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Letter to President Barack Obama

Updated on August 16, 2011

Dear Mr. President

Dear President Obama:

When you were in the running for office I listened to what you had to say, I found all of your promises hard to believe but they seemed full of hope for our future as a Country. Because of all the controversy surrounding that election I actually did some research. Thanks to the Internet I didn’t have to go searching through microfiche in a large Library.

In this you helped me. This was the first time I took an election this seriously. For hours I poured over different articles about you and your opponent. I finally came to the conclusion that I did not wish to vote for you. My decision was more of not what you were promising to do for this Country, but the secrets that appeared you were hiding, and the controversy surrounding you.  I could not in good conscience vote for someone that had SO much controversy, regardless of where it came from. There were too many confusing questions surrounding you. Briefly I will give you a few of those.

Just 5 of the numerous questions

1. The question of your birth seems upper most in my mind. The idea that there were those who seemed to want to hide your birth certificate. Also that you didn’t have to show it when elected to the Senate. Why is this?

2. Your choice of friends became my second question, the neighbor very close to you became under fire. He was steeped in controversy.

3. Your religion came under fire next. Now I don’t care who you worship, this Country was founded on diversity. The freedom to worship who we will. Just the idea that one minute you say you are Christian and the next that you are Muslim, the name change speaks this.

4. That you were an Indonesian citizen came next to my mind. How can you be a citizen of one Country and be President of another?

5. You had a channel dedicated to you 24 hours a day for months before the election. TV is very expensive, just where did you get this money? To me, just an average citizen, tells me that someone paid your way into the Oval Office.

These were just a few things that were flying around my head as you were running for election. These were also my reasons for voting in a different direction. So much Controversy cannot be a good thing. It had nothing to do with the Political party. My Dad has been a Democrat all his life, and as such he has imparted his thoughts and ideas into my head.

Once you were elected I decided that as the President of my Country I must support you. You then began to do things that to me, made no sense. I remember seeing you bow to the Japanese ruler. Even I know this isn’t done, why? Because they were defeated in battle. True it was many years ago, but still today when everyone seems to be scrambling to the top any sign of weakness will be used against you.

That you refused to put your hand over your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance to OUR flag, why is that? Are you saying that you don’t respect the Country with which you are representing? This not something I made up, there are photos of you refusing to do this.

Those are just a few things that has me questioning your desire to do well for the Country in which I Love. The controversy continues to surround you. You promised ‘Change’ and in this, yes you have done so, but it is not for the better. We used to be the Country that people flocked to and desired to emulate, because of our freedoms that we enjoy. We are now looked down upon because of our Leader, You. In this ‘dog eat dog’ world we live in, one cannot show any sign of weakness, your behaviors are doing just that. You are creating a Divided United States, when more than ever we need to be United.

Because you are the first ever African American elected to the Presidency this seems to make you feel some sort of entitlement. Getting elected does not give you entitlement, you have to earn these things. The feeling of entitlement seems to be sweeping across our Country, it was here before you were elected. But now that you are showing so much of it, everyone seems to feel they should get a little piece of the pie without earning it.

As we speak our Country is falling apart, becoming more and more divided. Racism, which seemed to be headed in the right direction of being eradicated, is now back in full force. Why is this? Because anyone who says anything regardless of how it is directed or even what it is about, is called a racist. If a person (who happens to be white or any other color, other than black) says anything regarding the comments or actions of another person (who happens to be black) they are making racist comments. When Black people or People of Color (if you prefer) who have gone above and beyond in their educational studies, comments against another Person of Color, they too are referred to as racist. Now this is going beyond ridiculous.

I think that as our President is should be up to you to set examples and in this you are not doing so. By getting involved in local news you seem to be showing partiality ie; The ‘Beer’ summit, the boy in the flying balloon and then the firing of Shirley Sherrod. This seemed to all be done on the spur of the moment, without thought. You do not strike me as an individual who is too deeply swayed by what advisors will tell you to do. It seems as if you are trying to dip your finger in too many pots.

You ask the 'people' to tighten their belts and make more and more sacrifices. Then jet off to yet another Vacation destination which we are forced to watch on the News. Knowing that there is no money for us to even drive to visit relatives, don't you feel that this might be a little inappropriate? I am not one to begrudge ANYONE a vacation when they are earned, but so many?

The stock market drops over 600 points in one day, yet you are telling the people "Don't pay any attention to that". Mr. President, do you NOT understand our Country, the WORLD is run on the stock market? The price of Gold has increased to over $1700 per ounce, this should tell you the investors have no confidence in the dollar.

President Obama, What is your plan for this Country? You have been in office for over 30 months, you continue to place blame on everyone for it's decline. First it was the Bush Administration, now it's the Tea Party's fault that were in such a mess. When will you take responsibility for the mess? You are asking for 4 more years, for what? So you can hand over the keys to the front door?

Being the President of a Country cannot be any easy job, I personally would not want it. But you did want it, now it’s up to you to do the best possible job you can do. If you feel that it is more than you can handle, Please - For the sake of Our Country, step down and let someone else take over. Having never been the head of anything, you were not prepared for this job, no one will think badly of you, should you do so.

Respectfully Submitted,

Susan L. Gillihan

Authors Note

( Authors note: As a concerned citizen of this Country, I have nothing more than my voice. I am sorry if you don't agree with me, but these are my opinions and being a US citizen the First Amendment gives me this right to express myself.)

My Dad, a 'died in the wool' Democrat has now decided that maybe he might have been wrong in voting for this President. With the New Trade Agreement just signed, it seems as though our President doesn't understand if we have no jobs here in our Country how are we going to make purchases? Opening the doors a bit further, for the jobs to slip through is what is being done.


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    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      I'm sorry you feel that way. I guess I do not understand when you say I am lacking the necessary skills to speak on this subject. I am an American citizen who is registered to vote, since when do we need a 'higher education' in Economics to have an opinion?

      I happen to know voters who don't even go as far as reading the newspaper before making their decisions. I've known voters who voted a certain way because they were paid by a family member to cast their vote in the direction requested.

