These Americans also defied the orders against altering the photo, to the delight of my immigrant heart. I happened to be reading Sharansky that day and recalled a trip back to Marshall Tito’s Yugoslavia as a kid, when my father asked my uncles in a very low tone about the government — was there any more freedom than before we had emigrated? They evaded the question.
My international students tell me that mocking their leader can land them in jail. I had become discouraged watching fellow Americans meekly subject themselves to body searches for the privilege of boarding a plane. And I dread visits to a doctor’s office in the future when I am likely to be given the quality of care that I’ve come to expect at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
But on this occasion, a veritable artistic renaissance of American ingenuity sprang up on my Facebook page. Using Photoshop, red-blooded Americans who are insulted by Obama’s attempts to infringe on their First and Second Amendment rights put Obama in series of poses that gave the lie to the official image of manliness. Obama was given a pair of shapely female legs in hot pants, in pastel patterned underwear, and a bright pink tutu. He was shown in the Beverly Hillbillies truck with a shotgun. He was shown with Elmer Fudd. His shotgun was made into a Nerf gun. He was shown shooting the Constitution, straight ahead and not high in the air as one would with skeet shooting (as I’ve learned).
There is still a segment of the American population that will not comply with the kind of order that is demanded by petty dictators who are incapable of commanding respect in other ways.
Obama, the quintessential metrosexual, has been as careful as Vladimir Putin to project an image of command, from the jaunty run on the steps of Air Force One, to the overly crisp military salute, to the affected steely gaze, to the decisive end to sentences (skewered on Saturday Night Live). He began his campaign with Roman columns, after all.
Of course, Obama has complicit media like the above-mentioned outlets, as well as the New York Times, which did an extensive pre-election profile about how Obama personally selects the targets for drone attacks. This comes after campaigning on the fact that he had killed Osama bin Laden.
And then there was the false machismo when he came to Susan Rice’s aid on the Benghazi lies.
Obama had a “truth team” — a concept that appeals to the ignorant and largely illiterate masses of graduates from government schools who have never read Orwell or heard about “dissidents.” And in all seriousness, an MSNBC host claimed that the boorish president was due “deference” from his opponent Mitt Romney during the debates.