Monday, September 6, 2010

Swaying the American Public

The saga about the mosque being built a couple of blocks away from the ground zero site in New York arrives at an interesting time. The American public is so easily swayed and it is quite sad that they never take the time to think the choices through.

It's an interesting time because the decision is being flung about to achieve political ends as election time approaches rapidly. Emotions are being rallied across the board with more nationalistic stances stating that building the mosque is an unprecedented insult to the American lives lost during 9/11. But the facts, if anybody had cared to examine them are as follows:

1. The mosque is not being built by the US government on the 9/11 site as many seem to believe.

2. The land is privately owned and planning permission was requested as per due process in USA. The decision arrived at the White House for obvious reasons.

3. Barack Obama had no choice but to approve the mosque - opposing it would have fundamentally affected the constitutional rights of one group of citizens. His primary job is to protect those rights.

4. The decision to build the mosque there may not be a particularly sensitive or prudent one from the muslim community but that does not take away from their right to build it there.

5. People opposing the building of the mosque are doing so to gain political brownie points with a mostly ignorant public. If asked what they would decide if they were in Obama's position, they know full well they would not be able to decide otherwise.

Be sure to check out the Obama mosque cartoon on Wonkie - the editorial there neatly summarises Obama's choices and shows why he could not have made any other possible decision.

As for the easily swayed American public - one can only suggest they get themselves some serious professional life coaching to help them work through how they may be better able to evaluate when they're being played by politicians. Sadly I don't think even an uber-coach would be able to support them at this point.