We all get them. Those crappy, conservative chain emails that are paranoid rants full of healthy amounts of bullshit that help spread the conservative, bubble mentality. I have, unfortunately, quite a number of friends and family members who feel compelled to send these to me at every opportunity and, for the most part, I just ignore and delete them (after reading them and letting my blood boil to unhealthy levels). However, I recently received one from my mother (who feels compelled to send these to me every chance she gets in an effort to save me from my liberal brainwashing) and I could not resist responding to its amazingly ignorant points. Stay with me below the orange mystical symbol for my point-by-point rebuttal.
If you haven't seen it yet, this email claims to be a letter by Lou Pritchett, the CEO of Proctor and Gamble that is basically a fear-driven rant about President Obama. The subject line in the email marked it as "A chilling letter." I snoped it (as I always do) and apparently it's correctly attributed. He wrote this letter that was intended to be published as an op-ed piece in the New York Times, but, apparently, they refused to publish it. You can read the letter here. So now it's been condemned to conservative-chain-email hell and will, no doubt, haunt us for years to come. The following is my point-by-point rebuttal that I sent as a response to my mother's email. Pritchett's email is in blockquotes with my responses after.
Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike
Any of the others, you truly scare me.
He's scared of the president? I'm not sure why. President Obama has not passed any legislation that should scare anyone in any way. And if he has, please name one.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.What's there to know? It's not like he's lived some secret covert life. This smells very much like he's implying the whole birth certificate issue which is a completely crackpot conspiracy theory that has been debunked numerous times by anyone with access to the internet and a half an hour of time on their hands. How much has anyone known about any President? I worked as a background investigator and know what's involved in conducting a national security background investigation. Our presidents are subjected to the most stringent form of this investigation, so to implicate the president in any kind of coverup of his background is to also implicate the investigators and agencies who did all the hard work of investigating his background, which includes, by the way, confirming where they were born and whether they are a citizen or not. Is the FBI, Dept. of Homeland Security, and OPM all involved in a vast conspiracy
of covering up the fact that the president is not qualified to hold that office? Again, one has to hold to crackpot conspiracy theories to believe any such nonsense.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no
Visible signs of support.
There is absolutely nothing in Obama's background that shows that he has ever lived above his means. It's not like he has 2-3 mansions in various places and lived some kind of extravagant lifestyle. Both he and Michelle worked at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 2004 (he as a law professor and she as an associate dean), which means they would have had a combined income that would have placed them in an upper middle income bracket. There is nothing unusual about the lifestyle that they lived. Also, thousands of students graduate from Harvard every year from all sorts of backgrounds and presumably got their education the same way as President Obama, through a mix of grants, scholarships, and student loans.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth Growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
So apparently only Americans who followed a lifestyle/career track like Pritchett deserve to be called "true" Americans. Thousands of Americans live overseas in a variety of cultures for a variety of reasons, many in the formative years of their life (children of military servicemembers, for example). The idea that this somehow makes them less of an American is laughable to everyone except those who have never made any effort to interact with any other culture than their own.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.Nor did Adams, nor Jefferson, nor Madison, nor Lincoln, nor Reagan. George W. Bush ran an oil company in Odessa, Texas and his administration brought on the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. More smokescreen that means absolutely nothing.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus Don't understand it at its core.
Again, nor did Adams, nor Jefferson, nor Madison (who led our country to victory in the War of 1812), nor Lincoln (who led the Union to victory in the Civil War), nor FDR (who led us to our victory in WWII). Being in the military has never been a qualification for the office of the President, nor should it be. Non-military presidents have been some of the country's strongest leaders and there is no correlation between military service and good presidents. U.S. Grant, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush were all military veterans and their presidencies are considered by most historians as the worst in our country's history. Besides that, Obama's leadership over the military has been exceptional. Under his command, the military has demolished the Somalian pirate threat, killed Osama bin Laden, brought the Iraq War to an end, and killed numerous other high leaders in Al-Qaeda. He has not shown any incompetency in leading our military thus far.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.What evidence does he offer for this? When has Obama ever blamed others for anything? Everything he has ever gained in his life, he achieved by working hard to get it. He takes responsibility for his actions as President.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned Yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to Publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.People who point out problems in America's foreign policy are not "radicals." They just don't wish to see us continue to perpetuate problems that can negatively affect our country. Conservatives seem to think that America has never done anything wrong. That's a dangerous attitude that can lead our country to destruction if we're not willing
to admit when we're on a path that can damage our country or our country's reputation among the world.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America ' Crowd and deliver this message abroad.
