News that Quinnipiac poll finds president Obama is the “worst president since World War II” was greeted with amusement. New York Magazine counseled its readers not to take the poll too seriously, saying it’s all explained by the ‘availability heuristic’. That’s a complicated term for asserting that people are too silly to know what’s bad for them, so sophisticates can still continue to think Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
That sounds fancy, but it simply means that we are biased by how easy it is to summon an example of something in our heads. So when a right-leaning person is asked to think of a bad president, the shadow of Obama looms large over them. To a certain extent, many people who picked Obama weren’t carefully weighing how they viewed him versus other presidents — do you remember how crazy Bill Clinton drove conservatives? — but were swayed by how quickly and loudly Barry O seized their brains once the question was asked.
One of the former prerogatives of the liberal press was its ability to frame the narrative. In the past they could — and did — tell the public what to take seriously and who to laugh at. We were routinely told not to take the warning from Hamas that it will “open the gates of hell” seriously. Such threats — like the vow of ISIS to expand the Caliphate to include parts of Europe, or vows to behead infidels — were dismissed out of hand as either the posturing of simpletons or the justifiable wrath of the Poor and Downtrodden.
What was taken seriously in every case, however, was any sign of lawlessness by the White Man, including the Jews. Now reports suggest that someone may have broken the law; engaged in a revenge killing for the Hamas-ordered execution of three teenagers on the West Bank is front-page news. The New York Times reports, “Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement, strongly condemned what he called “the despicable and senseless abduction and murder” of Muhammad [an Arab teenager]. He added, ‘Those who undertake acts of vengeance only destabilize an already explosive and emotional situation.’”
The Times of London writes:
Israeli leaders and rabbis were told yesterday that inflammatory rhetoric risked inciting revenge killings and public disorder after a Palestinian boy was lynched following the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers.
And it’s not just the Israelis. The arrival of thousands of aliens at the US southern border has heretofore been depicted, not as an act of invasion, but somehow America’s fault. But to the Californians blocking the movement of these people into their state these arrivals are simply trespassers. Surely if Californians were descending on Mexico they would be so regarded by the Mexicans. Their crime is to think and act as the Mexicans would think. A CNN story shows what the narrative was meant to be.
“It is deplorable that people espousing anti-immigrant hate language created unnecessary tension and fear for immigrant mothers and their children,” Pedro Rios, a community representative of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, said in a statement. “Even more concerning is that elected officials in the City of Murrieta instigated this tension. Mothers and their children on these buses have suffered through enough trauma.”