Third Party & Independents Archives

Why Put The “Birthers” In The Spotlight?

I’m sorry to have to say this, but the “birthers” need to be brought out into the spotlight. Why? The kind of people that laboriously maintain a radical conspiracy denying President Obama’s legitimacy will also contain your most dangerous nuts trying to prematurely end that presidency.

Put it this way, I don’t have a problem stating that just about every violent racist/Neo-Nazi/KKK group is probably a loud and proud “birther” as well. Sure, there are some semi-intelligent racists that are using this propaganda for their cause, but that just makes this all the more insidious. Am I saying that all “birthers” are racists?

No, I’m not, but the idea deserves some chewing. Yes, there may be some that are just harmless conspiracy theorists/enthusiasts putting this immature outlandish fantasy up on the shelf with all the other underhanded mega-schemes that help keep them fixated on something other than reality; others are perhaps more xenophobic than racist or just plain dumb. Tabloid worshipers?

Aside from those unfortunate souls, however, we have a potential collection point for insane nut cases. This is not why we should put their rantings on prime time, though. We need to expose this idiocy for what it is and get the proponents of this “theory”, some of them actual politicians holding office, up in front of the camera to have a chat.

At this point in the “birthers” drama, they’ve backed themselves up against a wall and are trying to explain two separate birth announcements in two separate Hawaiian newspapers placed by early, and I mean really early, supporters of future president then baby Barack Obama. The only problem with evidence in this case is that the “birthers” won’t consider such suspicious evidence from “official” sources. If they did, then this whole thing would’ve been over when Obama’s U.S. birth certificate was shown for all to see, months ago.

The latest fraud to keep this controversy going is a Kenyan birth certificate and if you want to see the extremist website they all gather around, check this out.

The following link provides a look at a copy of our president's birth certificate and a pretty good overview of the players involved.

Posted by Frederick S. Friedman at August 5, 2009 3:08 AM
Comments
Comment #285631

Get a load of this crap:

Kenya was a Dominion the date this certificate was allegedly issued and would not become a republic for 8 months.

Mombasa belonged to Zanzibar when Obama was born, not Kenya. [it’s also about about 274 miles away as the crow flies]

Obama’s father’s village would be nearer to Nairobi, not Mombasa. [Not merely nearer. Mombasa’s on the other side of the country from Kogelo]

The number 47O44— 47 is Obama’s age when he became president, followed by the letter O (not a zero) followed by 44—he is the 44th president.

EF Lavender (the supposed registrar) is a laundry detergent.

Emphasis and bracketed comments are mine, as is the link on the cleaning product.

One has to ask where people get this kind of BS.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #285636

While I don’t support the birther movement, why aren’t those on the left as interested in outing the truther movment that they have let foster and tacidly support, including some Dems holding office? Oh, right, it’s ok if it makes the other side look bad. But go after one of our own? Time for the big guns…

I don’t know, it seems like the more you guys go after these nuts, it just makes them stronger. And, IMO, take away from the issues at hand.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 5, 2009 12:31 PM
Comment #285640

Rhinehold,

I completely agree and will put something together on the “truthers” in the future. I’ve encountered these people among my best friends and it just befuddles me the things they say.

I wonder what kind of extremists the “truthers” fostered in their day? Were some of them violent?

Posted by: Fred at August 5, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #285642

In their day? That movement is still growing and gaining strength, unfortunately… :(

And yes to your last question.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 5, 2009 1:31 PM
Comment #285644

Rhinehold,

Distinction must be made. Truthers may be pursuing many ways to find their truth about 9/11 and perhaps, in their wildest dreams, have Bush or somebody else indicted, but the birthers don’t even recognize Obama as president.

They see him as a usurper of the US presidency. Don’t you feel there’s a big difference there. A more direct challenge to the authority of the US government and the current executive branch that goes far beyond the limits of reality.

Real controversy would be the election of Bush, via Florida Chad and the supreme court selection, yet he got eight years.

I thought the left’s whining about Bush’s 2000 election could never be topped, but this is new. These are really sore losers.

Posted by: Fred at August 5, 2009 1:44 PM
Comment #285647

Call me when the Documentary comes out on video. Have the Birthers testified in front of Conyer’s yet?

The point being that the Conspiracy Theory (Mel Gibson 1997) phenom has been around for quite a while. Luckily, the guy who does put them in the spotlight (Rather, Brad Friedman,Olberman, and this time Dobbs) is the one that ultimately ends up looking foolish. You would think that would deter the practice but every journalist grows up thinking of the movie royalties for the next All the President’s Men.

Posted by: George at August 5, 2009 1:59 PM
Comment #285648

Rhinehold, Adolph Hitler could have been stopped if people had questioned his authority and rhetoric for its humanity. This kind of total falsehoods have a way of growing and becoming problematic in America, where quality education and rational and logical inquiry are way behind in development for the complexity of the more important issues you say we should be dealing with.

America, thanks to a few brave souls, did finally stop Sen. McCarthy and his Red Scare, but, not before a number of innocent lives had been ruined and careers destroyed.

This kind of loyalty which neither questions their authority figures nor the propaganda that comes from them, is very dangerous to any society if left unchecked and unchallenged.

