By AATTP Contributor, Han Chimpson
Anyone who has witnessed all the hatred and conspiracy theories which have relentlessly riddled President Obama’s term so far won’t be shocked at all by the headline. After all, President Obama is quite the divisive figure, and much of it has to do with his name, his race, and his background, as well as Fox News-fueled distortions of his politics. To put it plainly, he’s just different than most of his largely white and rural detractors are, and that scares the pork and beans out of them.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of conspiracy-minded anti-government “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. For the sake of comparison, the highest number of such groups during the years when George W. Bush was exclusively in office (2001-2008) was 171, in 2003.
As soon as President Obama took office, the number jumped from 149 in 2008 to 512 in 2009, and has nearly tripled since then.
It’s not hard to see why. President Obama, after all, is half-black, has a Muslim-sounding name and is still suspected of being a Muslim by 1 out of 6 people, has had his U.S. citizenship questioned over and over, and has been called a socialist, Marxist, fascist dictator by some rather unenlightened folks who largely do not know the meaning of the words, but just say it because they don’t like him, and they know those words equal “really bad things”. Throw in the various gasbag right-wing mouthpieces on the radio and on Fox News, who apparently have no shame about perpetuating falsities about President Obama, which only serves to fan the flames of hatred.
Then there is the brouhaha over guns. It was bad enough that gun sales went through the roof when President Obama took office in 2009, but things really escalated in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. As soon as President Obama uttered the words “gun control”, there was a mad rush by paranoid “freedom-loving patriots” to the nearest Wal-Mart to buy up their supply of guns and ammo, all in the name of protecting the Second Amendment. “Obama ain’t taking my guns!” they bravely said to one another, as they waited patiently in the long check-out lines at Wal-Mart.
And of course, the other conspiracy theories that have mounted under President Obama’s time in office have been overwhelming. Each one of them is akin to holding up slab of raw meat to a pack of hungry wolves. The most extreme right-wingers out there glom onto every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike. Besides all the “He’s gonna take our guns away!” ones, there have been many others, including ones about voter fraud. In one of the most staggering polls ever seen as far as exposing the depths of ignorance amongst TEApublicans, a poll by Public Policy Polling taken right after the 2012 election showed that nearly half of all TEApublicans believed that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. Never mind that ACORN disappeared in 2010!
Throw in several other conspiracy theories involving religion, sexual orientation, race, etc, and it is clearly not a surprise that these hate groups exist at roughly 10 times the rate that they existed under George W Bush. Let’s hope that the ignorance that breeds such group is not too contagious, and let’s hope that the level of hatred out there does not lead to something crazy and dramatic happening.
Han Chimpson spends a lot of time monkeying around at the Ayn Rand Collected Social Security page, and thinks you are cool enough to do the same.