Carnival Barkers In America

It is time for Americans to stop letting “carnival barkers” set the political and social agenda In America. It is time for us to stop giving these liars and con artists the constant media spotlight they now command. Enough is enough. As the president said this week, there are far too many serious issues that need careful debate and consideration for us to be distracted by these fools and clowns. They have no substance; only a never ending need for attention.

It was Donald Trump, that clown with the curious coif, who was the target of President Obama’s scorn and who earned the characterization of “carnival barker” during the president’s unnecessary press conference this week. After weeks of badgering by Donald Trump, a strange looking individual who seems to wear a badger atop his head, the president was distracted from the serious issues of the day to announce the release of his birth certificate. And then, as if to reinforce his own hubris, Trump held a press conference during which he showed he has absolutely no shame, congratulating himself and saying “I’m very proud of myself,” for being the only one to get the president to release his birth certificate, which proved or disproved nothing. Nice work, Mr. Trump.

That’s right, said Trump. Step right up. Buy a ticket to the freak show. See the two headed man. See the woman with elastic skin. See a private document proving citizenship that no other president has had to produce. “What a great man I am.” Step right up.

Not a single reporter bothered to challenge this bully about his fruitless witch hunt. Not one journalist had the guts to ask Trump if he was embarrassed that he had been proved wrong. It was unbelievable. This big-mouthed, schoolyard bully stood there while reporters appeared to be paralyzed by fear that Trump might embarrass them on national television. What a gutless group. Was this the A-team or a bunch of journalistic lightweights. The press abdicated their responsibility and trust handed to them by the public and stood around while Trump congratulated himself and them proceeded to change the subject from the president’s citizenship to his abilities as a student. The carnival barking continued.

Why do we give these half-wits like Trump the same attention once reserved for serious discourse? Has the bar of public discourse been lowered that far? The fact is we now allow ourselves to be conned and confused by this kind of profane, insolent and contemptuous trash talk. Why? Because nobody really wants to think about legitimate problems like the hundreds of thousands of Americans without jobs, health care or much hope for tomorrow. Meanwhile the carnival barkers command better ratings than serious discourse. The tail wags the dog. The carnival is apparently in town to stay.

And don’t think for a minute that racism is not at play when these carnival barkers go after this African-American president. Can you imagine any previous, white president being subjected to this kind hyper-scrutiny? Can you imagine former President Reagan being forced to provide proof of his citizenship? It wouldn’t have happened. Not in a million years. But because President Obama is African-American every half-wit with a reality show or access to the public airwaves seems to be given the licence to attack any and all aspect of his life. This isn’t the first time the presidents background or integrity has been publicly questioned:

Perhaps we are all culpable for allowing the freak show to continue. What if we just said, “No more?” What if we refused to give people like Joe Wilson or Donald Trump or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck our attention? What if we ignored the carnival barkers?

It’s time for Americans to stop listening to this nonsense. We all know in our hearts that the carnival barkers do nothing more than distract us from the job of making America a better, more fair and equitable place. Until we all make a concerted effort to ignore the carnival barkers, we’re all just a bunch of suckers.

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