.  In fact, it isn’t too long ago that current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made national headlines when he articulated this race-tinged sentiment in the heat of his own re-election race by declaring, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.” Liberals will have to confront the reality that Hispanic voters are not single-issue voters and care about the same issues of concern to the rest of the country.

    No one should be defined by race alone.  It’s too bad that President Barack Obama has turned his back on his call to live in a country not divided along racial lines.  The politics of fear are alive and well thanks to President Obama.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to The Politics of Fear

    1. West Texan says:

      To quote Francisco Canseco, candidate for Texas' 23rd congressional district. "I'm a Texan American". Now that's the 'political center' our country must return for today's and future generations. It's constitutionally the proper and necessary path to follow.

    2. Thomas A. Coss, Las says:

      Obama seems to poorly understand the Hispanics I know. The Hispanics I know have a rich and enviable culture around family, hard work and fairness. These individuals, legal and illegal, are not interested in, or have time for, class comparisons; they've had enough of that already. They came here to pursue opportunities in an economic system that is more predictable and less corrupt than the one from which they came, and certainly not to be spoken down to by their president.

      The president is looking and sounding more and more foolish.

    3. Lee says:

      An illegal looking for support from illegals.

    4. Pally says:

      It is scary to have leadership of this once beautiful country, to be so deceptive of America and Americans, then single out one nationality his dictate without effort, punishment to his enemies he insists are theirs. Doesn't respect or acknowledge Latinos have minds of their own as all do, to think for themselves, so he speaks with distortion and thinks for Latinos. Makes socialism easier to implement.

      He encourages violence in the country he leads. This man needs a job in a third world country.

    5. Mandy, NYC says:

      It takes a measure of gall to accuse the President of divisiveness in the face of an opposition that is not loyal but obstructionist and defines itself by who it excludes.

    6. Pingback: Obama calling on the uneducated masses to blindly vote Democrat

    7. Pat, Minnesota says:

      Well now…..the President of the United States is calling me (a U.S. citizen) and other conservatives (U.S. citizens) that love our country "the enemy". Now that takes a lot of "gall"!

    8. Aaron, Pittsburgh says:

      Add to this the President's recent quote that Republicans have to sit in the back of the bus, and you've got perhaps the most divisive President in a very long time.

    9. Ken, New Zealand at says:

      @Mandy: Loyal to whom, exactly? Are we supposed to be blindly loyal to anyone who happens to take power, no matter our level of philosophical disagreement with them? Blindly loyal to the state, perhaps, no matter what it does? The idea that whoever takes power can claim 'public mandate' thus rendering any opposition invalid is disingenuous coming from either the left or the right. I'm sure the people (like me, by the way) who were opposing Bush and his statist policies were hailed as patriots by the left. Now that we oppose Obama for the same reasons, we're the petty opposition who just wants to be divisive. I'm afraid I don't see obstructionism as a vice, nor do I define myself by who I exclude. I'm willing to work with all people of similar philosophical bearings, no matter where they come from, what color they are, or who they sleep with. But, by all means, continue to misread those of us who are in 'opposition'; as long as you guys are swinging at straw-men, we'll just keep gaining ground.

    10. Henry Walther, Grani says:

      While Obama ran as a "post-racial" candidate and was touted as a "unifier", from his first book (Songs From My Father} it has been clear that he's consumed with racial and class issues. As stress and challenge wear on him, we can expect the real character to continue to emerge. It will not be a pretty sight. The increasing outrage and resistance from engaged traditional Americans will be branded as "bigotry"and "extremism". The Left is quiote good at this passive-addressive style and finds ready aid frim the mainstream media. We need to continue to frame him in his proper historical context as a budding authoritarian, but we need to reach beyond our immediate traditional base in doing this. I wonder if Heritage could engage some Latin American scholars who understand the strains of government oppression in Mexican and Central American history and could cast our Left in those terms in a format that could reach "Latinos" in this country, legal or illegal, educated or not. For sure, FREEDOM is a universal value, but if we can't reach these growing demographics and break the duplicious syllogism of "Republican = rich = oppressor ; Democrat = common man = oppressed", we will merely be circling our wagons in an ever-decreasing circle.

    11. Christopher, TX says:

      @ Mr. Ken: I was in somewhat agreement with you until you said "…nor do I define myself by who I exclude. I’m willing to work with all people of similar philosophical bearings…." Wouldn't that be excluding those without those same bearings since you work with people of only similar bearings? Working with like-minded people validate our belief sets (philosophical bearings); assuming you define yourself by your philosophical bearings (like most people), wouldn't excluding people without those similarities you speak of be therefore defining you?Just curious.

      And I believe by loyal and obstructionist, Mandy meant that conservatives (I presume) aren't stead-fast and firm on issues that don't seem to get them elected. A good example would be their interest in repealing the 14th and 17th Amendments. However, that was not a smart move politically for them so now they support them both. I'm sure this happens with both the left and right, but just seems to be more frequent with the right.

      @ Mr. Walther: Without any agenda behind this, I would like to know what the values or traditions are of those "engaged traditional Americans?" To address the issue of race, I would argue that the pressure and insurmountable amount of ridicule first hand or indirectly from being the first minority president will affect anyone and cause them to react. To say that pressure and ridicule doesn't exist would be denial on anyone's account. However, how they react will reveal a part of their character, but I don't think we're in any kind of danger of "authoritarianism" or race division with this president.

      As far as this article is concerned, we just plainly have to look at this as "election season." Mr. Ortega, to not expect statements, as unfortunate or misspoken as they are, at this time of the year is folly. I would also say it is a mistake to believe that the President sees Latino Americans solely and distinctly as concerned with immigration. However, immigration is the hot topic during this season of the year. I don't think when President Obama talks about America or Americans his thinking individually of Hispanics, Whites, Asians, Blacks, when referring to job losses or being affected by the economic crisis or housing crisis. He's speaking about the entirety of Americans. Sure, everyone cares about the economy and other issues but he is simply pointing out an issue (immigration reform) that seemingly and chiefly applies to Latin people (legal or not). I disagree with Harry Reid and President Obama, if he too makes the assumption, that all Latino Americans should care about the issue of immigration, but I can see the difficulty in separating those thoughts into two different ideas because of how we have recently itemized them as synonymous. That doesn't make up for Harry Reid as a Senator or President Obama however, because we should expect more from them. Although I don't have the time to point out the many weak points in this article I will say that we should not just look at the left when we talk about "the politics of fear" being alive and well.

    12. Ben says:

      The bigotry and extremist mindset is preventing anything from getting done. The american people were duped again by changing parties. Let's look at this from a corporate lense. If you fire all your employers and managers every 2 years because the new group make a lot of promises. Does that make any sense. We act like a bunch of damn kids with temper tantrum. This is what should happen to american politics. 50 senators from each party. A split house 210 each. No party should ever have the power. This way they have to work together. This will also eliminate the hateful attack ads. So for example you would have 2 senators. Vote for the best candidate for you party.

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