If there was one president whose life and leadership has been most controversial is that of the U.S president Barrack Obama. The accusations, rumors, and fallacies leveled against him range from not only his country of birth, but they stroll down to even his presidency.
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Skeptics of his administration, the republicans and other citizens cling to mere facts and doctored reports to try and shoot down his policies, his mission for a proper healthcare system for all Americans, and to foster America’s agenda abroad. They claim that Obama has his own personal agenda; he is leading the country to the path of authoritarian leadership.
They claim that he is stripping the citizens off their weapons and that he intends to suspend the constitution and dictate over his subjects. Other areas about the president’s life that arouses debate about his political stand stem from his religion, his citizenship, and his political ideology.
In the face of all this, everybody knows the truth about the president, and that his public profile has always been an open book. He has not only the interest of the country at heart but also the interests and the needs of the average native American at heart.
At the top of the issues fueling the loathing towards the president is his citizenship. It has been the pillar of the opposition’s strategy in attacking his policies. The opposition claims that the president is not American, that his citizenship belongs to another country, and therefore, his allegiance and loyalties lie with another state.
The lies about his citizenship reached their peak during the 2008 presidential elections, where the opposition and other independent bodies questioned his citizenry and eligibility as a presidential candidate on American soil (Barnes 15). The constitution stipulates that before one is cleared to stand for the American presidency, he should be an American citizen by birth.
They claimed that Obama was not born in America, that Obama was born in Kenya an, not even Hawaii. They dispute the authenticity of his birth documents, claiming that they are fake and non-authentic (Barnes 17). Others hold the unfounded notion that he was Indonesian or that because he enjoys double citizenship, American and British, which he acquired by birth, he is not naturally an American citizen.
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After Obama’s victory in the Democratic primaries, these allegations took a huge toll on the president’s campaign machine. They raised doubts in the American populace and threatened to tilt the gains he had made by then on the campaign trail against his opponent, Mr. John McCain.
The stories got more public attention in late 2008 around the time he was to be inaugurated; this was followed by several court proceedings (Sullivan 30). Towards the end of 2009, Hawaii’s elected governor informed the public that if Obama accepted, he would show to the public his papers.
He could not go further because the law barred him from releasing anybody’s files to the public without the person accepting it. Either way, the courts have rejected all attempts at discrediting Obama’s citizenship and any attempts to scuttle his ambitions of leading the world’s superpower nation.
The Obama campaign, in 2008, responded to the birthers (people disputing his citizenship) by releasing to the public scanned birth documents over the internet. The birthers still opposed this claiming it did not have a seal, but people around; even the Hawaiian government insists that that is Obama’s original certificate and that it is in line with all the laid down state rules and measures (Barnes 27).
Nevertheless, Obama’s citizenship is a sensitive topic. Though much has been done to dispel the rumors, some members, most of them Republicans, still express doubts about it or are just unwilling to accept it.
Another aspect of Obama’s life that is often subject to popular debates about his allegiance is his religion. He was born of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, though some people claim that he is Muslim, and others say he is Christian, while a small group of people believes that he is an atheist. Obama himself confessed that he is a Christian, has been brought up in a home with Christian values and principles, and that he is a Christian by choice (Miller and Wolffe 23).
Though he was raised in a Muslim dominated country that is Indonesia, he chose to be a Christian, and that is what he is. Other rumors, possibly perpetrated by his haters term him agnostic, in that he doesn’t acknowledge that there is a God out there, and he neither confesses to knowing that there’s a God. They claim that they will acknowledge God’s presence only when they are shown proof (Miller and Wolffe, 30).
The opinion that Obama is Muslim is held mostly by his political rivals, the opposition supporters and conservative republicans, and critics of his job performance. From among the people who supported President Obama, only a small percentage of less than half claim he is Christian. Obama’s stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was a Muslim.
Conspiracy theorists claim that Mr. Obama then was a Muslim and that he still holds Muslim teachings and values at heart, albeit secretly. These were disputed and Michael Bloomberg, himself a Jew. He spoke to the Jews living in Florida, cautioning them against taking in false accusations about Obama’s religion.
He assured the people that Obama is a Christian and that America’s support for Israel would not wane as a result of Obama becoming president. Obama himself claims that he is a Christian out of choice though political analysts claim that it is a political strategy to gain favor from the Christian voting block come to the 2012 elections (Most 19).
The public, through radio talk shows, radio call-ins, newspaper reviews, and letters to editors, have aired their thought s and feelings about these issues. There is a part of the public that still believes every word the president says about himself.
This group claims that the people peddling these rumors are out to ruin the president’s political carrier and watch as the public opinion of him dwindles (Most 20). They further claim that the theorists are clinging on unfounded allegations that have no concrete evidence, and as such, they should face charges for this. Another group totally agrees with the claim (Edwards and Tencer 18).
They claim that all these attacks are just because of the president’s race (He is black) and that they still cannot fathom being ruled by a black president, so they launch attacks on him to the latter. On the people who are always on the president’s throat like Sarah Palin, they claim that they still suffer from the blow the president dealt them; Winning the presidential elections as the first black American president.
The other group, mainly the conservative republicans and Obama’s critics agree that the president is a Muslim and that he has his own agenda of dragging the American economy to its feet (Edwards and Tencer 13).
They allude that the Muslim principles he was raised on and the Indonesian background do not favor him in making the right choices as pertains to the American people. To the people who still support the president and his policies, they claim that they are out of touch with reality. They either don’t know the truth or fear to face reality.
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The political landscape has been greatly altered, and for many years to come, one thing will remain for certain, that he is the first black president. Nobody has ever achieved that, and both supporters and critics alike agree that he has so far done a wonderful job.
What with the recession, unemployment skyrocketing, and in the face of stifling competition from emerging economies such as China and the rest. He has tried to restore America’s image abroad, and mere skeptics’ shall not override his achievements.
Barnes, Robert. “Obama Citizenship — Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge”. The Washington Post 2008.
Miller, Lisa, and Wolffe, Richard. “Finding His Faith: So much has been made about Barack Obama’s religion. But what does he believe, and how did he arrive at those beliefs?”. Newsweek. 2008
Edwards, David, and Tencer, Daniel. “After weeks of softball coverage, CNN tears into Tea Party organizer”. The Raw Story. 2009.
Mosk, Matthew. “An Attack That Came Out of the Ether Scholar Looks for First Link in E-Mail Chain About Obama”. Washington Post. 2008.
Sullivan, Amy. “An Antichrist Obama in McCain Ad”. Time. 2008.