Robert Ringer made his name in the 1970s as the author of Me Decade motivational classics like "Winning Through Intimidation" and "Looking Out for Number One." Ringer has brought that kind of selfish intimidation approach to his WorldNetDaily column, begun in October 2006 and, after a year-and-a-half layoff, resumed in November 2008.
Ringer's column may be titled "A Voice of Sanity," but it's really the opposite -- what Ringer apparently views as intimidation comes off as an insane brew of paranoia and hysteria directed at President Obama.
Representative of this approach is Ringer's Dec. 11, 2009, column, which he begins by explaining why he will never acknowledge Obama is the president:
Most readers have probably not noticed it, but in all the articles I've written about BHO, I have never referred to him as "President Obama" except when quoting someone else. As you might have assumed, this has not been by accident.
I'll never forget the time I was standing in line at a bookstore, chatting with someone about BHO. A stranger standing a couple of people away from me overheard my comments and abruptly admonished me, "Whether you like it or not, he's our president."
To which I responded, "He may be your president, but he's not mine." That was the end of any thought I may have had about conceding and accepting the fact that BHO had been elected to the highest office in the land. The reason I have never seen BHO as the president of the United States is because he swore to uphold the Constitution, but from the day he took an oath to that effect, he immediately began violating it.
Ringer continued by lying about Obama:
And, clearly, Obama had a dysfunctional life growing up -- a white Marxist mother, a black African Muslim father who was a drunk and a philanderer, then, of all things, an Indonesian Muslim stepfather. And, of course, there were the years he spent in a Wahabbi Muslim school in Indonesia (Wahabbi schools being most famous for teaching students hatred of Western countries).
The idea that Obama attended a radical madrassa in Indonesia, of course, was disproven almost as soon as it was first made nearly three years before Ringer regurgitated it.
Ringer went on to claim that Obama isn't evil but merely "a man without a soul. And, as soulless individual, his actions are not hampered by trivial moral considerations."
Ringer forwarded another discredited falsehood in his March 26 column:
I rarely compliment BHO, but I'm obliged to say that I respect him for his unwavering Marxist beliefs. His nonstop lying about those beliefs should not be held against him. It's just part of the Marx-Lenin-Alinsky "ends-justifies-the-means" philosophy of bringing about the loss of liberty that all of them sincerely believed was a moral objective.
I have no doubts BHO sincerely believes this morally deficient garbage. Even with his college papers sealed, the man's public statements (as well as his own books) make it clear that he has been consistent in his Marxist beliefs. You don't hang out with Marxist professors in college if you're a believer in freedom and free markets and love the American way of life.
So, yes, I'm sticking up for the Duplicitous Despot: He is consistent. When he told Joe the Plumber that he thought the wealth should be "spread around" more, he was merely echoing his on-record complaints that the Constitution doesn't provide for "redistributive change."
In fact, Obama did not "complain" that "the Constitution doesn't provide for 'redistributive change'"; he expressed concern that the civil rights movement relied too much on the court system instead of "political and community organizing, and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change."
Ringer used his April 2 column to bizarrely theorize that Obama is deliberately provoking civil unrest to establish a dictatorship:
But if BHO truly has his mind set on establishing a dictatorship -- and it is my personal belief that he does -- it's too risky for him to wait for a runaway inflation as an excuse to call a state of emergency. He knows that as long as there is a semblance of a free market in place, producers will continue to push back against the economy-killing effects of his policies.
Thus, he needs another excuse to declare a state of emergency. In previous articles, I've mentioned a nuke exchange between Iran and Israel as one possibility. Another is civil unrest due to unemployment rates that could reach 25 percent or more in the not-too-distant future.
These and others still remain possibilities, but last week Glenn Beck came up with one that may be even more likely. Beck believes that Obama will continue to keep the accelerator pressed to the floor - amnesty for illegal immigrants, a cap-and-trade bill that will eliminate the U.S. as a global business competitor, and more -- thus enraging an already angry public to the point of revolution.
In other words, purposely foment "civil unrest" rather than wait for something like unemployment or runaway inflation to make it happen. As Beck puts it, just continue to poke people in the eye, then use their predictable and justifiable backlash as an excuse to establish dictatorial powers.
Yep, I believe Glenn Beck might be on to something. But if the American public refuses to take the bait and doesn't resort to violence, BHO will have to go to Plan B to have an excuse to declare a state of emergency.
Having said all this, don't despair. No one, including myself, can predict the future with certainty. In a rapidly changing world, nothing is certain - which is why I don't make predictions; I just lay odds. And here are my odds based on what I know and see today:
• The chances of a declared state of emergency and ensuing dictatorship prior to the 2010 elections: 25 percent
• The chances of a declared state of emergency and ensuing dictatorship prior to the 2012 elections: 50 percent
• The chances of the Republicans cutting back on major entitlements if they regain power in the 2010 elections: zero
• The chances of the Republicans cutting back on major entitlements if they win the presidency and an overwhelming majority in Congress in 2012: 5 percent
Of course, I could be wrong about all this ... but what if I'm right?
