Readers with sharp memories will remember the first Obama/Romney debate from 2012, a 90-minute thrashing that had many conservatives certain that their guy would run roughshod over the incumbent on the way to the White House. It didn’t turn out quite like that, but it was the first glimpse the country got of a checked-out president. A president who made it abundantly clear that he would have rather been doing anything than prepare for a campaign.
Obama managed to turn things around in 2012, but even left-wing media establishments have begun to notice a similar malaise fall over the president in 2014. Could it be a return of the blues? Obama’s Friday comments on the threat of Islamic extremism suggest a president who is going as far as to deny reality in an attempt to avoid the issue.
“If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart,” Obama said. “I can see why a lot of folks are troubled, but the world’s always been messy…we’re just noticing now in part because of social media.”
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. There are threats in the Middle East, but they aren’t really that big a deal. It’s only because of places like Reddit and Twitter and YouTube that we even think anything of it. The UK must really feel silly after raising their terror alert level to “Severe” last week. Gee, British Prime Minister David Cameron must feel like an idiot after seeing Obama’s remarks. I wonder which social media outlet caused them to go on high alert?
The truth is that it isn’t social media that’s causing a lot of concern about ISIS and Islamic terrorism. The fact that they took over almost half of Iraq without any substantial opposition might be a reason. The fact that we still have a porous southern border that ISIS could easily use to infiltrate the country might be another reason. Just last month, Texas Governor Rick Perry warned of the possibility of terrorists getting across in the absence of true security.
Obama’s right about one thing, though: social media is making the problem worse. Not because it’s making it look like the sky is falling, but because ISIS is conducting a relentless propaganda campaign to recruit followers from around the world. If you’re wondering what kind of propaganda is most likely to bring in more recruits, attacks against America would be at the very top of the list. In order to grow – a goal ISIS has been very clear about pursuing – they must show disaffected individuals everywhere that they mean business. A strike against America would have just that effect.