America Sees the Real Obama, Angry Agitator

“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

Remember these words? They’re the president’s words, from his 2009 speech at Notre Dame University calling for opponents and proponents of abortion to just get along.

But that’s all out the window now. This week an angry president angrily denounced the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment protectors. He called them liars after an unconstitutional gun control bill suffered a stinging defeat in the U.S. Senate this week.

So it is apparent the president never was serious about staying above the fray and setting a tone of civil discourse. That was all just talk, just typical rhetoric.

We saw the real Obama, flaring anger, doing what comes natural to him: agitating. The pretense of civility is over.

And don’t bet the farm on the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse ever mentioning the president’s insolence and incivility. It’s never mentioned any of his uncivil remarks, not
even his labeling of opponents as “enemies.” Nor his racist remarks about his white grandmother.

It’s obvious Obama, Democrats in general, and their rage-aholic friends at MSNBC are insulated against any attention from the National Institute for Civil Discourse.

We visited the institute’s website this week to see what it’s up to. The most recent news there is the winning entries in the National Institute for Civil Discourse’s essay contests.

One of the two winners is author Stephen D. Konieczka, Ph.D., educator and researcher at the University of Colorado. Dr. Konieczka’s work focuses on socio-cultural talk and discourses of democratic governance, participatory politics, and community development. His winning essay is titled “The Armory as Argument: Cultural Communication Practices and the (Dangerous) Prospects for Civil Discourse about Gun Violence in the U.S.” Here’s an entry from that essay:

“Having defined communicative aggression and at least one alternative,27 the second task is to identify contexts where aggressive communication is the norm in everyday interaction. The list of situations where aggressive communication is valued in U.S. culture is perhaps endless; from “trash talk” on the field to slanders outside the women’s health clinic, words that devalue other people are all to common within institutions and systems in which individuals are organized and related. Perhaps the most important contexts in which aggressive communication is today celebrated is the olitical and/or governmental sphere (including reporting thereof). U.S. politics has never been a civil sport, but over the last 20 years or so, it appears to have increasingly little room for reasoned, responsible, and respectful argument. The media personality Tucker Carlson has best evidenced the perceived value of aggression in U.S. politics, declaring in 2007 that then Senator Obama “sound[ed] like a pothead” when the presidential candidate opined that “we have lost the capacity to recognize ourselves in each other . . . [producing] an empathy deficit.”

Notice there is no mention of the radical leftists who daily spew anger and hate at conservatives and Christians on MSNBC and other shrill left-stream media outlets.

There is no mention of tho radicals who shouted down opponents of the City of Phoenix’s bathroom bill trying to speak at a public hearing earlier this year.

Konieczka takes an accusatory swing at gun owners and de-legitimizes gun ownership as a means of self defense.

He unfairly attacks peaceful pro-life witnesses at abortion factories as “slanderers.”

He nitpicks on a conservative statement by Tucker Carlson while refusing to pick from any of the hundreds of hateful remarks by Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews, not to mention  the countless hateful remarks from many on the Left.

Clearly the NICD is endorsing this biased writing — celebrating it with an uncritical eye.

The NICD is dominated by left-wingers like honorary co-chairman Bill Clinton and others. It is window dressing, serving no useful purpose. In its two years, it has refused to call out any real practitioners of uncivil discourse.

3 thoughts on “America Sees the Real Obama, Angry Agitator

  1. Stephen P. Konieczka


    First, thank you for reading and commenting on the article I wrote, “The Amory as Argument.”

    Second, although I disagree with your conclusion that my essay about violence with guns was biased, I do concede your point about the lack of a “balance” with respect to some of the examples provided in the text. There, of course, are partisans on all sides of political debate that speak in tones and terms similar to, and even more problematic, than those I quoted from Tucker Carlson. It, perhaps, was not the best choice to use a right-left example to make my point. For the record, Maddow, Schultz, and Matthews are just as uncivil as Carlson, and I read/watch none of them on a regular basis.

    For the reader of this blog, who may not read the full text of my essay, the point of that text was neither that the left nor the right is wrong or right about the issue of violence with guns. The central problem noted in the essay was that American’s do not know how to argue constructively. We, as a society, are far too quick to resort to “aggressive communication” that denigrates the other, instead of constructive argument that engages ideas. Based on detailed statistics from the FBI and other sources, the essay discussed above argued that our lack of capacity for reasoned debate plays a significant role in violence with guns. If we do not correct our communication problems, there is little hope that progress will be made towards reducing violence with guns, or any other significant policy issue. That my words were re-framed on this blog as veiled attacks on the right, without reference to the larger argument being forward, is pretty much an example of the problem I was noting in the paper.

    Given the purpose of my essay was to foreground the violence in our political communication, I did not set out to attack any group or perspective; each of us, as Americans, are responsible for the disastrous state of political discourse in the U.S. Contrary to the position stated above that I “took an accusatory swing at gun-owners” concerning self-defense, the essay is actually (or was intended to be) sympathetic to such perspectives. Although absent a foreign invasion, civil war, or other mass breakdown in social order I (and many gun-owners) cannot rationalize the need for an AR-15 to defend one’s life or property, personal protection is a valid argument for gun ownership. However, whether or not the self-defense argument wins the debate is not a question that interests me much, so long as the debate itself is respectful and evidence based. Again, the article was intended to raise awareness about the communication problems underlying acts of violence with guns so that constructive debate might proceed.

    1. arizona today

      Thank you for your post. You are a civil writer, and hopefully your civil tone will rub off on the rabid, angry Left-wing mob who spew such vile filth on a daily basis.

      But really? Carlson “just as uncivil”? No, it’s not even close. Matthews needs a straight jacket on his foul tongue. Schultz belongs in an institution. And the University of Arizona’s Institute for Civil Discourse is an absolute joke which serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

      We as a society? You should be willing to admit that “we, the left-wing media,” along with many uncivil Democrats in Congress and state legislatures are over the top, out of control, continually setting new lows for hate-filled rants. You simply do not see this from the conservative or Christian crowd. And also you never see a conservative blog message without hateful responses by leftists.

      The Left just flat-out needs to clean up its act.

  2. More follow-up to Stephen P. Konieczka:

    It’s interesting to note your remarks on Carlson, Mathews, et al: you comment on how uncivil they are, but you rarely watch them.

    I suggest you watch and listen more to what Republicans, Democrats, and news and opinion media say on a more regular basis. You will note anger, derision, and uncivil remarks from the Left on a regular basis. You will rarely find it on the Right. Senators Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Al Franken, and Congressmen Maxine Waters and others on the far Left repeatedly cross the line of civility. And Senator John McCain, who is no conservative, is fond of calling critics “idiots.”

    On the Right you will find civility, respect and politeness.

    You can monitor this on the Media Research Center website with its daily updates on over-the-top remarks and bias in the left-stream media.

    And let’s not forget President “Not-so-Fair-Minded-Words.” He just dropped an incivility bomb on Catholics in Northern Ireland. Obama says when debating religion, Christians should speak only in universal terms rather than use specifics.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander: when debating politics, let’s see Obama use only neutral, universal terms instead of the inflammatory words he uses — like “enemies,” “acted stupidly,” and his other frequent insults of those who disagree with him.

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