Man, the wingnut loonies and some of the Tea Party crazies are clearly losing their tiny little minds these days.
During the W. Bush years, the American Left made no secret of their dislike of George W. Bush’s policies. As a matter of fact, they were very vocal about this fact. But in the mainstream of the American Left, there was still respect for Laura Bush and her attempts to combat illiteracy both here and abroad. Yeah, you could find fringe bloggers on the internet who were total shitheads about the matter, but on the whole the mainstream of the American Left, both the public and the professional, at least saw fighting illiteracy as a good thing and saw the idea of a prominent figure, such as a First Lady, promoting that cause to be a good thing. After all, one would think that, despite the political positions held by the husbands of the American First Wives, most Americans can get past petty partisan posturing long enough to support a good cause or ideal.
Unfortunately for most intelligent Americans, it seems that many on the American Right suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome to a far greater degree than even the Right accused the American Left of suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome during his eight years in office. Michelle Obama took up her cause as First Lady bringing attention to better eating habits for children and better exercise habits for children. You would think from the reaction of much of the American Right, including much of the mainstream American Right, that she suggested that kids start smoking crack and doing porn.
Early in Barack Obama’s first term in office, Michelle started talking about battling childhood obesity, what had been being reported over the years as an epidemic on the rise with very serious health implications for kids, and about kids eating healthier diets. The Right lost its mind. This was somehow fascism on the march coming straight out of the White House. Who in the hell was she, it was asked, to tell us what we should be feeding our kids? She was attacked viciously and personally over the matter on the fringe Right blogs and even attacked by the mainstream of the conservative media on talk radio and Fox News.
It was an interesting contrast to witness. The majority of the American Left hated W. Bush by his second term, but they could get behind the idea of educating children and teaching children to read even if the face of that initiative was the President’s wife. But vast swaths of the American Right was so apparently eaten up with unreasoning hatred and blind loathing that they would reject the idea of kids eating less junk foods and more healthy foods because Michelle Obama said it was a good idea.
Not long ago, Michelle Obama invited Magnús Scheving to the White House to discuss kids eating better foods and exercising. If the name doesn’t automatically ring a bell with you, Magnús Scheving is the creator of LazyTown as well as the actor who plays Sportacus in the program itself. Beyond that insofar as credentials for talking about eating right and exercising? I give you the career bio blurb from Wiki on the man.
“In 1992 he became the Icelandic Men’s Individual Champion in aerobic gymnastics. In 1993, he became the Scandinavian champion, and was the European champion twice in 1994 and 1995. He was voted Athlete of the Year in Iceland in 1994. He is the CEO, creator, and co-founder of LazyTown Entertainment. This company produces books, videos, games, and sporting goods to help promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle to children. He is also creator of the show LazyTown (Latibær in Iceland), where he plays Sportacus (known as Íþróttaálfurinn in Icelandic).
In 2006, Scheving received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Icelandic Edda Award ceremonies for his work as founder and creator of the LazyTown franchise. The President of Iceland presented the award to him”
He’s been promoting healthy eating and exercise for children all over the world for years now and LazyTown has been a hit with kids all over the world, including in the US, for years now. It made sense to have him come in and talk about it.
When pictures of Sportacus in the White House with the First Lady hit the news, I knew Tea Party parents who forbid their kids to watch LazyTown anymore because it was now a tool of the “communist” or “fascist” Obama agenda to force their will on the rest of us. It came across as batcrap crazy X100, but apparently the mindset of many on the American Right is to kneejerk hate anything with the Obama name attached to it and to immediately take the opposing side against it.
And that brings us up to this week.
Michelle Obama and Subway, the company that has used Jared Fogle to promote their “Fresh Fit” menu to adults for years now, have joined up to promote healthy eating choices (or at least somewhat healthier eating choices) for children. So, of course, the American Right has had a complete and total meltdown.
Michelle Malkin has already written up her cutesy little attack column on the matter. Tea Party social media sites have lit up like mad. (Oh, just a hint for the Tea Party people- When you claim that you’re not racist, that claim isn’t helped by posting pictures to your pages of chimps and monkeys eating food and claiming that these are pictures of Michelle Obama eating a meal.) One site I saw earlier tonight actually had an irate poster asking what right “that fascist bitch” had to “force us” to feed our children what she thinks is best for them. And his wasn’t the only post along those lines.
