Being Wrong Does Not Equal Being Evil

Balderdash.  Poppycock.  Nonsense.  Rot.  Etc.

I’ve picked up from multiple sources in the conservative media speculation that President Obama might have purposely engineered the Gulf Coast oil spill as a means of discrediting oil-based energy and convincing people of the need to make a major shift to alternative energy plans.  While he does clearly want to focus more on “green” energy, we must make no mistake about this dangerous accusation: it is irresponsible, reprehensible, and unacceptable. 

It bothers me that so many on both sides of the political spectrum are comfortable slapping grossly wild labels on those on the other side.  One might not have liked George W. Bush’s administration, but he did not deserve to be called an empty-headed warmonger for eight years.  Similarly, President Obama deserves the same basic decency in our treatment of him.  Are people really suggesting that he might have manufactured a crisis that has cost many human and countless animal lives, and will surely devastate the environment and parts of the economy for years?  That’s not civic discourse, that’s not criticism–that’s childish demagoguery of the very worst sort. 

Many have unfairly linked Obama to this oil spill personally, comparing the crisis to Bush’s public connection to Hurricane Katrina.  But suggesting that he purposely caused the oil spill is far, far worse.  Implying that Obama created this oil spill is no more reasonable nor humane than the “truthers” who swear up and down that Bush was behind 9/11. 

I strongly disagree with many of Obama’s policy positions, but that does not make him a monster.  At the very least, we need to give the benefit of the doubt to those with whom we disagree.  Even if the worst fears of the Right about Obama are true and he really does have a hidden agenda to socialize our society as much as possible, I’m sure that he’s at least operating out of a good faith desire to help people and strengthen the country, not destroy it and sabotage our way of life.  Such groundless assumptions about the motives of others are both warped and counterproductive. 

We need to keep the criticism of politicians on the politics, not on shadowy speculations that they’re evil.  I would hope that especially after seeing how half the country treated George W. Bush, that we conservatives would show more professionalism in our analysis of his successor.  Obama may very well be a bad president, but that does not make him a bad man.

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2 comments on “Being Wrong Does Not Equal Being Evil

  1. I agree with you, but I am starting to have a question about the competence of those leading the political part of the cleanup. Do you think the response might have been more energetic, especially at the beginning, if most of the states negatively affected were swing states or strongly Democratic?

  2. Jane, it’s pretty foggy right now exactly which states have been affected, and how badly. That being said, you raise an interesting point, but one I can’t speculate on–I have no way of knowing someone else’s motives. Besides, it’s too easy to assume negative things about those with whom we disagree.

    Thanks for sharing your idea, though!

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