Om Demonizing a President: The "Forei
The ascendancy of the first African American president was a watershed moment in American history. In response, President Obama's adversaries have engaged in relentless and systematic mudslinging throughout his campaign and well into his presidency, " othering" him as a foreign and dangerous political figure. Never before has a presidential candidate been so maligned, by so many, in such a variety of ways-and yet won. This provocative study investigates the unrest behind the Obama campaign and election, and the controversial political machine that causes it.Martin A. Parlett, himself a former campaigner for Barack Obama, examines the role identity politics and racialization play in the anti-Obama movement, shows how foreignization is the latest tool for political dissent, and discusses the ways in which the president has successfully utilized the "outsider" label to his own advantage. The book questions the popular-and often contradictory-notions of Obama as illegitimate, Muslim, Marxist/Communist, socialist, Kenyan, terrorist, and angry African American. Additionally, chapters trace political marginalization and race throughout history from slavery to Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement, concluding with the culture of distrust in the American political psyche since the events of September 11, 2001.