By May 7, Ringer seemed to be calling for an armed insurrection against Obama:
So, is Chairman Obama a communist or a mere socialist? No one can say with certainty what's in his heart, but my own feeling is that he would quite enjoy establishing a totalitarian government where the state owns all means of production with the aim of establishing a stateless society.
Don't allow your logic to get sidetracked by oil spills, union-inspired riots in Arizona, or BHO's wisecracks at elegant media functions about his birth certificate and his socialist policies. What is happening in Washington is not just another little shift to the left. It's a prelude to the coming insurrection.
If you don't believe me, by all means feel free to join the walking dead and cheer on BHO and his comrades as they continue with their plan to nationalize whole industries and collapse the U.S. economy through deficit spending.
Make no mistake about it: Criminal government in Washington is on a roll and moving forward at full throttle - and its momentum can be stopped only by a defiant and vigilant populace, a populace that clearly understands there is no last communist.
Wake up, America!
Ringer pushed the dictatorship idea again in his July 2 column:
We should not allow ourselves to become emotionally engrossed in oil spills, riots in Greece and foiled terrorist plots. Instead, it is imperative that we relentlessly focus on our loss of liberty. Any of these and a thousand-and-one other ''crises'' could be used as an excuse for BHO to invoke an Obomination Sedition Act, which, in turn, could be used as an excuse to ''postpone'' elections in 2010 or 2012 for ''security reasons.''
Warning: Be on the alert for one crisis after another between now and November - and take the time to study the facts about each of them carefully. Some will be trumped up; some will be real but overblown by both the government and the media. But none will be an honest justification for BHO's taking yet more freedoms away from Americans.
Don't allow yourself to become distracted by IMF and G-20 riots, Joe Biden's custard outings or Al Gore's massages. Ignore most of the rubbish you see on television and stay focused on the real issue: our loss of freedom!
When he's not spewing Obama-hate, Ringer has used his column to peddle related issues in a similarly belligerent, factually challenged way. In his Feb. 19 column, he wrote that "If compassionate politicians are really serious about lowering unemployment, the first two things they should do is eliminate unemployment benefits and abolish minimum-wage laws." Why? "The fact is that when people say they can't find a job, what they often mean is they can't find the job they want, at the wage they want, under the working conditions they want - which means that high unemployment is, to a great extent, a result of workers simply refusing to accept low-paying jobs, preferring instead to live off of government largesse."
In his July 9 column, Ringer advocated, in addition to term limits for Supreme Court appointees, stripping voting rights from federal employees, so they would not be "able to vote to assure that their neighbors will be forced to continue paying for their cushy lives."
Ringer had even more trouble with facts in his July 18 column. After asserting that "Obama has been following FDR's dictatorial playbook to the T," he wrote: "In his 1937 inaugural address, at a time when unemployment was still rising (15 percent on Inauguration Day), FDR bodaciously said, 'Our progress out of the Depression is obvious.'" In fact, unemployment was not "still rising" in 1937; it was falling -- from 24.9 percent in 1933 to 14.3 percent in 1937.
Ringer, however, essentially gave away his game in his Jan. 1 column, in which he described Saul Alinsky this way: "Like all crusade leaders, he clearly had a huge ego - an ego that made him comfortable in the role of arbiter of right and wrong." This is clearly not a criticism of the man, because Ringer has repeatedly exercised his own ego in declaring himself moral arbiter over Alinsky and Obama.
Just two paragraphs after making that statement, Ringer engaged his ego again, pronouncing his judgment in "psychoanalyzing Saul Alinsky" by declaring him to be "a man in search of a cause ... in search of a following to carry on an ill-defined campaign against the power elite." Again, that sounds like Ringer is describing himself.
That's followed up by his once again declaring Obama to be "soulless," adding: "In Obama, I see no laughter, no beauty, no love, and no creativity." What is his evidence for this claim? What empirical basis did he use to declare this? Who knows? He felt no need to share what, if any, standards he's using with his readers.
It seems that Ringer is on nothing more than an ego trip, trying to win through intimidation by using his column at an extremist website and his alleged status as, according to his end-of-column bio, "author of three No. 1 best-sellers, including two books listed by the New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time" as a shield around his vicious hatred of Obama.
All of which makes the name of his column, "A Voice of Sanity," increasingly delusional. After all, isn't it the crazy ones who keep insisting that they're sane?
(A version of this column appears at ConWebWatch.)