What made Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez open fire on the White House? The only motive given so far is that the 21-year-old man hates President Obama. Hates him enough to want to kill him.
Let’s concede that Ortega (photo above, right) must be crazy. That goes without saying.
But what would fill a crazy person like Ortega with such hatred?
The 21-year-old Idaho man has never met the president. All he knows about Barack Obama is what the media have fed him. And if he has been listening to Rush Limbaugh (photo above, left) or Fox News, he has been fed a diet of toxic lies.
I wonder how many more Americans – crazy or not – have been brainwashed by the relentless anti-Obama propaganda that floods the airwaves, the presses and the internet?
How many more have watched those anti-abortion movies shown in churches to make the president out to be a “baby killer”?
I have never seen – or even heard of – such a vicious campaign to evoke rage and hatred directed at a single individual.
The effects are everywhere. I go next door to the church yard and pause to chat with the folks who work there. Nice people. Obliging people. Always willing to help out, they feed the hungry and provide sanctuary for the homeless. But mention some problem affecting the nation and their eyes grow hard.
“Obama,” they spit in disgust.
I try to reason away their venom, but I can see from their faces that my words are falling on stony ground.
I don’t have to wonder where they got their hatred of the president. Often, as I putter about in the garden, I can hear their radio. I can hear Rush Limbauigh delivering another tirade against Obama.
Limbaugh is a liar, of course. And his rhetoric is based on nothing more logical than bile.
But it works. Day in and day out, millions of Americans are fed this type of propaganda as Republican-dominated talk radio pollutes the airwaves. The message is reinforced on Fox News and far too often on mainstream television. It is spread across the internet in luridly presented blogs and vile cartoons.
Powered by millions of right-wing dollars, the professionally orchestrated propaganda has succeeded in deflecting the country’s rage from the real villains to focus on America’s first black president.
That is one reason that I find the Occupy Wall Street movement so encouraging. They have identified the true cause of the country’s distress.
They realize that the bankers and corporate CEOs are the plunderers and oppressors. They understand that this elite 1 percent pull the strings to make their puppets in Congress siphon the country’s wealth into their pockets.
Under the Constitution, the president can do only so much. And the way I see it, he is doing his best.
Pray for his – and his family’s – safety. And let’s try as hard as we can to give him another term.