The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle on Obamabot:
The woman who became an Internet sensation in 2008 for gushing that Barack Obama would pay her gasoline and mortgage bills is back in the spotlight.
But this time, Peggy Joseph is no longer the brain-washed Obamabot she appeared to be back then. Joseph, who recently was interviewed for an upcoming documentary, said she was caught up in the historic moment and wasn't thinking clearly when she famously said after an Obama rally that she would no longer have to worry "about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. If I help him, he's going to help me."
In the new film, There's No Place Like Utopia, Joseph is interviewed at her suburban home, where she is a soccer mom of four and a working nurse.
The film chronicles people living in progressive-controlled cities such as Detroit, Chicago and Newark, N.J.
"At that time we needed a change, but a change for the better, not the worse," said Joseph, who, contrary to her 2008 what-can-the-government-do-for-me attitude, claims to have never been on government assistance.
Joseph, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said she has become more educated on politics in the six years since she became a YouTube phenom.
Whereas she once viewed Obama as a sort of national Santa Claus, she now compares him to The Wizard Of Oz.
"Truth and honesty are important," Joseph says in the film. "He lied about everything. Just like the Wizard of Oz, Obama has turned out to be nothing more than a man behind a curtain."
With polls showing the percentage of Americans who "strongly approve" of Obama's job performance regularly trending below 30 percent, Joseph apparently isn't the only one with buyer's remorse. One can only hope she, and others lured by false liberal promises, won't get fooled again.
Albany (Georgia) Herald on trust in democracy:
With politics jammed at them 24/7 from every form of media, the cacophony of partisan noise is undermining the political process rather than expanding knowledge and understanding of it.
America has transformed into a nation where individuals listen and see news the way they want it spun with political outcomes predicted to occur the way they want them to. And when it doesn't happen, rather than doubt their own judgment or the sources of their information, they lose faith in government and democracy.
At least that the takeaway we got from a report on a study released recently by the University of Georgia.
In the research, Barry Hollander, a UGA professor, analyzed 5,914 survey responses conducted by the American National Election Study that were taken before and after the 2012 presidential election in which President Barack Obama won re-election over the challenge of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. That was an election in which a great many Romney supporters, confident there would be a change in the White House, were surprised that their candidate did not prevail.
Hollander calls that the theory of wishful thinking. Another way of looking at it is simply false hope. In examining the data, Hollander found that "surprised losers" — those who incorrectly predicted their candidate would win — were more skeptical of government, democracy and the election process than were those who supported the same candidate but had been expecting the loss. In the Obama-Romney race, he noted, 78 percent of Romney's supporters believed Romney would win, though polls showed Obama leading.
Hollander said one problem may have been the way Americans consume information. For instance, we can recall hearing a number of conservative pundits, particularly on cable TV news and talk radio, decry the polls as flawed, arguing the numbers just "looked" bad because the pollsters were supportive of Democrats.
The more fragmented our media have become the more people are hearing what they want to out of their news and the more surprised they are when the outcome doesn't turn out as they've expected, which could further erode trust in elections, democracy and government.
Indeed, if your only exposure to political news in the coming fall elections is to passively listen to those who with whom you agree — whether on TV, on radio or on social media — you'll never learn anything new or have reason to question anything that you have heard. It may feel more comfortable, but it is a false security with no opportunity for growth as critical thinking skills atrophy.