The new Segrettis.

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Someone I know who listens to way too much Rush Limbaugh forwarded me a collection of jokes the other day that was topped with some sort of godawful cartoon that tried yet again to play on the Obama/bin Laden muslim crap thing that I would have thought anyone with half a brain would have tossed aside back in, oh, February.

So I wrote him and said “Please do NOT send me any more of this crap.”

So he sends me this today:



An old friend of mine who is a VERY GOOD news guy (and LIKES OBAMA) sent this to me. Please take a look in your spare time and tell me why BLACK people are after him now? This is not an argument on my side, just strangeness to me.

It had been forwarded about 6 times previous to my getting it.

So here’s what I wrote back:

I read Barack Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” cover to cover. He’s a smart guy. That’s pretty much case closed for me…he’s the smartest guy in the room, and Biden’s right up there. I vote for guys (or women) who can outthink me without breaking a sweat. McCain doesn’t pass that test.

I really don’t think it’s fair to say “BLACK people are after him now.” he’s just a person. [someone we both know] is NOT after him–a black guy! [another guy we both know] is not after him–a white guy! You can be damn sure that the Karl Rove associates McCain has hired to smear Obama are paying for as much of this crap as they can (hey, way cheaper than TV spots), and they count on well-meaning folks like you to forward it. Don’t play their game.

You’re just doing the McCain campaign’s dirty work by forwarding crap like this…they LITERALLY want exactly what you did to happen over and over again. Their cost? Free. They’re chuckling at how easy it is to put stuff out in a world pre-jaded by the likes of Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

We’re all just “guys”…Barack’s race (which is what, exactly?) is meaningless to me, mostly because we’re all just DNA mixed cocktails anyway. His upbringing is certainly something I identify with more than McCain’s.

Youall have to take a deep breath and realize we need a leader to get us 1) out of our current mess and 2) make our country again worthy of respect around the world. (No, we’re not respected now. Feared maybe. I don’t want to be feared.)

I’m going with Obama.


Folks are seemingly oblivious to what extent this machine of destruction has been embedded into American culture, and the internet is just the perfect—almost infinitely cheap—medium for this kind of stuff to propogate. Back in 1972, Donald Segretti and the rest of Nixon’s dirty tricks squad had to work a lot harder to get a meme of evil to extend its tendrils through society. These days, a click or two, and you’re done.

And you know why it works…in some ways, it’s the classic social thing: “I really didn’t want to receive that kind of junk, but I didn’t want to offend him by telling him I was upset.”

Don’t break the chain, in other words. We’re all so polite. It’s time to, instead of simply hitting the delete button or tuning out in a cocktail party conversation, to speak up for what you (and I) believe at your core.

This verminous smear campaign only stays alive if we keep quiet. Are you voting for Obama? Glad to hear it.

Tell your friends why, and what you believe in. And stand by your words.