      I have spoken with an Economist in Business, one who was writing his dissertation when we spoke. He ended up teaching the course he created. This was during the 'Bush' era. He explained that manufacturing was going to collapse in on itself, it was just a natural order of process.

      My comments in the letter were brief comments. Had I wanted to write a book to the president, it would have been titled so.

      In my opinion when someone runs for an office such as the Presidency one should NOT make promises they cannot keep. This is what was done.

      As far as the 'main stream' media, that is what most American's have to rely on. They are busy with their lives and don't have the time to delve deeper into research. Does that make them bad people? I think not. I think that they want to trust those who are being elected into office. They want to believe that those said elected officials have their best interests at heart.

      As far as accusing me of 'plagiarizing' my favorite news person, I find that highly offensive. You are not only accusing me of plagiarizing, but you are now saying that I cannot read or think for myself. You are saying that I am not capable of questioning those in higher power. You are also accusing me of having blinders on when doing research.

      When I wrote this letter, I wrote what I felt.

    • profile image

      Jakd 6 years ago

      I'm sorry Susie, I generally like reading your hubs, but this one appears to be a little too misguided by misinformation for me to enjoy. I'll have you know that I did not vote for Obama.

      For starters, you lack the education necessary to even speak upon the some of the topics you're addressing. That shows through pretty readily. A lot of people have this skewed view of what the "government" actually is, how the "economy" actually works, what the "debt" represents, and what a president actually does.

      Talk to almost any keys an economist holding a doctorate in economics and they will tell you what most of those things really are. Furthermore they agree that not enough was done to stimulate the economy. So don't take my word for it, take the word of Cornell and Columbia university professors. You should talk to some sometime in order to clear up your misconceptions.

      I believe that's what some people are finding so appalling about your article. It's so poorly educated and reeks of regurgitation from mainstream media sources with absolutely no profound reasoning beyond plagiarizing the words of your favorite newsperson.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      When I read your post yesterday in the forums I was hoping that you would stop by and take a peek at this! Give me your opinion on it, I am so glad you did!!

      I have to agree, no one wants to admit that they were wrong particularly when he was so vehemently backed by so many respected people. I think this has come from the old school yard tactics of "I told you so!" mentality.

      In the last few years as I age, I have begun paying attention to politics, I think in part due to the media as well. I refused to watch the reality shows, so I might as well watch the news.

      Yes, I have been attacked. As I am sure your Hubs have been bombarded! I had to unpublish this Hub for a long time, until I had the facts in my mind to be able to argue some of the points. Some aren't worth arguing.

      Truly, do they NEED to know that I was busy raising children, not writing when Clinton or Bush was in office? The Obama supporters have attempted to make me sound like I have devious intentions for writing this.

      I agree, he has had 2 1/2 years to fix the problems, yet are they not only not fixed, but seem to be getting much worse.

      I was amazed at the White House refusal for disaster relief. I wanted to hear more, but it seemed to be quickly hushed in the media.

      I want to make informed decisions in this next election and your fact finding missions seem 'just the ticket'!! I'm not sure how you get your info or where you get it from but I hope you continue!!

      Yesterday I heard something on the news that really impressed me. There is so many (what they called) Citizen Media. People like you who are finding the truths behind the pretty words in Washington!

      I will certainly be heading to your Hubs and doing a bit of reading!! Keep up the good work!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • American View profile image

      American View 6 years ago from Plano, Texas


      I have to give Obama credit where it is due. He campaigned for change and we got it. It was not the change we wanted, but it was a change none the less.

      Great hub, you will be attacked as I have been when you talk about Obama. Seems people do not want to admit they made a mistake electing this guy.

      The responces you recieved have so many incorrect fact and full of talking points it would take a book to address them all. But I will just a few.

      The the one who saud the deficit was going down under Clinton. You need to look it up. The National debt rose every year under Clinton, and the budget was never balanced and there was never a surplus. Phony math made it look like there was one. Clinton left out the expenses of SS and Medicare. Then he counted the revenues that went to the SS trust fund and all the civil ervice employees retirement contributions as income. That is 2 inappropriate accounting practices.

      Now for those who say Obama did not put us in this position, it is time to take the sunglasses off. While it is true the economy was in a down turn when he took office, he has plunged us into the disater we now face. The national debt was growing a a record pace due to his own policies and spending. Obama has added more to the national debt in 2 1/2 years than Bush did in 8 years. Obama has not faced any of the disasters that occured under Bush all of which added to the debt. Obama has not faced a 911. a Katrina or any of the 19 hurricanes that became declared disasters tha occured under Bush. Obama has not faced the number of disaster fires that Bush did, and in fact Obama became the first President ever to not approve of a disaster relief request. He turned down Texas request when the pan handle had a disaster fire cliaminf about 90 homes and tens of thousands of acres. Perry out of the Texas budget gave the low interest loans the Government was suppose to do. Noone has ever called Obama on the carpet for that one. Obama never address spending cuts until the debt debate when he was crying Armageden. Well He had 2 1/2 years to address the problem but did nothingthen has the gaul to blame the tea party and blame them Not for nothing, the tea party was not around for everything that Obama and the Dems blame them for. I gues Obama can claim he solved the Linburg baby kidnapping, the tea party did it!!

      Great hub thumbs up and come read some of mine

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Oooo... I hate when that happens!!! Write it on note pad, then copy and paste... That way it won't be lost!!

    • maddot profile image

      maddot 6 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

      I just wrote a whole diatribe..and it vanished! I'll be back!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      So, I could say to you, "I believe EVERYTHING you say because it sounds like the truth" yet I would sound like an idiot for saying that. OR I could say 'That is just too unbelievable, we couldn't have the wool pulled over our eyes like that!" And again I would sound like an idiot.

      So rather than sound like an idiot I will tell you what I have observed.

      I do not trust any of them in or out of Washington. When/after the movie Conspiracy Theory came out, there were people picking at 'believers' all the time. Laughing at them etc... I believe there is a LOT of truths hidden within the movies we see. Not all of it is just someone's fantastic imagination.

