One of the books we were all forced to read in high school was George Orwell’s "1984." As most folks know, it’s about government as an omnipotent "big brother" that keeps a surveillance on its citizenry and controls each individual, even down to their thoughts. No one could challenge the supreme leader. In the book, the people’s will and independent thoughts are neutralized.
In the middle of the 1980’s however, Public Television’s C-Span came into being at the exact same time that Orwell’s book predicted a big brother, only, in reality, something opposite and quite different happened.
C-Span turned out to be "big brother" in reverse. The truly neutral station allowed the citizens of America to keep surveillance on government through its own big eye with open cameras and live "virtual" broadcasting of both houses of Congress. "We" are able to watch "them" - if we wanted.
Well, it took a little time in coming, but I think 1984 has finally arrived.I was channel surfing last Sunday before the big game (Patriots vs the hated Jets), but no matter what station I turned to, there was our omnipresent President "pitching" his own health insurance policy. He was clearly in a mass-indoctrination mode. The only place he did not appear was on the White House banned FOX network, but FOX used every waking hour to denounce the presidential snub - hence even more coverage.
President Obama even appeared on David Letterman, as if he were pitching a book or even more analogous, his new "movie" - he being the star of course. This is our President, by the way - on Letterman.
Here’s the rub, no network evoked the "equal time" rule to the President’s "pitch" thereby effectively allowing him more than ample time to trump the opposition.
I’ve spent thirty years in broadcast television and I’ve never seen anything like it. Outside of FOX, this is the longest presidential honeymoon - ever.
Why do all those who interview our President sit in front of him and stare at him like deer in headlights? What are they afraid of? Who are they afraid of - Jimmy Carter? It was Carter’s ludicrous statement that any criticism of President Obama is rooted in racism. Well, there is no comeback to that "racist" remark.
So, these network nabobs throw soft moon-balls over the middle of the plate to the President trying to avoid either being labeled a racist or possibly being perceived as being overtly biased.
The short of it is, they are also avoiding being called journalists. There is no doubt that the White House is trying to control American opinion through the national media, as every administration has tried to do in the past, and almost to a call letter, mainstream media has fallen in line - dribbling like star-struck fools in front of "history."
In my opinion, the media is either intimidated, or worse, in awe of the color of the President’s skin. Does Barak Obama deserve to be President? YES! Of course he does. He’s our President by virtue of winning a fair election. He blew away all competition - in both parties. He is obviously brilliant, knowledgeable and a masterful orator. It’s just his politics that suck.
No one should play the race card - the suit. It has no place in responsible politics. President Kennedy promptly defused the religion card by openly declaring himself a proud Catholic - so what if he was the first Catholic President. President Obama is our first African-American President - so what? Someday there will undoubtedly be a woman President - so what? These should not be trump cards. We should be living in a "Meritocracy," where individuals succeed on one criterion alone - their ability to rise above others, simply because "of" their ability to do so.
Quick, pick a surgeon. The one who graduated at the top of his class or the one who finished last? Meritocracy.
Unfortunately, Obama himself allows this shuffling of the deck. He plays the suit card when he needs to. To my mind, this is scheming and it gets in the way of meaningful debate.
While sitting next to David Letterman the other night, the President leaned toward Letterman, smiled and said, "In case you haven’t heard, I’m a black man." (Laughter). To Letterman’s credit and quick comedic timing, he quipped back with, "So. Have you been a black man all of your life?" (More laughter).
So who’s right? Jimmy Carter? Letterman?
What Obama and Letterman did was to literally set the stage for Carter’s "don’t-retort-don’t-criticize or you are a racist" argument. It was in truth, however, manipulative and disingenuous to in-the-trenches debate and to the tens of millions of Americans who did not vote for Obama - simply because of his "politics."
The Late Show quickly got back to the now untouchable political agenda.
As Letterman sat there staring at the President like one more deer in a headlight, Obama went on unchallenged once the trump suit was established. These were not his exact words, but this is what I heard the President say, in a nutshell.
"Hurry, hurry, hurry. Get your mandatory health insurance here. Just step right up. Don’t crowd, folks - just step right up. You all have a chance to get one. In fact, if you don’t buy my policy, or my competitor’s, who I plan to put out of business anyway, then I absolutely know you’re gonna buy mine. So get with the plan, people. It’s only $2,500 per person or $3,800 per family whether you’re healthy or not, whether you need it or not or whether you want it or not. It’s for the good of the 'masses'."
Then, to my shock, after the President’s put down his barking cane and straw hat, Bambi Letterman actually said, "Well, Socialism doesn’t sound so bad to me. What’s wrong with Socialism?" He actually said that! (mild audience applause).
Ouch. I heard a turning of the Founding Fathers in their collective graves.
The President, then and there, could have set the record straight as to his dislike or even disassociation to Socialism. He chose not to. Curious.
Then, I thought back to one of the President’s campaign promises. He assured voters, if elected, there would NOT be any tax increase for any American making less than $250,000 per year. I guess we can kiss that promise goodbye if we buy tickets to "ObamaCare" and pack one-by-one into the circus tent. If he has his way, everybody will have to buy or obtain health insurance. If you refuse insurance of any kind, you will be "fined" or "taxed" and "forced" into coverage - government coverage. And what happens if private insurance carriers are eventually squeezed out of business by outside influences? Who is left? Hmmm.
It was a silly promise anyway if you ask me. Obama’s campaign promise was to artificially make the American dream to earn $249,999.99 per year - and not a penny more. Tell that dream to your kids at bedtime.
"Kids, forget about being an entrepreneur, an inventor, a major employer, a movie star or even a plumber - your dream now is to be good little citizens and let your new parents in Washington take care of you. You never have to worry again. You never have to think independently or separate yourself from the crowd ever again. Everybody will be equal in every way. Just don’t make any noise, blow your nose and keep your modest room clean."
It hit me. How would the authors of the Bill Of Rights have reacted to the notion that every citizen in the land would be required to purchase "mandatory" health care, or be "fined?" And, that this general health edict would be levied and administered to by an omnipotent central government.
I believe each and every one of our country’s Framers would have held up a copy of Orwell’s "1984" in the air and would have warned "Beware" and shouted "for shame."Except "1984" obviously wasn’t available to them.
But it is to us.
Columnist-At-Large Victor Pisano is a Ford Plantation resident.