See the previous point. Again, conservatives don't seem to have the capability to see America's shortcomings, something which is necessary if we want to fix those shortcomings and make ourselves into a better nation.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style Country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.And most of Europe's socialized countries (England, Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, etc.) run rings around us in quality of life statistics. Higher average life expectancies,
lower infant mortality rates, lower drug use rates, lower crime rates, higher literacy and education rates, lower illegitimate birth rates, higher rates of citizens covered by healthcare, lower child poverty rates, lower overall poverty rates, (I could go on and on, but you get the picture).
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system With a government controlled one.See the previous point. Universal healthcare rates in both Canada and Europe raise overall quality of life statistics dramatically. As opposed to our privatized healthcare system (at least before the Healthcare law) where we had an average of 122 citizens dying a day due to lack of healthcare coverage. Not something to be proud of.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly
Capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
Oil production in the U.S. under Obama is higher than it has been in almost 10 years. Our oil production rates and oil exports to other countries have increased past the levels of the Bush administration. Oil drilling rigs have quadrupled in number under Obama's presidency. But even beyond that, why is it so bad that Obama is attempting to find newer alternative sources of energy? Oil is not going to last forever, and if we're able to obtain other methods of producing energy it'll only help us in the long run. However, it might hurt the oil companies who provide an awful lot of money to Republican campaigns, so obviously, Republicans aren't real happy with that.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose That lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of Living in the world.
This is complete horse puckey. Statistically, our standard of living ranks way down on the scale compared to other countries in the world, as I've already shown in the above quality of life statistics. When all of those statistics are compiled together, we rank on the scale at #13. The countries that rank in the 12 slots above us are all of those socialist European countries that Pritchett doesn't want to be like. If capitalist, trickle-down economics worked, then our country should have been the most prosperous that it's ever been under George W. Bush, who cut tax rates on the wealthy and deregulated corporations. Instead, what happened is that in our country, under Bush, job growth fell, and the average wage for middle income workers dropped almost 5%, leaving our economy teetering on the brink. There hasn't been a clearer rebuttal of conservative economics than Bush's presidency. All of those facts are what led me to quit conservatism and the Republican party.
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics Against certain banks and corporations.
Why? Because he wanted to make them responsible for all the damage they caused to our country and its economy. I guess conservatives don't want banks or corporations to ever have to suffer any consequences for the problems they caused. Considering that this is coming from the CEO of a major corporation, I would take it with a very large grain of salt.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from Challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
No. They just don't feel the need to listen to the party who presided over the worst economic disaster in 70 years.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider Opposing points of view from intelligent people.
He appoints many intelligent people to the committees he creates to draft new legislation. I'm assuming he's referring here to conservatives. If that's the case then see the previous point.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are bothBased on what? Obama has never implied this about himself in any way.
Omnipotent and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything You do.The same media who did nothing to challenge Bush's baloney on why we should go to war with Iraq, a country that was not involved in 9/11 and did nothing to threaten us in any way? If that's the case, then they're equal opportunity protectors of both Republican and Democrat administrations. This is more of an indictment of our media's ability to investigate factual information. As I've said before, all the cable news channels (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews) are all crap, and if that's where you get all of your information then you are woefully uninformed about what's going on both in our country and the world.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh's, Hannitys, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, Conservative points of view.No, they offer BS opinions that have no basis in any statistical or fact-based evidence. And what legislation has Obama passed that has silenced these people in any way?
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Examples, please? I'd like to know one way in which Obama has restricted any of his liberties or freedoms as an American citizen.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will Probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
Yeah, because he might be shipped off on the trains to one of the many concentration camps that Obama has built and gassed in one of the many gas chambers that Obama is readying for his mass genocide on the American people. Really, I don't understand how you can take anything like this seriously. I would ask again, in what way has Obama curtailed any of Pritchett's freedoms or liberties. There is nothing in this letter that has any merit in the world of facts and statistics. It's a completely emotional, fear-based rant that is designed to get people to vote Republican out of pure fear. And, of course, if we get another Republican administration, then he will get all of his corporate tax cuts and loopholes that will provide him with a much fatter income, so he's definitely got a dog in this hunt. Just like the rest of the Republicans, he offers nothing in response to what he claims is horrendous and "scary" leadership by President Obama. Republicans have no plan, no vision, no ideas, so all they have left to play is pure, irrational-based fear to get people to vote for them. This letter is indeed "chilling" if only for the fact that it is not rooted in reality in any way. If this letter is the best that Republicans have to offer in response to Obama, then I have no doubts at all that Obama will handily win a second term as president.
8:12 AM PT: Wow! My first diary to make the rec list. Thanks everyone!
1:17 PM PT: Correction Update: As has been pointed out already in several of the comments, Lou Pritchett was not the CEO of Proctor and Gamble, although that's what the chain email asserted. I should have been more diligent in checking that. He actually worked as the Vice President there and is currently retired.