      I completely understand what you are saying referring to biased reporters. Today alone I caught some biased words from a Reporter. A new Candidate put in his bid for Presidency today, rather than state what the candidate has to say he distorted what was said. He made it sound as though this particular candidate was only going to benefit those of another party, not the Nation.

      This was not the first time I have heard a biased reporter, but it was the most blatant.

      A Reporter is not supposed to be biased... But they are. And the Editors, if they don't like what you have written, you don't get published.

      It's all about money these days, whoever has the most, wins.

      Sometimes it's what is being reported, but more of what is NOT being reported... When I have to go searching for a story, I know it should have been news worthy.

      I do try to sift the information I am being fed, that is for sure. So I guess more than anything I will listen to it all, decide for myself what sounds the best or most plausible, not believe because I 'like' what is being said.

      Would you care to share any ideas on what is true, what is not true? Or at the very least your take on it?

    • maddot profile image

      maddot 6 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

      Yep Murdoch - one and the same. In Australia at present we have the Murdoch press under instructions to get rid of the current Labor Government - so all media in Murdoch press just bags the government out misinforms and uses inflammatory language and sensational headlines and the gullible and uneducated fall for it. The government is trying to bring in a tax on carbon emissions that would tax the big end of town - the mining companies, so of course the big mining magnates pool massive sums of money and run TV and newspaper advertisements -propaganda - and of course the Murdoch media is entwined in this as it makes $$$ plus it has other interests besides media that undoubtedly has mates in mining. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours

      I worked as a political media adviser and I can assure you there is no end to the cunning and limit to what some will do to win a election. I also worked for 20 years as a news reporter on newspapers covering elections - there is no such thing as an unbiased reporter - if you write an article that your editor does not agree with politically, that article will not see the light of day.

      In the world of politics it is not uncommon for some political parties to have people impersonating a particular group to create an impression or mislead voters on polling day..every vote counts and the pressure is on until those polling booths close. Youtube videos can also be edited and don't think political parties are not using Youtube - you name it -they use it.. they leave no stone unturned.

      During one election as refugees arrived by boat the media reported that the adults on the boat were throwing children over board.. horror we want these people in OUR country! The conservative party went in on it spreading the fear.. after the election, which the conservatives was revealed that the film footage had been one was throwing children overboard - the boat was on fire and everyone was in the water. But the editing job on the film footage and a few emotive words turned an election. The Navy was silenced and not allowed to speak out as to the truth of what was happening at the time.

      The political party I worked for would send teams of people over to the US to help at election times and to learn all the latest tricks. They would return and teach us.

      Never underestimate the power of the media and the big end of town...they are driven by power and money and will do anything to get your vote.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Ok, yes I did read a little bit about this man, first on Wikipedia (first one that popped up) then other areas. But I wasn't sure if this was the same person you were referring to.

      Please specify what you are inferring in regards to this Hub.

      In my mind if someone has this kind of power he could either make or break an election.

      I don't trust all forms of media, not at all. During the last election one station in particular refused to report ANY negativity regarding President Obama, yet continuously reported only negative information regarding the Republican party.

      To me, this was bias, very bias. If your going to show me something negative about one, you must show me something negative about the other. Same goes for positive, if your going to show me something positive about one, I want to see it about the other as well. So when it came to the news channels, if they ONLY showed the negative or ONLY the positive of one person, I changed the channel.

      Rather than watch the news all the time, I opted for doing a LOT of reading, about all parties that were running. I went to all their websites, to check out what they were promising, what issues they were avoiding as well. What types of background they had, what they did previous to running.

      I also watched a lot of YouTube videos of their campaign speeches. I watched the debates.

      I went into that election with my eyes wide open, no blinders on.

      The day of election I watched the news. There was one moment that really shocked and appalled me. In Pennsylvania, at the voting booths. I still do not understand what the purpose of the Black Panthers standing guard outside the voting venues served. Was it meant to be intimidation? Or protection? Personally if I had been a voter in that area I would not have felt safe in casting my vote. They looked just plain scary.

    • maddot profile image

      maddot 6 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

      Rupert Murdoch is a media baron, UK, USA and Australia known for his ultra conservative opinions. He has hit the headlines in the last few weeks in a big way in UK and USA for his media's immoral behaviour (read below).

      Just because one researches something does not mean one gets the whole story or the truth. It is important to look at who has written the story or information and ascertain their bias to be able to assess what is being written. When looking at history it is vital to look at and study the author of that history (Historiography).

      Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG (born 11 March 1931) is an Australian-American global media baron and the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, the world's second-largest media conglomerate.[5][6][7][8]

      In 1953, Murdoch became managing director of News Limited, inherited from his father.[3][9] He acquired troubled newspapers in Australia and New Zealand during the 1950s and '60s before expanding into the UK in 1969, taking over the News of the World and then the The Sun, which he built into Britain's best selling daily. He moved to New York in 1974 and expanded into the US market, and in 1985 he became a U.S. citizen.[9] In 1981, he bought The Times, his first British broadsheet. In 1986, keen to adopt newer electronic publishing technologies, he consolidated his UK printing operations in Wapping, causing bitter industrial disputes. His News Corporation acquired Twentieth Century Fox (1985), HarperCollins (1989)[10] and The Wall Street Journal (2007). He formed BSkyB in 1990 and during the 1990s expanded into Asian networks and South American television. By 2000 Murdoch's News Corporation owned over 800 companies in more than 50 countries with a net worth of over $5 billion.

      In July 2011 Murdoch faced allegations that his companies including the News of the World, owned by News Corporation, had been regularly hacking the phones of private citizens. He also faces police and government investigations into bribery and corruption in the UK and FBI investigations in the US.[11][12]

      Murdoch has been listed three times in the Time 100 as among the most influential people in the world. He is ranked 13th most powerful person in the world in the 2010 Forbes' The World's Most Powerful People list.[13] With a personal net worth of US$7.6 billion, he was ranked 117th wealthiest person in the world in March 2011.[1]

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for the vote of confidence!! It was a little frustrating at first, what with the supporters yelling at me. But I have since learned more and have some facts to back up my arguments on various items of discussion!

