Repeated reference to unnamed foreign elements who are undermining the country? Check. Nebulous list of leading questions straight out of the GOP playbook? Check. Vague assertions about shadowy organisations lurking in the wings? Check.
I can’t quite decide if this is a stroke of Machiavellian genius or an appeal to the lowest common denominator, but it looks as though President Obama (or one of his speechwriters anyway) has decided to tap into and try to ride the wave of popular conspiracy thinking which is washing across the USA. As you watch, count the number of questions asked which can’t be properly answered. Also count the number of references to ‘they’ or ‘them’ – the classic signifiers of conspiracist thinking.
The Republican Party and the Obama Conspiracy Theories
The Tea Party: ‘The People Who Hate People Party’
Blather, Rinse, Repeat: An Ethnography of Conspiracy Theory
The Haiti Conspiracy Theories
Image from the Flickr Commons pool