Well this is alarming. The man who supposedly is standing between us and another massive terror attack says this whole terrorism thing is not as big a deal as everyone thinks.
Obama spoke to Matthew Yglesias of Vox, who asked him whether “the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos, as opposed to a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease?”
Absolutely. And I don’t blame the media for that.
And then he goes on to blame the media.
What’s the famous saying about local newscasts, right? If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories and you show fires, because that’s what folks watch, and it’s all about ratings. And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that’s the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs.
He grumbles there’s too much coverage of ISIS and not enough stories about crop yields. I’m serious. Read it.
There’s just not going to be a lot of interest in a headline story that we have cut infant mortality by really significant amounts over the last 20 years or that extreme poverty has been slashed or that there’s been enormous progress with a program we set up when I first came into office to help poor farmers increase productivity and yields. It’s not a sexy story. And climate change is one that is happening at such a broad scale and at such a complex system, it’s a hard story for the media to tell on a day-to-day basis.
Gosh, if only we had his intellect, we’d demand less sensational stuff from the media, wouldn’t we? But, okay, Obama shifts gears a little and says we’re maybe not quite as stupid as he suggests for worrying about all this mass murder stuff.
Look, the point is this: my first job is to protect the American people.
Okay, he read the oath of office, good.
It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.
No, they didn’t randomly shoot people in a deli. They – or more precisely, one terrorist – shot “a bunch of folks” because they were Jewish folks.
This is what Obama doesn’t get. This is Islamist extremism, targeting Westerners, with extra points for getting Jews. It is not random violence.
We devote enormous resources to that, and it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that — the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.
Truly, he thinks fighting terrorism is akin to reducing burglaries.
But we also have to attend to a lot of other issues, and we’ve got to make sure we’re right-sizing our approach so that what we do isn’t counterproductive. I would argue that our invasion of Iraq was counterproductive to the goal of keeping our country safe.
And this is the problem for Obama. You see, all this nasty terrorism stuff, it’s just, like, totally interfered with the presidency he always wanted – one focused on the environment, statism, and redistributing money to poor farmers who maybe should take up welding.
That’s why you hear him elevating such things as climate change and his domestic priorities into “national security” issues. So he can justify focusing on these things instead of . . . actual national security issues.
He doesn’t want there to be a threat, so he pretends there isn’t much of one. And so he calls ISIS “the JV team.” And then all of a sudden they’re spiking the ball in his end zone.
And soon they’ll be spiking it into our heads.
Not to overdo it or anything.