      Thanks again!!

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

      I sure won't stop following you because of this article!!! I say "WRITE ON"!!!

      You expressed yourself with logic, and common sense.

      We can all look at what was promised, and what has been accomplished, and see which side of our bread is buttered!

      Not to even bother mentioning the budget again!

      Just keep up the good work!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you!! Thanks so very much!! It was not meant to be mean or hateful. I really appreciate your comment!!

      Blessings to you!

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 6 years ago

      I think you did a great job on expressing your thoughts and writing a good article! Whether we agree with your letter or not it does not come off in a negative tone or offensive to those of us who support the current president.

      I really enjoyed reading your article.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      No, can't say as I have. Why do you ask?

    • maddot profile image

      maddot 6 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

      Ever heard of Murdoch media?

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      @ Sunshine625 - wow, I am sorry you feel that way, I did not see where I spoke of hate anywhere within my Hub. To me hate is a waste of energy, I don't hate anyone.

      @ Vicki.Pierce - Thank you for stopping by and reading. I appreciate it.

      @ nickupton - As far as Gitmo, he stated that he was going to go in a close that base, give the land back to Cuba. Bring the terrorists that are being held here back to our soil to imprison them, give them all the amenities that Americans are privy to. There was such a hue and outcry over this amongst the people.

      The birth certificate is no longer an issue, at least in my eyes. It is pointless to go on and on about it. It was amended in the early 1900's regarding the birth, as long as 1 parent was born on American soil one could become President. Our Constitution is very important to us as American's. Our Country is just a little over 200 years old, we have grown that so many are scrambling to reach our shores to be able to earn a living and live in peace. Mostly because of the injustices that are happening within their own Country. There have been many who have fought and died to preserve our way of life. Our soldiers are sworn in with the words to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". No one person can go against what was written in the Constitution, it has to be an act of Congress to make changes. This is what the uproar was all about, what appeared to be 1 person (with the help of money men) disregarding the Constitution.

      The other thing that is considered an 'Impeachable Offense' is our President declaring war on Libya. There are many of us here that feel that was way out of line. He did it without consulting Congress. He ordered an attack via the military. We may not like what is happening in other Countries, but it is not up to us to decide who gets to stay in office and who leaves. WE fought for our freedom from tyranny, it means the world to us. If we 'give' a Country freedom it doesn't mean nearly as much to them unless they get it for themselves.

      Oh I am not blaming 1 President!! No, there have been many more before him who helped create this!! I was not writing on HubPages when they were in office.

      It was those promises that were made during his campaign that have people in such an uproar. He promised to find new and better ways to get energy. He said he would allow us to start drilling to get our own oil, then put a moratorium on drilling, in effect halting any new oil wells, stalling any jobs. Keeping us dependent on foreign oil.

      The WTO - Yes... that is another issue entirely... Many are applauding Pres. Clinton for his effort in putting us in the black once again. A lot of us feel that he 'got in bed' with China (Just a phrase, not to be taken literally) this caused a serious decline in our economy.

      On that subject my thoughts would be if any person or entity has a company or corporation within our Country and decides to leave I personally think they should be taxed beyond anything!! Why? As american's we are Consumers. We have bought and paid for those said Companies over and over again, because they want more and more money they want to take the jobs away from us.

      Some of those Companies are trying to keep it even, Kellogg's for instance (a cereal company right here in my back yard) has taken a lot of it's production to Mexico. Yet have kept it's world head quarters right here in Michigan along with a few production lines. They had to release a bunch of employees a while back, but are slowly rebuilding. In order to grow they did a 'profit sharing' with their employees, allowing them to purchase stock in the Company. The jobs they are bringing back will never be the $40 an hour jobs, but at least is it work.

      In Iowa and Nebraska we have 'wind farms'. It is very flat land with HUGE windmills to collect the energy the wind produces. We need many more of these! In all States.

      As far as a better President? Well I think there could be. At least one that has more experience even in just dealing with a business.

      @ Robin Pena - I respect your opinion. That is the greatest of Freedom's we here in the US enjoy! The right to express ourselves and the right to disagree with what our leaders are saying or doing!

      Thank you all for stopping by!!

    • Robin Pena profile image

      Robin Pena 6 years ago from Moreno Valley, CA

      I do not like it when people bash our president over stuff that is here say. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but the president is one man who for the most part is not in charge. I do not think it is okay for people to talk down about our countries president.

    • nickupton profile image

      nickupton 6 years ago from Bangkok

      Susie - you are right to be angry at Obama's backtracking. His promise to end the war has been shown to be at best naive and at worst a lie. I seem to remember reading backtracking on Guantanamo as well without really knowing the specifics; perhaps you do.

      You are also right to be annoyed at his flashy holidays whilst many Americans are struggling, this shows a lack of solidarity with normal people. I remember Gordon Brown going on holiday in a caravan in England when the economic crisis hit. I did not support him as a politician but I did appreciate his acknowledgement of how his policies had affected normal people.

      In light of the clause in your constitution it is obvious why his birth certificate is an issue. To many outsiders, though, it smacks of an insecurity and insularity that is distasteful (I know the American constitution is not designed to protect the feelings of foreigners, just letting you know how others might see your country in the light of this issue).

      Regarding rising costs, unemployment etc. It is difficult to see how one president can be blamed for these. Obviously Obama's policies on solving the problems are not working, that much is apparent but was he the architect of these problems? I don't think so but perhaps I am wrong.

      I would have thought that many of these issues are due to the fact that all of us (not just Americans) have been living beyond our means for way too long. It is interesting that in your comments you say that you try to buy local products and do not want companies to relocate overseas. I agree with you. Jobs are going overseas (particularly Asia) because companies can take advantage of corruption in order to ignore environmental, labour and taxation laws in order to keep costs down. Import duties would be a quick and obvious way to prevent this and to keep those companies in US, but it would mean that the price of many things would go through the roof - no government wants to be in power when that happens! (I believe that these type of duties are illegal under the WTO also, but someone may correct me on that).

