If I told You, Would You Have Believed?

Recently while driving from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, some 80 miles down the coast (kind of like leaving Marxatopia for Stalinsville), I tuned into 10,000 watts of soothing radio sanity, KSCO-AM.  Similar to the radio station I work for in San Francisco, despite broadcasting from an epicenter of liberalism (the most popular local bumper sticker reads "Keep Santa Cruz Weird"), KSCO remains proudly conservative.  It was within moments of capturing KSCO's signal that I began to hear an engaging commentary by their owner, Kay Zwerling.

Kay's premise was, "If I had told you that within the first 200 days of Barack Obama's presidency...?" And her short list of political atrocities began.

Kay wondered aloud, who would have believed that within the first seven months of the new administration, 90% of all mortgages in the United States would be backed by the federal government (placing the taxpayer at risk for over $5 trillion dollars, I might add).  The U.S. government, she said, would also become a major shareholder in one of the world's largest banks, Citigroup-who would have believed it?  In addition, Kay pointed out the feds hostile takeover of General Motors and Chrysler, the sacking of their respective CEO's, replacing them with political appointees, and then heartlessly closing hundreds of profitable dealerships across the country, many of whose owners were known to have contributed to Republican politicians and conservative causes. 

If Kay had told America this would happen upon electing Barack Obama as president, would the country have listened?

I began working off of Kay's supposition, presenting the same sort of questions to my listeners on KSFO in San Francisco:

"If I told you that if elected, the budget deficit for Barack Obama's first fiscal year would total $1.6 trillion dollars, and in ten years the predicted national debt would surge to $16 trillion, would you have believed me?  And we conservatives thought George Bush had a spending problem," I declared. 

"If I would have told you that the Obama White House would drop the lukewarm phrase ‘War on Terror' and replace it an even wimpier one: ‘Overseas Contingency Operation,' would you have believed me?  And if I told you we'd soon be reciting Miranda rights to terrorists captured on the battlefield-AK-47 toting thugs attempting to kill Americans soldiers in Afghanistan-would you have listened?"

Oh, and I noted his first egregious action that nobody would have anticipated: on the night of his inauguration our new Commander in Chief became the only President to blow off the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball, sponsored by the American Legion.  Close to 50 Medal of Honor recipients and esteemed guests were assembled.  Mr. Obama traded the presence of our nation's greatest patriots for fools like Kanye West and Leonardo DiCaprio. Would anyone have believed me if I had said this would occur?

I continued, "if I had told you our nation would have an Attorney General who does not believe the Second Amendment is an individual right; or that a Supreme Court justice who feels race makes for judicial wisdom, would be sworn-in; or that the Tenth Amendment would be obliterated by the new administration in an attempt to pass ‘health insurance reform'?  Would you have believed me?" I asked.

Advancing these thoughts to my radio audience, callers checked in with their own additions to the list. 

If we told you, some said, that the Lockerbie murderer, Abdul Al  Megrahi, a man convicted of killing 270 passengers aboard Pan Am flight 103 in 1989-180 of those Americans-would be freed from prison, and the response from America's president would simply be, "we thought it was a mistake," would you have believed us?

If we told you, they shared, that we would actually have president who declared the United States is "no longer a Christian nation"; or a president who would not publicly participate in the National Day of Prayer; or a president who would travel to Egypt to give a major address directed to the Muslim world, would you think we were crazy?

They also recalled that President Obama's first formal televised interview was taped and broadcast on Al-Arabiya (think of it as Al Jazeera-lite), and his first phone call to a world leader was to a former pillar of the Palestinian Liberation [terrorist] Organization, Mahmoud Abbas.  Who would have believed it?

After 9-11, the British government presented George W. Bush with one their country's great modern treasures: a bust of Winston Churchill.  President Bush prominently placed the iconic figure of vigilance and courage in the Oval Office.  After Obama's inauguration the Brit's offered the prized possession to remain with America's new commander.  Obama turned down the offer and had Churchill crated and shipped back to England.  If you were warned this would occur, would you have believed it?  Or would you have believed that, upon British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's first visit to the White House, our president would present the leader of our greatest ally with a tacky gift box of DVDs, including Psycho and The Godfather?

My callers kept this up for two hours.  Their list included 10% unemployment, a $787 billion stimulus package, calling the work of a municipal police force stupid, plans to hijack the student loan industry, and appointing a hater of conservative radio to the FCC.

If we had told you, would you have believed such things were possible in the United States of America?  Well, to a large degree, many of us did, and now many more believe.

Brian Sussman is a radio host on KSFO, San Francisco and author of the forthcoming book, "Global Whining: confidence to confront the biggest scam in history," to be published by WND Books.
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