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Some voters, I suspect, are approaching this point in the presidential campaign. There are real and substantial issues for Republicans to raise against President Obama. But who can take them seriously—beyond the fringe that takes everything seriously—when they swirl in a cauldron of right-wing paranoid fantasies?
One of the more interesting of these fantasies came to my attention Friday. It was dished out this spring by Michael Savage, whose website identifies him as a "multimedia icon in the conservative movement, heard by 10 million listeners a week on 'The Michael Savage Show.'"
(Not many of those ten million live in Chicago, where Savage is carried by low-wattage WJJG AM 1530, out of Elmhurst.)
Obama, it seems, has rigged this year's presidential election. The way he's done it is by selling the right to count the votes in our election to a company in Spain. "Votes will be transmitted to a central server, where they will be counted," Savage explained on the air. "The problem is that once the votes are merged, it will be impossible to go back and check their integrity at the local level. It is very likely that this is the final step in Barack Obama's corruption of the voting process. It has the promise of enabling him and his cohorts to control the outcomes of federal elections with no accountability. On top of that it's one more step toward the formation of a global government."
Patriots who don't flinch from hard truths found these revelations absolutely believable. From one "conservative" blog, a sampling of their reaction:
"Savage’s style is over-the-top, but his claims are true."
"This smells of George Soros."
"The whole thing is way much bigger than we can imagine!!!"
"This has to be STOPPED!"
"Prayer IS the #1 defense of evil, always."
"I went to Snopes and they said FALSE so I feel like a boob. But I have noticed Snopes tends to lean to the left, so I would like confirmation."
And from another "conservative" blog:
"Opened my eyes even more. . . . Nurtured by his far-left grandparents, by the Communist Party USA Politburo member Davis, by the raving racist-communist Reverend Wright, and by the criminal communists Alinsky, Dohrn, and Ayers, this former citizen of Indonesia and Kenya Obama is implementing a rapid program of communization of America. All the former refugees from various communist hells can easily recognize the signs . . ."
The latest development is refreshing. Savage's shocking assertion was labeled nonsense the other day by a Republican, Idaho secretary of state Ben Ysursa. "States conduct the election, not the federal government," Ysursa noted.
But is this too little, too late? When the lunatic fringe is claiming the election will be rigged in Madrid and the nominee is claiming 47 percent of the electorate is deadbeats, there's diminishing reason to assume any argument against Obama deserves to be listened to. A certain amount of indiscriminate tuning out might be taking place.