      Electricity prices are rising everywhere that I know of. Here in Thailand they are rising and back home in UK too - I can't see that Obama is responsible for that in those countries. However, that he is not providing the leadership to deal with these issues is a valid argument. Who is? In my opinion the whole world lacks decent leadership and most certainly I don't know of any nation that has a forward thinking energy policy.

      If there is someone better than president Obama I would be genuinely interested to know - as an outsider the only opposition that makes the news are religious extremists of the same sort that run Iran - just Christians rather than Muslims. Not that this is a reason to vote for Obama, just one not to vote for someone else, which so frequently seems to be the deciding factor at the ballot box.

      I don't agree with some of the things you say, but some of them I do. I won't be unfollowing you just because you have a different opinion - it is too easy to ignore a contrary opinion and brand it as negativity and will get society nowhere in the long run. Engaging a whole range of ideas is the only way forward.

    • Vicki.Pierce profile image

      Susan Ungrey 6 years ago from Grand Rapids, Michigan

      Very interesting 'read'. I am not a 'political person' but this hub sure did grab my attention. Thanks!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I went ahead and unfollowed you also. I prefer to keep negativity and hate off of my planet.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      LOL - Ok that was funny, no matter how you look at it!! I remember when the states was mentioned, I actually sat through another hour or so of the news just to watch it again!! I had to giggle.

      I guess we are going to have years of things to laugh about when he is out of office, like Ford and his falling down and George W and all of his mis-speaking. I should print them off now while I still have electricity!! Because the way things are going soon we won't be able to afford to pay that bill, let alone any others!! Since all the jobs are being shipped out of the Country only the uber rich will afford such luxuries as electricity!!

      Thanks for the laugh!! (and tears through the truth)

    • profile image

      vickeylynn 6 years ago

      You wrote a great article Susan... Its to bad that these followers of his, cannot face the facts ... I can admit that Bush did some things that I cant understand or explain, but lets place the blame where it is due and there is plenty of it to go around...

      Obama, seems to like the attention that he gets even if its negative... I think he is very immature... and I agree that he has divided the races. He hardly ever claims the white part of him.... He has said , that the Republicans can come along but they must sit in the back of the bus.... Another famous quote was, if they bring a knife to the fight, then you bring a gun... How childish is this? There is just so much more that I dont have until my social security age to write it all down... Maybe, when he visits all 57 states... will his followers get it... LOL

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      @ Rastamermaid - Wow, now you have me laughing.. so sorry but I really must do so at your comment. Even when the truth is staring you in the face you continue to deny it. Unless of course you are under the assumption that comments go from top to bottom. The last comment is at the bottom of my Hubs. Not to nit pick, but you did point that out. I respond to the first person who comments and go from there, it is something I have always done. I do not pick and choose who I answer, if the comment stays I will answer it.

      Now to address your other comments.

      1. I agree he didn't place us in our current situation. I never claimed he did.

      2. You are correct he did not cause the war, I never said he did.

      3. He promised in his campaign speech that he was going to end the war and have all the soldiers home within 90 days of taking office. I did not make that up, I heard it with my own ears.

      4. Yep he is President. I never argued that.

      5. Yep, bin Laden was captured and killed while he sat in the war room watching, under his leadership. I do not dispute that.

      5. Congress and the Senate? Well since the first Congress he met with was mostly Democrat (his party) can you explain what went wrong? Maybe it was his ideas and demands they didn't like?

      6. I was not trying to offend you, you insisted on using the words 'calling out' not me. I was trying to have a civil discussion, where at the end it should have been possible for us to agree to disagree.

      7. Is it not possible that your views on Obama could be viewed as bias toward my views?

      I am very sorry that you feel so strongly about our President that you must un-follow me because I shared my views. Should the time come when someone disagrees with what you have put in one of your Hubs, I sincerely hope that you are not shunned by your view point.

      @ Davidkaluge - Very well said!! I believe it was President Abraham Lincoln who said "You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time."

      @ d.william - LOL, you are correct, you did not say those things. Not to worry, no stroke or heart attack is pending here!!

      We are agreed, something needs to be done. Where to begin? My thoughts tend to head toward those big businesses who want higher profit margins. I don't begrudge anyone decent wages, when they are earned. I was appalled during the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack when they were bailed out by the Gov't and decided to take astronomical Bonuses. How could that have possibly helped anyone?

      I too am tired of hearing 'who is right and who is wrong'. I think that is what prompted me to republish this from it's unpublished state. The Speeches that I hear laying blame on why things can't get done.

      As far as the news, all channels are viewed here, not just 1.

      To make the Senior Citizens suffer is something I do not wish to happen, in no way shape or form. They've worked hard and earned their just due. I know a few elderly who have put their life savings into the stock market and lost it all. To me, this is the saddest thing that could happen.

      Equal taxes? Yep, I agree. I don't dispute that at all. If I have to pay a certain percentage of taxes, then the rich should do the same.

      Your rant was fine, mine was uncalled for!!

      Thanks for stopping by once again!!

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Calm down girl, before you have as stroke. You are off track here. I said nothing about anything being OK for one side that is not OK for the other. My remark was that pointing fingers and playing the blame game is NOT limited to one side of the isle. If you think so, you are watching way too much Fox news.

      I watch Fox, MSNBC and CNN and get a more balance picture of who says what and believe me when i tell you, neither side is blameless.

      But bickering about who is the "most" to blame is certainly self-defeating and will solve nothing at all.

      We all must calm down and come to terms with ourselves and see that "blame is shame" and childish, and must be stopped before any progress can be made.

      Fox news is extreme right wing rhetoric, MSNBC is extreme left wing rhetoric, and CNN is more centrist, and will report on BOTH views equally, in spite of what S.Palin says. You can not just listen to one side and make ANY logically realistic judgements about the other side. They are both full of B.S.

      To refuse to make the wealthy pay their fair share is off the wall. To demand that social security be dismantled is foolhardy at the least.

      When we argue about entitlements, no one really knows what that means. Does it include all those entitlements given to big business: loopholes, tax incentives, lower tax rates than anyone else, etc..

