A recent editorial in the Sun praises President Obama for a recent speech to the Islamic Society of Baltimore. The speech was full of platitudes about tolerance, but should not convince the skeptic. If Obama really cares about Muslims so much, why is he continuing the illegal drone campaigns against Muslim countries? Why did he invade Libya to overthrow their lawful government, and why has he been arming rebels against Syria’s lawful government and promoting the deaths of thousands of Muslims there?
It is typical of our politics that a politician will be respected just for saying the right thing, not for doing it. By his illegal wars, which, to be fair, are merely continued from his Republican predecessor, he foments the same terrorism that he claims to fight. This terrorism is what threatens average Americans and causes them, even if wrongly, to fear all Muslims as their potential enemies. Rather than look to his own policies and limit the damage he is inflicting on Muslims abroad, he wishes to blame the average American for his prejudice, thereby abdicating his own responsibility for creating the conditions for that prejudice.
So it isn’t just Republicans who exploit popular fear; Democrats exploit it too for their own purposes. In both cases, they shift the blame away from the military-industrial complex and the hawks who constantly push for more intervention and more war, and throw it on powerless average people who have no personal problem with Muslims but are terrified by media reports of suicide bombings and mass shootings.