Every president has one or more nicknames. Some are instantly recognizable:
- "The Father of Our Country" (Washington)
- "Old Hickory" (Jackson)
- "Honest Abe" (Lincoln)
- "The Roughrider" (Teddy Roosevelt)
Some are rather obscure:
- "Old Sink or Swim" (John Adams)
- "The Little Magician" (Martin Van Buren)
- "His Fraudulency" (Rutherford B. Hayes)
- "Ten-Cent Jimmy" (James Buchanan)
- "His Obstinacy" (Grover Cleveland)
Then, there are our most recent presidential nicknames which, because they are so recent, are instantly recognizable:
- "The Great Communicator"
- "Slick Willie"
- "No Drama Obama"
President Barack Obama has one other less descriptive, more acid-etched moniker that even has its own variation:
- "The Great Divider" and
- "The Divider-in-Chief"
These nicknames are based on the unwavering belief that not only has Barack Obama divided the United States of America, but that from day one, it has been his conscious intention to do so. As difficult as it may be for readers of this or any other moderately progressive blog to swallow this contention, there is, in fact a soupçon of truth to it. Not that President Obama has gone out of his way to drive a wedge between rich and poor, believers and non-believers, North and South, for clearly, he has not. Rather, the truth of the matter comes in the very nature of contemporary society. There are vast chasms separating people in this country -- and I am not referring just to the obvious gap between rich and poor. No, I am referring to the seemingly unbridgeable gap that exists between what we might call citizens and resident aliens. And here, the term "resident alien" does not mean legal, non-citizen inhabitants of America. Rather, it means alien, as in "extra terrestrial" or "from some other planet." Simply stated, there are folks out there who are -- in the words of Robert Heinlein ". . . as weird as snake's suspenders." What's worse, the nuttier, the weirder these people and their contentions are, the more followers they collect. And, I dare say, few if any of us know any of these "resident aliens."
Take a good look at the following two pages from a South Carolina Christian school fourth-grade science quiz (if the print is too small, just click on each photo to enlarge):
The quiz speaks for itself: children are being taught that not only were dinosaurs created on the sixth day of creation, but that they were about the size of sheep and coexisted with human beings. Moreover, when eight-year old Olivia McConnell urged the South Carolina legislature to make the Wooly Mammoth the state's official fossil (43 out of the 50 states do have official fossils and dinosaurs) legislators insisted that the quid pro quo for enacting the resolution would be adding the words " . . . as created on the Sixth Day with the beasts of the field."
How many of those reading this piece know someone who fully believes that dinosaurs were contemporaneous with homo sapiens and were created on the Sixth Day?
I would imagine that few -- if indeed any -- readers of this blog are familiar with the names Rick Wiles, Erik Rush, Larry Klayman and Rick Joyner. The four are well-known to those we might refer to as "resident aliens." They all have a constant presence on talk radio and publish nationally syndicated columns. "So what's the big deal about them?" you may well ask. Consider that Wiles, who is listened to by millions every week, has breathlessly informed his audience that:
- North's Korea's threat of attacking America with nuclear weapons is because we are expanding rights for gays.
- The massacres at Columbine and Sandy Hook -- as well as 9/11 -- were all carried out by "MK-Ultra mind control assassins." (Think either The Manchurian Candidate or George Clooney's The Men Who Stare at Goats.)
- The situation in America is so dire that Barack Obama and his administration must be overthrown by a military coup. (In Wiles' words, "I warned in 2008 that Barack Obama’s mission is to instigate a second Civil War in America. His regime is deliberately ripping the country apart and if the US Military doesn’t take action soon to arrest Barack Obama and remove him and his regime from the White House, there will be no country left for the military to defend. We are on the edge of collapse as a nation. Jesus Christ is America’s only hope. Let us pray that Almighty God delivers us from this very real tyranny that seeks to persecute the saints of God.")
Likewise, Fox News Commentator Erik Rush has repeatedly called for Obama to be overthrown "by any means necessary" -- even if they aren't legal. ("This administration, much of the Congress, and the creatures who support the same in blissful, belligerent ignorance must be neutralized if this nation is to survive in any semblance of its intended form. And it must be done by any means necessary, because such criminals have proven that they are not dissuaded by trifles like legality. . . ")
Last year, Larry Klayman called for the president to be overthrown on November 19. At the time, Klayman convened a "citizens' court" in Florida which "convicted" the president of lying to election officials about his eligibility to be president and "sentenced" him to 10 years in prison. Klayman argued that since Barack Sr. was not an American citizen, Barack Jr. is not a "natural-born citizen." Unless Obama "surrenders" himself to the custody of "the citizens of the United States and Florida," Klayman called for a march on the White House to bring an end to Obama's "Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda."
Lastly, Rick Joyner declared to his many followers that "Since there's no chance at all for the right people to win office, nothing short of a military coup will save this country . . . . Raise up those who will save us,” Joyner said. “Because the system is so broken… I believe our only hope is military takeover. Martial law.”
To all those who say that Barack Obama and his administration are responsible for the wide divide in America, guess again. There are forces in this country -- forces fueled by paranoia, fear, fundamentalism, and Dominionist theology, and underwritten by those who may or may not believe what these "resident aliens" are spouting -- that indeed make America a divided nation. The mere fact that every week millions are hearing calls for martial law, for an armed coup in America, for the replacing of democracy, literacy and science with God's law, is enough to get even the most laid back and disinterested amongst us to get off the couch and join a crusade -- a crusade meant for the citizenry, and not for the resident aliens amongst us.
©2014 Kurt F. Stone