      Does it include all those incentives given to politicians: high wages, 5 + weeks vacation a year, free health insurance, full pay upon retirement even for those jerks putting in one term and doing nothing while they are there?

      Or should we just take it out on the senior citizens by destroying their lives by dismantling soc. sec. and medicare, or take all those incentives away from the working class, health insurance, retirement packages, periodic wages, firing people at will so they can hire their friends,family and others for less than they pay for those who have longevity, just so corporations can make a higher net profit?

      Where does it begin? Where will it end? All this argument about which side is wrong and which is right is solving nothing. We need adult brains that have the capability of rational reasoning to come to a compromise that will reduce our spending equally and that will effect everyone the same way, and increase revenues at the same time by closing those loopholes, tax incentive, rebates and unequal taxes by the wealthiest of the wealthy. How hard is that?

      OK, i am through ranting.

    • davidkaluge profile image

      davidkaluge 6 years ago

      Well, that has always been the case nobody will be appauled by all because it seems impossible to please everyone. So while some people think good of president Obama, others think bad of him. It depends on opinion. Isn't it?

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 6 years ago from Universe

      The truth is Obama didn't place us in the situation.

      He didn't cause a war,I know that's the truth.

      He can't bring home 1 soldier alone,they're other people involved also,but it's his fault their not home,right.

      I know he's the President,that's the truth.

      I know under his leadership,we found Bin Laden.

      I know that Congress/Senate has been fighting him on at every chance. I know that's the truth.

      Another truth,sunshine625 was the last to post,you even addressed her before me,I can see that for myself.

      Another truth for me is that I don't follow people that try to offend me,call me out on the truth I state,because they don't like it,and want to strong arm me to their way.

      I use to follow you,now I don't,so I don't have to worry seeing your very bias view of Obama.

      That's the truth and my choice.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      I think we have carried the PC too far, we are now sugar coating everything so much so that no ones know when they are being told a truth or bald face lie. At what point does a person get to stand up and say "I don't like what you are doing" without it being Politically Incorrect? Or further more without their being some motive behind it?

      I have always been one to 'pick a side', I am not a fence rider. I do try to have a reason behind my decision. Even if it is a gut feeling, I do my best to stand my ground, until someone can give me good cause to change my mind or at the very least prove their point.

      Thanks for stopping by and supporting me!!

    • profile image

      Sandy 6 years ago

      Susan, you wrote the truth and further, did so honestly, respectfully and more restrained, considering the mess he has engineered for all of us, than I ever could.... Your letter is exemplary and I applaud your honesty, courage and intelligence in saying what you did! Many folks don't have your courage and merely silently think what you stated. Reason? They are worried about being PC and/or the vehement reaction from the useful idiots on the far left that you are and will experience for standing up for the truth!....

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      @ sunshine625 - I agree, we both have our own opinions, I respect yours as well. Whether or not he will make it in 2012 remains to be seen. I too am not much of a political person. I get upset when promises are made then broken, in regards to ANY person in Political power.

      @ Rastamermaid - I called you out because you were the last to post, you are making it sound like I am picking on you.

      You stated "He didn't but he's sure trying to end it.But he'll forever be fighting the war on racism,just because some don't like his color,say he's not american,want to see his birth certificate...when will it stop!" YOU brought racism into the conversation, not I.

      So what you saying is because George W. got us in the red, it's OK to stay that way or better yet, make it worse? NO...

      You are saying that everyone is against Obama correct? Wasn't it a Democratic Congress that he inherited when he took office? Shouldn't he have had time to make things right before the election? At least get a good start on it.

      I am not a Democrat or Republican. I vote for the one who is best suited to the job. America is a business and should be run as such. How can you place someone in power of running a business with no experience?

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 6 years ago from Universe

      @ Sweetsusieg,first show me where I said anything referring to you?

      There are many other posts and opinions on here but you chose to try to call me out. It's okay,you've just showed me where your head is stuck.

      You stated when George W left office we were billions in debt,but George W took office Clinton had the deficit down and we were ahead. We were bushwacked for 8 years and he put us in debt and in war.

      You make it seem like Obama really has all the power,but when he's up against people that fight him all the way it's not easy and sometimes not possible.

      You want him to stop the war,bring home troops now,cleaning up a mess (war,economy) that was messed up totally by the previous president.

      George W didn't find Bin Laden or weapons of mass destruction,but he definitely has massly destructed and devasted our economy and faith in elections.

      They are a bunch of cheats him,his brother and his daddy.

      Obamaa for 2012 all the way,baby!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I was confused at to when this hub was written and then I realized it was close to a year ago. You are entitled to your opinion sweetsusie. I feel differently. I voted for Obama in 2008 and will do so again 2012. I think highly of him and commend him on all the bullcrap that he's had to deal with. I'm not a political person...I'm an independant voter who has witnessed how some changes have helped my family and a few friends for the better. I am a thankful American. Thank you for sharing your opinion :) Obama for 2012 all the way.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Let me ask you this, where in any that I have written did you get that I don't like or approve of his skin color? Do you at least understand what I said about Racism? His skin color has absolutely NOTHING to do with what I feel about his being President.

      When George W. left office we were in the BILLION's in debt, we are now over 4 TRILLION in debt... I'd say that is a huge difference.

      His one promise was to have troops home and the war ended within 90 of him taking office, what happened to that promise?

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 6 years ago from Universe

      First and foremost,he didn't put us in the mess we're in.

      But it seems people want him to fix this mess overnight.

      It took George W 8 years to mess up what Clinton cleaned up.

      All I can say is everyone will not be satisfied,but he's taking care of the threats George W established,he got Bin Laden,he's trying to bring troops home. But by alot of people's complaints you would think he started this war. He didn't but he's sure trying to end it.But he'll forever be fighting the war on racism,just because some don't like his color,say he's not american,want to see his birth certificate...when will it stop!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Wait - Let me get this straight... You actually feel that he is doing a good job? You feel that all the finger pointing he is doing is correct? You feel that his continued 'blame laying' is something only he should be allowed to do?

