We all have narratives in our heads — beliefs, conclusions, assumptions and frameworks that define how we think the world works. And we all filter evidence through the lens of those narratives, trying to fit evidence within the framework we’ve developed. The more committed we are to rational thinking, however, the more open we are to changing those beliefs based upon the evidence. But the right wing’s Obama narrative is utterly immune to evidence, requiring them to ignore, dismiss and distort reality in order to maintain the story in their head. Here’s a textbook example from Jerome Corsi:
In the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama spoke at a campaign event in Las Vegas one day after the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack, proclaiming, “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeida is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”
On Nov. 1, 2012, CNSNews.com reported that Obama had described al-Qaida as having been “decimated,” “on the path to defeat,” or some other variation at least 32 times since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. It was a theme Obama repeated last week in his counter-terrorism policy speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C…
Yet, despite Obama’s attempt to establish a narrative in which Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security, evidence abounds that the radical Islamic rebels responsible for opposing Gadhafi in Libya and Assad in Syria have extensive ties to al-Qaida.
But Obama has never said, or even implied, that “Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security.” Quite the opposite, in fact. But that is the narrative in Corsi’s head — Obama is “soft on terrorism” and probably on the side of the terrorists. Never mind all of the evidence he has to ignore, dismiss or lie about in order to maintain that — that Obama has continued nearly ever Bush anti-terror policy, including the blatantly unconstitutional ones; that he has vastly ramped up the drone strike campaign against terrorists overseas; that he increased the number of troops in Afghanistan; that under his administration, not only Bin Laden but most of the Al Qaeda leadership has been captured or killed; and much more. The narrative always trumps the evidence for ideologues like Corsi. He continues:
Obama also has advanced a narrative expressing U.S. acceptance of Islam.
In his foreign policy speech delivered at Cairo University June 4, 2009, Obama explained he had known Islam “on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.”
In a joint press availability with Turkey’s President Gul at Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, on April 6, 2009, Obama repudiated U.S. history since George Washington, declaring the U.S. is not a Christian country: “And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is – although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
You’d have to be pretty much deranged to object to Obama’s statement above. And that is exactly what Corsi is.