Published on February 6th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan0
What If Obama Did This? … & Where’s Trump’s Birth Certificate, By The Way?
February 6th, 2017 by Zachary Shahan
If you’ve been paying close attention to US politics this past month, I probably don’t need to tell you what’s been going on. If you haven’t been, well, I can’t even find the word to describe it — it’s been a mix of insanity, corruption, hypocrisy, lies (aka “alternative facts”), irony, fictional history, idiocy, chaos, and looming disaster. In other words, just another month in the life of a con man from Queens.
Before getting into the focus of the article, though, I want to highlight that I think Donald Trump’s counterproductive policies and approach to politics are actually much less about him conning people and much more about him being conned, and simply being a person who doesn’t carefully evaluate pretty much anything. The clearest understanding I have of Trump is that he is just a rich old white man who has sat on his couch watching Fox News for too long. Of course, beyond that, he golfs with Rush Limbaugh, talks to Sean Hannity on the phone, and has branded himself as “successful” and “rich” for decades (even when he was deep, deep in the red and his family members reportedly handed over millions of dollars to bail him out). But the main point is — he has been heavily brainwashed by the extremist right-wing propaganda machine, just like so many other old white grandpas. When you consider the point that he basically doesn’t read, the fact that most of this propaganda comes straight through Fox News and talk radio is not so surprising.
If you look at Trump’s past political comments and criticisms of Obama, they often came straight from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. His simplistic (in many cases very harmfully simplistic) “solutions” to problem after problem come from talking heads on Fox. (He admits as much in the interview clip with Chuck Todd in the video above, in which he basically says he gets his information and ideas from TV news — and we know he heavily prefers Fox News).
Trump’s deep and broad anger, his feeling that America was under attack by an unpatriotic (obviously incorrect) and Muslim (obviously incorrect) Obama, and the fear (my God, the fear) — it all comes straight from the right-wing propaganda machine most powerfully represented by Fox News, but also via so many other propaganda outlets Trump has mentioned or retweeted (and, of course, Republican politicians themselves).
Think about it. Think about any Donald Trump proposal. Did it not come straight from watching Fox, listening to Rush Limbaugh, or chatting with buddies Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly (and now Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, etc.)? Is Trump not just a crazy, angry grandpa who has watched too much Fox?
I think this also helps to explain why much of the public felt like he understood them, why his communication approach was so effective on so many people — he’s one of them. He may be a billionaire (or millionaire) living in a penthouse in New York City, but he basically sits in front of the TV and gets angry watching Fox News. Rumor has it that his current aides have a tough time pulling him away from the TV and getting him to tame this “bad habit.”
But, now, that brings me to the core topic of this article. In summary: the hypocrisy, it burns.
There are so many things Trump has now done that, if they had been done by Obama, the faces of Fox News hosts and Republican politicians would be bubbling red and exploding. Yet, because it’s “one of their guys” instead of a black Democrat, it doesn’t matter — it’s good even! As a preface to a list of some of these things, though, I think it’s relevant to note something else: I’ve heard that Trump wasn’t actually born in the US — that he’s Scottish. What I’m told is that no one has seen his birth certificate, and that there’s not even any legitimate, proven record of him going to elementary school in the US. This could be a huge deal. I think it’s something we should look into — for years to come. I may even hire a private investigator.
(Yes, that birth certificate part is all a joke, but seriously, that’s what Trump, Fox News, and others said about Obama and did for years!)
Anyway, here are some very legitimate matters to consider:
1. What if Obama selected the longtime CEO of a giant solar energy company to be secretary of state? “Picking winners and losers? Crony capitalism?”
2. Furthermore, what if that company had been known to conceal information relevant to the public good and was causing health problems and premature death for millions of people?
4. Speaking of Russia … What would the response be if Obama won the election after Russia hacked into the Republican Party and its presidential campaign emails and leaked them to Wikileaks? What would the result be if the entire US intelligence community said that Russia did this in order to try to get Obama elected and Obama’s reaction was to berate these US intelligence agencies, claim that they are wrong, and praise Russia’s responses to the matter? (What if this is something the FBI was investigating but didn’t make public even though it made public nonsense investigations about Obama’s opponents’ emails at critical times during the election.)
5. What if Obama continuously praised Vladimir Putin and said it’s no big deal that Putin killed political opponents and that it had happened in the US as well?
6. What if Obama lashed out on Twitter to claim a US civil rights icon who risked his life and was almost beaten to death fighting for justice was “all talk, no action” … during a weekend meant to remember and honor the epic battle that hero was a part of.
7. What if Obama passed a poorly planned and probably unconstitutional ban on travel from various legitimate visa holders, green card holders, and other travellers, was then blocked by our court system (one of our key “checks on power”), and then lashed out at our court system for using its inherent right and expertise to block this unconstitutional ban?
8. What if Obama made pointless, nonsensical rules like “government agencies have to repeal two regulations for every new regulation they create?”
9. What if Obama attacked and pissed off leaders of China, Australia, the UK, Germany, Iran, and others in his first two weeks on the job?
10. What if Obama obsessively attacked the media and any criticisms of him that the entertainment industry sent his way?
12. What if Obama focused on cracking down on Wall Street — Goldman Sachs in particular — and then nominated or installed four former or current Goldman Sachs people for top positions and immediately worked to roll back critical regulations on Wall Street put in place after the recession to protect the economy?
13. What if Obama went a record length before holding a press conference (waited months longer than other presidents had)?
14. What if Obama had a vast global business that he was unwilling to stop running after becoming president, one that lent itself to special treatment from political players around the world?
15. What if Obama never released his tax returns, despite allegations that he didn’t pay federal income tax for nearly 20 years, and despite allegations that they might reveal close ties with foreign governments?
16. What if Obama lied dozens of times in his first two weeks on the job?
17. What if Obama fired the Acting Attorney General for doing her job … just days before she would be leaving the position anyway?
18. What if Obama called refugees “illegal immigrants” and wanted to ignore the country’s duties under the Geneva Conventions?
19. What if Obama neglected to mention Jewish people on Holocaust Remembrance Day?
20. What if Obama claimed there was widespread voter fraud in the election and essentially all the people (approximately “3 million” of them) voted against Obama? (Note: That’s conveniently the number Trump would need to have actually beaten Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.)
21. What if Obama obsessed over the size of his inauguration crowd and lied that it was the largest ever when there was clear evidence it wasn’t close to the size of his predecessor’s inauguration crowd?
22. What if Obama — contrary to the US intelligence community — claimed that torture worked and indicated he might bring it back?
23. What if Obama used his National Prayer Day speech to hype his entertainment career and bash Arnold Schwarzenegger?
24. What if Obama came into one of the worst economic crises in American history and left with the economy on solid feet? Oh, wait, that was Obama’s story … unfortunately for Fox News, the jobs were in solar energy, wind energy, electric transport, and other arenas Obama specifically supported.
But remember, we now live in Don the Con’s scary reality.