Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McCaniacs and Their Reading Practices

I was all set to write an entry about last night's presidential "town hall" (which was in a hall and in a town, but unrecognizable otherwise) when I was brought up short by a letter in our campus newspaper this morning.  Today's Daily Collegian includes a letter to the editor from a self-described member of our local chapter of YOUNG AMERICANS FOR FREEDOM.

Here's the breath-taking logic that seems to characterize Republican representations of the Obama campaign these days.

Our correspondent begins by describing several pieces of Obama "propaganda" he'd spotted posted around campus.  Then he writes: "What makes me even more nervous is that some of the flyers depict Obama looking to the left with the word 'Hope' underneath.  It is very reminiscent of a 1930s Stalin poster.  It seems that Obama wants to 'change' America into a communist state.  . . . So, when voting, remember to vote for the candidate that represents traditional American values, not a comrade that does not have your best interest in mind."

What are we to make of the numerous Obama posters that depict him looking straight ahead, or to the right?  How does the mere fact that someone is shown looking to the left while expressing hope become translated into evidence of communist intentions?  What are we to make of the innumerable campaign posters and ads that show McCain looking off to his left?

Hey, come to think of it, Obama was positioned on the left side of the stage last night -- But that also meant that McCain was often seen looking to the left.  But that was his right.  Obama was to the right of McCain --- 

This letter was signed by a senior in political science, which would have been an even greater cause for concern had I not met so many bright and thoughtful political science majors at Penn State, liberal and conservative alike, who can actually read and reason.

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