Birtherism is entirely a tissue of lies.
Birtherism comprises a dozen or more long-since debunked lies that together claim to assert the one big lie: that Obama was not constitutionally eligible to run for President.
These are bolstered by a more general set of similarly debunked lies that merely question Obama’s integrity.
Not one of these claims is supported by even a hint of credibility; whereas abundant, confirmed, attested, certified evidence — far more than has been amassed for any other President — proves that Obama did indeed meet the Constitutional qualifications for the office in 2008.
The usual argument with a birther — if you can find one that will answer you intelligibly (if not honestly) — goes as follows:
Obot: X isn’t true, here’s why.
Birther: But what about Y, you’re ignoring Y.
Obot: Y isn’t true either. Here’s the proof.
Birther: Z clinches it. Z and Q.
Obot: Neither Z nor Q is real. And besides, Z and Q are contradictory.
Birther: Well, he must be hiding something, or there wouldn’t be all these questions.
Obot: Which questions?
Birther: Well, X and Y for starters.
With such an unrelenting smear campaign kept to a simmer among far-right and far-libertarian web sites and among racists, white supremacists, and “sovereign citizens,” and egged on (and in many cases added to with original fabrications) by ersatz “news” sites like World Net Daily (WND), is it any wonder that weaker, more susceptible minds — those prone to paranoia and conspiracy theories — have started to mix this stuff up with UFOs, Raelians, lizard people, the New World Order, the Illuminati, theories that Obama is a clone or an alien, that he secretly had a twin, that his head has been swapped (really! There’s a scar in a photo!), and that his father was Malcolm X or Frank Davis (or any prominent black American of the early 60s, whether or not they ever crossed paths with Obama’s mother)?
Think about how constituencies measure their leaders, or aspiring leaders. From Homeowner Association rep, to school board member, to Senator or President, people impose ever-higher expectations that a candidate’s views have some logical basis other than his biases, “widespread rumor,” lies from a blog, and so forth.
This should be especially so now that a rumor can be made “widespread” by a simple recipe: start with a paid astroturf campaign, turbo-charge with sensationalism, and add a cynical appeal to the aforementioned groups of people with lesser mental capacity or inability to think critically, analyze facts, or understand law. (Better yet, beg for their hard-earned cash to help you “defend the Constitution.”)
Many of the victims of the birther fabrications are the people who used to harmlessly scrawl letters to the editor, haunt book-signings by Erich von Daniken, join cults, or just babble on street corners. (All they bring is a predisposition, however acquired, to believe the worst about “a man like Obama.”) Since the internet, they can be more vocal and visible, and thus are “useful idiots” for manipulators like Floyd Brown, Jerome Corsi, Joey Farah and others, who don’t believe their own lies but see political gain in trying to impede the administration any way they can.
The pure opposition gamesmanship of today’s GOP dictates: anything you’re for I’m against. To be able to spin a self-sustaining narrative that paints the leader of the opposition as an utter fraud, illegitimate, possibly un-American, and in some sub-theories, not even human, is the ne plus ultra of the oppositional smear!
Birtherism thus seems to be the dream tactic of the ratfuckers. Kerry was merely smeared as someone not “fit for command.” By contrast, Obama is smeared to the very roots of his being — his bloodline and birthright is inherently criminal, treasonous, illegitimate. Thus his every word and action is of no account, and nothing he does need be obeyed or accorded any respect or even listened to. (Is it any wonder that some of us see more than a scintilla of racism in birtherism?)
Birthers take great glee in imagining that after Barack and Michelle are finally exposed and arrested (and in some scenarios, frogmarched in manacles out of “our” White House and hung), every bill and judicial decision enacted since Jan. 20, 2009 would be rolled back, that the years of the Obama administration would become a nullity, and erased from the history books the way the birthers themselves erase the evidence disproving their lies when it is presented to them in blog comments or forums.
All this (the Birther Ratfuck Gambit) might make even a tiny bit of sense, if only there were a germ of truth behind it. But because it’s pure, undiluted snake oil from start to finish, it will prove to be poison to the GOP, if not to the entire body politic. For anyone to simultaneously claim to have swallowed birtherism whole (as Trump does), AND claim to be a serious contender for national office (as Trump does), would be completely laughable, if it were not for the lingering worry that it means something even worse for our country: that a new “Moron Majority” is in the ascendancy, and Americans as a whole no longer think, study, reason, or remember but merely feel or “doubt” — and only with their basest instincts.
It’s a real worry, when our beleaguered middle class can be hoodwinked into clamoring for tax cuts for billionaires, or for repeal of a health care bill that will protect them from bankruptcy and destitution if they get sick. They’ve bought the oppositional narrative in defiance of their own self-interest, and remain conveniently blind to the many resulting inconsistencies. To many of them this administration’s every act is fatally flawed, because the administration is pure evil (the destruction of the Constitution), and its leader, like Satan, is the “author of lies.”
As every concrete claim of the birther movement can be and has been utterly discredited and disproven, nobody — not even Trump — has anything on which to base his “doubts.” It’s smoke with a stink but no substance.
The weak-minded are welcome to their doubts. Go ahead, scrawl them in crayon and gibber them over the airwaves. But representatives in Congress, governors, and presidential aspirants are supposed to be able to think. They’re supposed to be able to confer with advisors and experts, and do more than entertain mindless, groundless “doubts.” What is North Korea’s posture toward the US? What is the impact of this typhoon or that earthquake? Where is Al Qaeda, and what are they doing? Is the economy improving, or not, and why?
Do you want as president someone who ignores actual information about such questions? Someone who values rumor and suspicion over fact and research? Someone who turns a blind eye to law and the Constitution? Then you would elect Donald Trump, today’s standard bearer of the Moron Majority.
Trump is either lying about his birtherism and his Presidential aspirations, or he is a new breed, an amoral know-nothing, spouting scripted idiocies. Of course it’s both — he is a liar when he spouts birther claims, he is a liar when he pretends to believe birther claims, and he is a liar when he pretends to want the Presidency. He is a Pretender, through and through.
But meanwhile, the weak-witted, the haters, the racists, the fearful, the poorly educated (of which there are apparently many more than any “exceptional” country should be able to lay claim to), and not a few of the truly ill, are drawn to the event horizon of birtherism’s black hole, from which no light or sense can escape. What will happen when 51% of America has been sucked down there, where hate and baseless rumor reign supreme?
Could the Moron Majority elect a Pretender such as Trump one day? There’s another word for pretender, you know. Usurper.