Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hip To Be Square

Back in the 1980's, Huey Lewis and the News had a hit song - Hip To Be Square - that observed that what was once considered undesirable was now in vogue. In the 60's and more so in the 70's, being square was the opposite of hip, which everyone wished to be. Once the majority of people considered themselves to be hip, it went out of fashion and as Lewis points out in the song, it suddenly became hip to be square.

During the long campaign for the presidency of the United States, the ultimate victor, Barack Hussein Obama, was hyper-sensitive on the campaign trail about his middle name, insisting that it not be used when referring to him and lashing out at those who dared to do so. John McCain actually apologized for a radio host who, announcing McCain at a campaign event, had the temerity to utter the terrible complete name of his opponent, Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama himself went out of his way to portray himself as a Christian, relying on his soon-to-be toxic pastor and his church as proof. So careful was he to avoid and conceal his Muslim roots for fear of alienating the American voters, coming so relatively close on the heels of the attacks of 9/11/2001, that his handlers and media enablers were scornful of anyone who mentioned it at all. Cable talking heads debated at length the merit of using his middle name. After all, they said, many past presidents used their middle names, why not this one?

The answer is simple; it was to conceal the truth until after the election. The tactic worked brilliantly. We now have a Muslim president, who recently declared that "if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world". But here's an example of his rhetoric on the campaign trail. Speaking to a crowd in Pennsylvania in September, 2008, he said:

"I know that I'm not your typical presidential candidate and I just want to be honest with you. I know that the temptation is to say, 'You know what? The guy hasn't been there that long in Washington. You know, he's got a funny name. You know, we're not sure about him.' And that's what the Republicans when they say this isn't about issues, it's about personalities, what they're really saying is, 'We're going to try to scare people about Barack. So we're going to say that, you know, maybe he's got Muslim connections.'...Just making stuff up."
As we're now learning, the Republicans weren't "just making stuff up", and the people had every reason to be scared because what was once taboo is now perfectly a-okay. Two months ago in Ankara, Obama was introduced to the Turkish Parliament as Barack Hussein Obama, and Keith Olbermann never batted an eye or popped a vein in protest at the use of his Messiah's middle name. (The jury is still out as to whether the event sent a thrill up Chris Matthews' other leg).

There must have been a level of cognizance on the part of Obama that the American people wouldn't vote for him if he were overtly Muslim or there would have been no need to be clandestine about it in the first place. So what is it that makes him now believe that it's hip to be Muslim? Just ask him, he'll be glad to tell you. He'd likely say, "Because I won" when what he really means is, "We won".

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