I received the following email from a reader in response to my column on talk show hosts slandering the President and his wife by repeatedly saying they hate their country. As could be expected, the reader missed the point of the column which was to rebut the President’s ideas rather than impugn his character. My response follows his comments.
Do you know the definition of slander? Webster's Dictionary: "false and defamatory oral statement about a person". The person you accuse of slander was giving his opinion that he believed the president and first lady hates America. That is not slander. It may not be truth, but it is not slander.
There are many Americans who believe the Obamas hate America. For many reasons, and not just the ones you cite. His refusal to put his hand over his heart when the National Anthem is played. Refusal to wear a flag on his lapel. His attendance at a church for 22 years where Jemeriah Wright constantly damned America. His behavior and response at the Gulf oil spillage. This and many other reasons.
American presidents have traditionally modeled themselves after such great leaders as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. Saul Alinsky is his hero. He has associated with such as Bill Ayers.
Dinesh D'souza has written a book, "Roots of Obama's Rage". I have not read the complete book, but many excerpts from it and it helps to explain Obama. Obama's father was a Kenyan communist who had a deep hatred for Western Democracies, especially the British. Much information about the book is on the internet.
I firmly believe Obama would never have been elected if he had been properly vetted by the media. If Obama had been on the ballot in 2010 he would have been defeated. But Obama has now realized that his leftish politics will lead to defeat, and he has now decided to try to rehabilitate himself by moving to the center. Will the American people be fooled?
Thank you for your feedback on my column about slander and the Obamas. Yes, as a trained journalist I do know what slander is, the spoken equivalent of libel. You say that what the person to whom I was referring said may not be the truth, but it was not slander. If it was not true, then it was slander. In a court of law, the only defense against libel or slander is to demonstrate the offending material is true.
In your response, you continue to defame the president’s character without challenging his ideas. This is too bad, because it is his ideas that need challenging, and there is so much evidence to show that his ideas don’t work. Socialism, communism, central planning, or whatever one wishes to call it, has never worked well. You don’t need to impugn a man’s character and accuse him of hating his country to demonstrate that his ideas are flawed.
As to Rev. Wright: Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and others love to play over and over again the 20 second sound bite of him saying “not God bless America, but God damn America.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard white, fundamentalist preachers say, “If God doesn’t punish America, He is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” They are saying the same thing with a little more finesse, and I have never heard anything but “amen” when they say it.
As to D’souza’s book, let me quote Proverbs, “Of the making of books there will be no end.” As I young man I read a 400 page tome by Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, in which he claims to prove that President Eisenhower was a communist. I guess I learned at an early age not to believe everything I read in print.
I’m sure if you listened to enough of my old sermon tapes or read enough of my college papers, you could find a sound bite or two with which to impugn my character. Times and circumstances change us all. Sometimes all it takes is losing an election or two. No, I don’t expect Obama to abandon his socialistic ways, but that does not justify slander. To stoop to slander is to admit I can’t adequately challenge his ideas.