The number of vicious, viral e-mails circulating about President Barack Obama has increased dramatically now that Republicans have reluctantly decided upon a candidate.
It should not be necessary to tell people not to believe everything they read on the Internet. E-mail messages about the president's being a Muslim, not a valid United States citizen, a Marxist, and the anti-Christ, his refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and his plotting to destroy the U.S. are lies being spread.
It is standard operating procedure: a right-wing rag makes up a scurrilous charge and prints it with no real attribution. The fictitious smear gets injected into the atmosphere and picked up by big talk radio. Some partisan media outlets, which make money off the gullible and ill-informed, make the wild untruths seem more credible. Granted, smears are not limited to the president, but he is still a favorite target.
I do not doubt that some in the tea party are truly concerned about the welfare of our country and do not make up the majority of "haters" infused in that movement. I, too, would be alarmed if I listened to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and many on Fox News. It's poison for the soul.
We are reasonable people, so between now and November, voters would be wise to be skeptical of election e-mails that do nothing but attack. Do some research to see whether the claims are true. More than likely, they're not.