Demonizing a President: The “Foreignization” of Barack Obama
All presidents have their critics. In a two-party system with numerous players aspiring for the highest office in the land, it’s to be expected that whomever is elected will face blame, accusations, and conspiracy theories no matter what they do. But in the case of President Barack Obama, criticism has taken a decidedly uglier turn, with racist, xenophobic, and political attacks of unprecedented ferocity and vitriol.
Demonizing a President is an exploration of the numerous attempts to slander and undermine the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency. And thankfully, although the author identifies himself as an Obama supporter, this doesn’t come off as a blind defense of a favored president. Rather, the book presents a nuanced study of the staggering efforts to brand Obama an outsider, or as Parlett puts it, “the Other.”
Parlett provides valuable context by noting previous presidents who faced similar accusations of “foreignness” or “secret loyalties,” and although some of these facts are surprising, they only add to the argument that Obama has been under siege like no president in history.
As informative as it is unsettling, Demonizing a President provides a valuable record for a less-than-pretty side of modern American political realities.
Martin A. Parlett