Because “True Americans” apparently want their kids suffering from diabetes.
The First Lady suggesting a healthier lifestyle for kids is “fascist’ and somehow “forcing” us to change how we’re raising our children? Really? Wow…
There’s already at least one social media page on Facebook gathering followers for the cause of boycotting Subway for the unpardonable (fascist/communist/socialist) crime of being part of a promotion that offers healthier menu choices for kids. Subway’s Facebook page is being flooded by idiots declaring that they’ll never eat at Subway again for teaming with the First Lady to promote healthy eating habits for children. Let that sink in for a moment. The idea of offering healthier meal choices as options, such as apple slices as a side or low-fat milk as a beverage, for parents on the go to grab when out with their kids is a boycottable offense in Tea Party/Wingnut land and a sign to them of the attempted fascist takeover of America simply because Michelle Obama is a part of the campaign.
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?
I mean, I thought that mental retardation was running rampant in the American Right in the late 1990s and the early 2000s as they would call in to radio talk shows and brag about the decision to buy a brand new, low gas mileage vehicle despite the “liberal push” for better gas mileage standards or greeting Rush with “giant, gas guzzling, SUV dittos” on the air while then proceeding to start whining and crying about the high cost of gas, but this makes that look like the heights of sanity.
Childhood obesity is a huge problem in this country. The fact is that the high proliferation of junk food chains often makes junk food the easiest thing to grab when busy and on the go, and, made worse in areas with poor economic bases, junk food, low value nutrition food, is usually the cheapest, most affordable thing to find. Throw in the fact that the more and more sedentary lifestyle of American culture only compounds the overall problem and we’re seeing things like signs of diabetes in younger and younger children every year. But the American Right is making it their cause to repeatedly be “outraged” and “offended” that the First Lady dares to suggest that eating better and getting more exercise might be a good thing for kids.
Apparently there’s a new definition of ‘Disgrace’ that I was unaware of.
They’re not sending troops into homes and forcing parents at gunpoint to serve their children specific foods and only those specific foods in specific portions. They’re not sending police out to stand in restaurants and fast food joints to arrest parents who get their kids an order of fries at McDonalds rather than apple slices off of the healthy choice menu. (Although, if you read some of the conservative social media sites right now, you’d think that this is the set in stone Phase 2 plan.) But we’re apparently knee deep in a totalitarian takeover of our lifestyles and eating habits at the hands of our evil Obama Overlords.
All that’s being done here by the First Lady is suggesting that a healthier lifestyle might be a good thing for kids. All that’s being done here by the First Lady is the promotion of the concepts of eating healthier and exercising more. Yet just suggesting and promoting this, if done by the present First Lady, is now the conservative/Tea Party definition of “fascism” and a “totalitarian” invasion into our lives. All that’s being done by Subway is the offering of healthier menu items for kids and an assist in promoting the idea of kids eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less pure junk food. Yet somehow this is an unforgivable and boycottable offense.
If anything, again, this creates an interesting example of the contrasting mindsets displayed by the most recent generations of the American Right and the American Left. The American Right was fond of throwing the term “Bush Derangement Syndrome” at the Left whenever the Left criticized the Bush Administration over such matters as unnecessarily going to war in Iraq, policies like rendition, or acts of torture by our government being relabeled as “enhanced interrogation.” But when Laura Bush suggested that reading was good and illiteracy was bad, especially among children, the American Left agreed with her. The American Left, by and large and not counting the most fringe members in it, found no reason to attack her and hate her for suggesting that reading was good just because the American Left wasn’t a fan of George W. Bush. But for the last five years, we have watched as even the mainstream in the American Right has attacked Michelle Obama, sometimes in the ugliest of ways, for promoting the idea that kids eating better and exercising more might just be a good thing for America’s kids because they’re incapable of suppressing their hatred of the President or their kneejerk reactions of opposing and attacking anything and everything that has the name Obama attached to it. Because Michelle Obama says that healthy eating and exercise is good for kids, large chunks of the American Right has declared that this is in some way wrong and cannot be tolerated and that any business that subscribes to this idea with her must be boycotted.
Again, seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?