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Justin Frank Headshot

The New Yorker Cover -- Opportunity Knocks for Obama

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The New Yorker cover is not only evidence of arrogance; it expresses contempt for people who actually do fear the Obamas. This kind of mocking ridicule will only make it more difficult for people to share their fears and what to them are legitimate concerns. By satirizing most all our fears -- they left out Jewish fears of Obama's Israel policy -- the New Yorker just drives them further underground. A child afraid of the dark would not be comforted if his parents mocked his terror. In fact, he wouldn't feel safe even to bring up his fears in the light of day. Better to express them in the safe confines of the voting booth.

It's true by satirizing Fox News attacks, the cover reminds everyone of reasons to fear or hate Obama -- and that unsettles liberals. But what liberals don't seem to get is that the fears are already there -- whether definable or inchoate. Obama did a great and brave thing when he spoke about race this past April. He needs to address people's fears -- not just to rebut them or dismiss this cover. The New Yorker gave him an opportunity to right himself and get back to being who he is, or at least who he was before faith, FISA, and other matters momentarily capsized him.