      You feel that because he is President he can declare "Presidential Immunity' from having to testify? This is in regards to something he himself created, the selling of a Senate seat.

      Like I said, there are so many controversial things surrounding this President.

      I believed when he was running for President he thought he could make changes. But he forgot he still has to answer to 'the People'.

      Some of the things he does and has done has may people outraged. He continues to do them 'because he can'.

      You ask me to step outside the box and ignore the stuff he has done, when will you step outside the box for one minute and see what is happening is not for the better?

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Well, my goodness, sweet sue, you certainly stirred up some controversy, now didn't you? Although, on the surface it would seem that the current Administration has done nothing for the American people, that is simply not true. When you look at "all those promises" he made while running for president, and all the "promises" that past presidents made, there is little difference in what they promised and what they actually accomplished.

      Actually that statement is not true either.

      NO president can make changes solely by himself. When you have a congress that fights him every step of the way, with the only goal in mind is destroying him, it is a miracle that this man has been able to make ANY changes at all.

      Mr Obama has actually accomplished what many other presidents failed to do: Insurance reforms (but instead of honing those reforms the opponents would rather destroy them and give that power back to the insurance companies + he was the only president to ever make any restrictive changes to how banks abuse their power, oh, yes, and i forgot those insignificant Wall Street changes to protect the consumer). As far as our international image, he has treated other leaders with respect and dignity, and gained more trust in America than his opponents would care for us to believe.

      Mr. Obama has a couple of added battles to fight that other presidents did not. l. the racial thing. There are so many people out there that could not (can not) accept the fact that they are being governed by someone that they see as "less than themselves". As a consequence, his opponents became known as the "just say no" faction of this country. Their sole purpose is to destroy this president any way they can. The lies, innuendos, and twisted truths are nothing more than attempts to further their agenda.

      2. When i talk about his opponents, i am not just referring to the opposing party members. He has taken on the largest controlling entities in the world and they will destroy him at any cost, using any means they have available, whether legal or not. He is a threat to wall street, insurance conglomerations, oil industries, and the entire Corporate America, to name a few, who have an invested interest in continuing with politics as usual, since they have NOTHING currently in their way to stop their abuse of our system for their own personal profits.

      We seem to have lost the ability to respect anyone in authority that tries to change the system for the better. The counter to this attempt at change is to be subjected to just the kind of rhetoric that you use here to further that agenda.

      You DO have the right of freedom of speech, just as those folks who stand on the side lines of a funeral for our soldiers (straight or gay) and yell obscenities at them and insult their deceased; The legal right to burn the Koran, or even the Bible on public grounds; the right to verbally (and physically) abuse women who make personal choices, and gays who have NO choices); but does all that protection of freedom of speech make these things morally right? Those doing those dastardly deeds think so. Personally i do not.

      So, my point is, as JayDeck says above, please investigate the facts instead of listening to the askewed versions of the facts by the likes of Fox network and other radical opponents of the reality of things. The last thing we need, as a nation, now is to continue this name calling and pointing fingers at who is to blame and who is not.

      Every single one of those politicians were elected by the people to represent the people, not spend all their time in a pissing contest. THAT is what we should be trying to change, not trying to prove who is right and who is wrong. They are ALL wrong for putting political posturing before the welfare of the American public.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for stopping by!

      I believe we are in such a mess that it may take many years to fix, if we can ever come out of it. I think we need to put the brakes on and quickly!! STOP right where we are, think, and re-adjust. Anything that isn't 'needed' as opposed to 'wanted' needs to be stopped, immediately!! Find a way to help our people feed themselves.

      Find a way to keep the companies HERE in the US. If that means closing the doors on them once they leave, so be it. My thought is this "You want out? That's fine. leave but you won't be allowed to ship your stuff back here!" At the VERY least levy taxes on them so high that it won't make it profitable for them to sell here. I am referring to the US based companies that have gotten fat off of us and now that it's time to pay the check want to leave us hanging.

      Can we do without what we have gotten accustomed to having? Absolutely!! If we don't have it, we'll find a way to make it once again. Someone will come up with a new and better way to make it here on our soil.

      Do these companies REALLY believe that it will remain cheaper to make items in Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Mexico? Once these nice folks get a taste of that income, they are going to want more and more. The prices in their Country will raise, causing wages to go higher. It's just going to happen.

      If those Countries 'control' their people and force them to work for menial wages, while being beaten and starved the next question SHOULD be... Do we a FREE Nation, want to purchase said items?

      I know that I don't. I DO look for the 'Made in the USA' label... It's getting harder and harder to find....

      @ Hikapo - So very true!!

      Thank you both for stopping by and commenting!!

    • Hikapo profile image

      Seet 6 years ago from California

      I hear your voice Susan. It seems like nobody in the government would like to take responsibility for the plight of our country.

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

      Sweetsusieg...Great article! So don't let what's his name up there in the comments bother you! But you may find some of your answers on "The Obama Deception", available on YouTube.

      To MariD3.... Humble? Let's see, he said "Contrary to popular belief, I wasn't born in a manger..." That sounds grandiose to me! Plus why does anyone who wants to stick up for Barry always bring up Bush? No other agrument available? Obama PROMISED to un-do many Bush no-nos, and instead left them in place, and took a bunch of vacations! He has broken EVERY promise he made! Look past his skin tone to the man he really is! Since he has been in office we have been driven farther into debt than with ALL OTHER previous presidents COMBINED! And now we have lost our AAA rating with the S&P. When you're standing in soup lines along with the rest of hungry America, maybe you will see the deception!

      It's a mess and only God can fix it, in my opinion.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Without a doubt President Bush did nothing to help us in the International areas!!

      The issue over his birth certificate is now a moot point. When our Constitution was written it specifically states that to become a US President one MUST be US born, it is the only Office within our Country that must be so. It was to avoid conflict of interest, or in other words to insure our safety that we wouldn't be 'sold out'. In the early 1900's there was an Amendment added that stated if 1 parent was a US citizen that qualified them to be President.

