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Scorched Earth: Restoring the Country After Obama

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Scorched Earth: Restoring the Country After Obama is a screed by Michael Savage that promoted voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, because of paranoid fantasies about Hillary Clinton destroying the United States. With the over-the-top personal attacks against those whose views Savage dislikes, conspiracy theories, not even wrong speculations, and an overall nationalist viewpoint with certain echoes of alt-right talking points, this is clearly a preaching-to-the-choir book that does not do a good job persuading those outside the target audience. Rather, it is basically a book form of those bad, poorly written email forwards that promote conservative talking points often in a factually disconnected way.[1] Furthermore, the endnotes have a grand total seven cited sources, saying much about the credibility (or lack thereof) of the book. (And even then, quality control is lost, in attributing a quote to a blank page 140 when it was really on page 137.)

Analysis[edit]

The book takes many cheap shots and ad hominems you would find on the ForwardsFromGrandma subreddit such as:

  • "The Greatest Generation defeated the Nazis and communism. Now radical Muslims are threatening us and uncaring, oblivious, Bernie Sanders-supporting millennials are too busy Instagramming and shminstagramming to fight. Islamists watch training videos on how to carry out jihad against the infidels. Our kids are too busy watching YouTube videos and taking selfies and reducing our language to simplistic bursts of OMG and LOL and WTF. Everything is a selfie, it's about the self."[2] (How the editors let Savage get away with a run-on sentence in his "kids these days" rant is unclear.)
  • "Not too many years ago, cartoons were filled with violence… We as children watched Superman cartoons, but we knew not to try and jump off the roof… We did not need liberals to tell us the difference between pretend and real life."[3] Sheesh, did Savage forget how social and religious conservatives (basically his target audience) were behind efforts to censor violence from TV, video games, and such (Jack Thompson being a primary example). Also, Savage himself called for the banning of "violent video games" after the Sandy Hook massacre.[4]

And many logical inconsistencies, too.

Regarding Islam, Savage complains about the very fact "London has a Muslim mayor" and suggests bad intentions from Islamic Relief bus ads,[5] Yet he acknowledges on page 149, "It is true that most Muslims are not terrorists."

Savage also suggests that Barack Obama is a deep cover Muslim who appeases ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.[6] Somehow (assuming his poll numbers are correct), around 20 percent of Americans who think Obama is secretly a Muslim have a "rational question,"[7] yet the 20 percent who "supported giving Iran a path to nuclear weapons" (Savage's way of framing the 2016 Iran nuclear weapons deal) are wrong.[8]

And yet on pages 138 and 139, Savage decides to call Islamists and their fellow travellers, "pagans by definition because they are not practicing the religion of peace."[9]

So basically, the very existence of Muslims is bad and suspicious in his mind, despite the Islamists being "pagans"?

Add a little Eurabia and eugenics as well:

  • "Islamists have fourteen children apiece… We went from having 2.3 children in every family to an abortion culture and an overpriced Manhattan loft… Islamists ban birth control and turn their women into baby jihad factories."[10] (So we should sink to their level?)
  • "Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, 54 million abortions have taken place. We have voluntarily killed off between 15 and 20 percent of today's population. Except for the fatherless kids in poor communities. Like tobacco growers, we pay to keep those impoverished, failed families coming. They add to the progressive ranks, to the future of the socialist movement."[11]
  • "Muslims are living in patriarchal societies while American boys are emasculated, raised not even by mothers in many cases but by nannies who are busy texting while they push baby carriages."[12]

So a "might is right" attitude because of supposed Muslim aggression and a plot to invade the United States is "courageous"? Such logic.

In the introduction, Savage tells a personal experience of meeting an antiques shopkeeper in Beverly Hills who escaped Ayatollah Khomeni's Iran for what he called a "politically unsanctioned act."[13] Yet he complains about public… err, in his words, "government schools" teaching, "Burning the American flag is protected speech."[14] (Which it is.[15])

Savage also suggest the 2016 U.S.–Iran naval incident was a "setup" by the Obama administration.[16] Additionally, he posts a partial transcript of a caller to his Savage Nation radio show who suggested the Benghazi attack was orchestrated by "US-trained forces" and the CIA.[17]

He also shows his ignorance in just asking questions: "…where is the outrage from feminists when rappers talk about beating women or refer to women as 'hos'… a term of endearment among African Americans[?]"[18] Puh-leez — the fact he had to frame it as a question rather than an actual assertion says so much.[19]

Not to mention plenty of Vladimir Putin apologetics[20]

Another flagrantly false statement: "Jerry Brown… has allowed the Department of Motor Vehicles in California to automatically register illegal aliens."[21] In fact, the Los Angeles Times reports: "Information about anyone who does not decline registration will be electronically transmitted from the DMV to the secretary of state’s office, where citizenship will be verified and names will be added to the voter rolls."[22]

Other excerpts from the book that warrant little or no further comment:

  • "…ISIS is made up largely of the former Republican Guard of Obama's namesake, Saddam Hussein…"[23]
  • "Islamists cut off heads and limbs and our young boys shriek at the drop of a microaggression."[24]
  • "Our schools, libraries, movies, television, music, and social media are all used to advance a politically correct, antiwhite, anti-American agenda."[25]
  • (Describing "Ten Commandments of liberalism") "All white people are racist. All people of color are good."[26]
  • The ACLU… is the worst organization in the history of the United States. It is filled with subversives, and it has done more harm to this country than all the drug cartels put together. It should be investigated by the next Republican government, brought before a grand jury, and tried for the crimes it has committed and is committing."[27]
  • "What… a President Trump should do, is investigate all these liberal groups, not just Facebook and the IRS… [and] monitor all American mosques, stop everyone who is trying to subvert our country."[28]
  • "When will you wake up to the fact that we have a sociopath in the White House who has destroyed the Middle East and wrecked our borders, language, and culture."[29]

However...[edit]

There are some reasonable views in this book, but they can easily be found elsewhere.

  • Savage calls Edwin Meese, US attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, "the most corrupt attorney general" (of course, qualified with "until the first one we had under Obama").[30]
  • For example, Savage contrasts British MP Edmund Burke opposing the First Anglo-Maratha War, because "Burke understood that destroying the local pillars of civilization as it existed in India at the time would not benefit the British Empire," in contrast to how the George W. Bush administration "dismantled Iraq and left the pieces to be consumed by...ISIS."[31]
  • Savage also criticizes corporate "triple-Dutch tax dodges" by tech companies like Google and Microsoft.[32]

Notes[edit]

Primary source:

  • Savage, Michael. Scorched Earth: Restoring the Country After Obama. New York: Center Street, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4555-6824-6.

References[edit]

  1. Many examples at http://myrightwingdad.blogspot.com
  2. Savage, p. 52
  3. Savage, p. 56
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzNNTrh7rC0
  5. Savage, p. 53
  6. Savage, pp. 26-32
  7. Savage, p. 36
  8. Savage, p. 41
  9. Savage, p. 138
  10. p. 53
  11. Savage, p. 55
  12. Savage, p. 55
  13. Savage, p. 19
  14. Savage, pp. 116-117
  15. Texas v. Johnson 491 U.S. 397
  16. Savage, p. 180
  17. Savage, pp. 194-201
  18. Savage, p. 68
  19. Examples of feminists criticizing misogynistic lyrics:
  20. Savage, pp. 73-77
  21. Savage, p. 117
  22. Mason, Melanie. "Here's how California's new voter registration law will work." Los Angeles Times. October 16, 2015.
  23. Savage, p. 38
  24. Savage, p. 57
  25. Savage, p. 69
  26. Savage, p. 117
  27. Savage, pp. 163-164
  28. Savage, p. 173
  29. Savage, p. 186
  30. Savage, p. 111
  31. Savage, p. 169
  32. Savage, p. 269