      I can certainly understand why those who do not live within our Country would love him so, he has given over so many of our jobs. Our Unemployment rate has went into the double digits, what has not been reported is this; only those who draw Unemployment are counted. Those who no longer receive benefits are taken off the list. So while you might hear that the numbers of Unemployed have gone down, this is a fallacy. Those whose benefits have been depleted are no longer considered Unemployed, they have fallen by the wayside. No job, no money coming in, they can no longer be considered to have purchasing power so they have been forgotten.

      We have so many who are trying to create jobs for themselves being blockaded. Our Gov't steps in and tells them "You can't do that". People who are being arrested for trying to make a better life for themselves and others. People who are being arrested for planting gardens in their front yards, just to feed their own families.

      What used to be a 'Land of the Free' has no become a 'Land of do what we tell you to do'. It's very difficult to follow the rules when they are changing constantly.

      I will not lay blame on anyone for this, we did it to ourselves. We brought law suits to one another for frivolous problems, causing insurance to skyrocket, in turn giving them power over us. The insurance companies now do most of the law making.

      Thank you for taking the time to stop, read and comment on this Hub! I really do appreciate it!!

    • nickupton profile image

      nickupton 6 years ago from Bangkok

      As a non US citizen, who has never been to the US it is impossible for me to comment on President Obama's performance at home.

      The controversy over his birth certificate seems important to Americans, to outsiders it seems ridiculous.

      It does seem fairly clear though that President Obama has proven something of a disappointment to many people, within America and outside too. This was pretty inevitable though as expectations were so high.

      As an outsider I do feel that president Obama has made the United States of America much more respected by the international community than the previous administration. People I meet from all over Europe, Asia and Australia all seem to say the same thing, that George W. Bush was a buffoon who came to power via dubious means and who did a lot of damage to the world with his foreign policy. At the same time these people seem to feel far more like their own countries can engage with US under the current administration - I know that does nothing to help the average US citizen who is struggling right now, but what it does mean is that the US has more friends who will be willing to help.

      One thing I would like to say is thank you for putting over your concerns about President Obama in a sensible and coherent fashion instead of the stupid diatribe that I normally come across.

    • MariD3 profile image

      MariD3 7 years ago from United States

      Your opinion I will respect just for the simple fact that we live in one of the greatest countries on the face of this earth, where we honor the freedom of speech. At the same time I wholeheartedly disagree with just about everyone of your points. My question is this, why was this particular election worth researching and scrutinizing....there's controversy surrounding EVERY election, especially the Presidential elections (that definitely can't be your only reason, or can it?). Second, we all know (or at least we should know) that the internet is probably the most unreliable source in which to obtain information from, and even when we do find a source that seems to truthful, that source we should microscopically investigate again and again!

      I would be interested to know your stance on George Bush and his administration. He had very questionable friends and staff members, including the vice-president himself. George Bush started TWO wars all for the benefit of HIM and his CRONIES! He and his administration are the reason that this country went into an economic recession (lest we forget their was a surplus, when Clinton left office and Bush took over). President Obama inherited all of the problems that Bush created. Last but definitely not least, Bush is the reason that the Banks were bailed out at our expense! Then not only were they bailed out, but they took our money gave it to their executives and didn't have to tell us how they spent it! They (meaning the banks) didn't and still haven't helped the everyday people of this country!

      This country has long been divided, way before President Obama ever came into office. So it's completely hogwash to try to put the blame on him, as far as racial tension is concerned.

      Before I end my comment it's just my personal opinion that President Obama is one of the most humble politicians that I've EVER come across. I just don't get the feeling that he feels entitled to anything. He does approach situations entirely different than previous administrations, which I feel is a great tactic. Why keep using the same bullying measures when it's evident that they aren't working? The United States is still a powerhouse amongst all the nations, but those other countries don't fear us like they use to, and it's been a VERY LONG time since they have. Instead of fearing us, countries are rising up and attacking us (and sadly it's the innocent U.S. citizens that are paying all of the cost). I actually like the approach that President Obama takes when he meets with dignitaries from other countries.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Again, you are dwelling on the first 5 things mentioned. Those were just the tip of the ice berg as to why I didn't vote for him. But once he was elected I decided to support him and NOT begrudge him his elected position. It has been his ACTIONS since he was elected that has caused me to write this.

      Obviously those first things mentioned must have had no merit, otherwise he would not have been elected. Would it make you happy if I were to include that in my letter?

    • JayDeck profile image

      JayDeck 7 years ago from New Jersey

      See, i would say you've proved my point. I could take your points one by one and show how they are examples of continuing misinformation designed to persuade through fear. However, i decided to take your first point, address it, and see if maybe you'd look into it and see it for what it is. Addressing all of the misinformation out there, statements made without factual basis, would be a full time endeavor for me. It is far easier to make the statement that Obama is an Indonesian citizen than it is for me to disprove it. It would take me time to do the research, provide you with links, and make a convincing factual case against the statement. I frankly don't have the time to do this for all of your points. You see, I don't care what your politics are; I only care that the truth is being told, therefore, I am bound by facts when I confront your points. Facts take time.

      My hope is that by addressing one of your points I convince you to examine the others on your own. I have seen some of your other hubs; I have seen people I respect that follow you; I make the assumption that you are an intelligent person who can do this.

      I hope you will.


    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      You are proving your own point. You failed to READ my letter to the end. You seen the first question and decided I was against Obama, therefore you felt compelled to comment. My reasoning for not voting for him had to do with so much controversy, not just the 1 thing. I only listed 5 of the things, had I wanted to write a book rather than letter, I could have went on.

    • JayDeck profile image

      JayDeck 7 years ago from New Jersey

      I am simply overwhelmed. Please visit and learn the truth.


      Don't like the President, for whatever reason, but have that reason be at least somewhat valid and not some tin-foil hat wearing lunacy.

      This tripe is foisted on the public because the foisters believe that the end justifies the means. They are okay with espousing lies as long as it works to get there party elected. They understand that many Americans, for whatever reason, cannot or will not discern the truth for themselves.