One person I know very well, argued at length last Fall that Obama was a Muslim terrorist plant from the Middle East. That’s what a 10th grade education produces and life lived in pursuit of Bingo night. A fifth of a population like this in a democracy can do real damage to the nation on varying issues if not stopped in their deluded tracks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 5, 2009 2:27 PM
Comment #285653

Rhinehold,

Ironically, the biggest supporter of the truthers here in WB writes for the center column, and I and other liberals have spent a lot of time countering such arguments.

There are cranks and gullible people on both the right and the left. There are also people interested in rational discussion on both sides.

Posted by: LawnBoy at August 5, 2009 3:20 PM
Comment #285654

The real problem is this sowed atmosphere of distrust. The people who do school themselves, and come up with the information to debunk the erroneous claims are dismissed as being part of the conspiracy, or dupes to sinister forces.

The Republicans, with their “Liberal Media Bias” paradigm, have essentially created a population of people who doubt anything but partisan reporting on reflex, with the result that no amount of good reporting sinks in, at least not until something happens to break the spell. But even then, after a period of forgetting, the Right Wing Folks come right back and start pushing the talking points again.

This has been the death of the Republican party’s power, so far, because no party can remain appealing to the majority of people out there, if they seem cluelessly dissociated from reason and accountability This birther nonsense is helping to make things even more isolated.

People have got to stop living in this parallel universe of wingnuttery, one so they relate in the same society as the rest of us, and two so they can better serve their own interests, and get past their party’s BS to hold people accountable.

As for the 9/11 Truthers? I sure hope they’re in decline. The whole controlled demolition idea, with a set of several buildings, three over 700 feet tall would have looked and sounded much different than what really went down that day. Sometimes reality doesn’t give nice neat answers, but most of the time when answers are nice and neat, it’s because somebody’s making them up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #285669

“why we should put their rantings on prime time, though. We need to expose this idiocy for what it is and get the proponents of this “theory”, some of them actual politicians holding office, up in front of the camera to have a chat.”

Evidently, you don’t get Comedy Central, or watch Stephen Colbert, who had Orly Taitz on recently:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0riQMj1BvwM

“Adolph Hitler could have been stopped if people had questioned his authority and rhetoric for its humanity.”

RW preceded that guy: “from munich go forth to lead a united germany, become lohengrin… germany must have it’s place in the sun…when we look about us we see instead of a united fatherland, a hodgepodge of 34 kingdoms and principalities, we are unmoved, our eyes remain dry. Our hearts do not beat faster by one moment, Why Why? Are we little people, with miniscule minds, mere servants, ruled by and subservient to our betters? I say to them, our rulers, I say, cast your titles and distinctions from you, We too, the common people, have ancestors, and although they had no titles, were not ushers of the shithouse, their deeds of daring, their vassalage, their sufferings, are written weeping in letters of blood, their blood, our blood banner…consult instead the free folk, the german folk, those noblest of children like unto gods, not servants in livery or slaves but elected and free, every man with a vote. … Let him rid himself of his sychophants, or if not, as Christ said, if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, cut it off, cut it off. Your fatherland is called germany, love it above all, and more through actions than words, etc.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 5, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #285670

ohrealy, great quote.

The principle’s of candidacy for power haven’t changed much at all, have they. Invoke religion, the sanctity of the homeland, berate one’s opponents, and elevate the common people to the level of kings in rhetoric only. Yep, that’s still the ticket to power.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 5, 2009 6:56 PM
Comment #285689

David R. Remer-
I think the problem is summed up to the answer to the old riddle: without me, you cannot stand, with too much of me, you fall.

We have to have enough pride and common spirit to come together, to do great things like healthcare and the space program and things like that. But in the wrong hands and with the wrong people, our pride becomes a means by which we fall victim to terrible leaders and fruitless political warfare.

Critical thought is critically necessary. People must question, not in some arrogant way where we consider every question with an aim to knocking down the point, but with a skeptical eye and ear that fairly tests what we see and what we listen to.

We have to think beyond the surface of what people are saying and figure out where we’re not opposed to each other. We expend too much energy making arguments we can never win, all too often for causes we should never be allowed to triumph in. If we don’t relate to other people as human beings in politics, with a level of forgiveness and understanding, we will be lost.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2009 7:36 AM
Comment #285697

Stephen D. astutely said: “People must question, not in some arrogant way where we consider every question with an aim to knocking down the point, but with a skeptical eye and ear that fairly tests what we see and what we listen to.”

Ahh, but, to get people to do that, they must be privy to a certain kind of education provided by parents or teachers, which demonstrates to the student, rewards for such critical analysis and questioning; rewards that benefit the student both presently and throughout their future. I was privy to such an education throughout elementary and high school, but, the majority of my peers in my own neighborhood were not.

That Hispanic LA teacher who produced a class of poor inner city math whizzes which created such controversy over their scores requiring the students to retake the SAT test, is a perfect example of what can be done. But, incredibly, politicians and local power brokers in states like Alabama, now bankrupt btw, and many other school districts, have no desire to create future adults who might question politicians and authority’s veracity or credibility, especially on issues of politics and policy.

That is why we must have an enforceable national education standard which promotes the kind of education that can and will produce of generations of critically analytical citizens. Then America can truly begin to achieve progress toward the ideals set out in the Declaration and the Preamble of the Constitution.

The pace and rapidity of emergence of national challenges in the 21st century can no longer rely on the hit and miss process of electing a gifted leader from time to time to carry the nation through one or more of those challenges. To manage the number and severity of challenges our nation faces today, shall require an above average electorate throughout the society in order to resolve challenges faster than they arise.

We simply must have a dramatic shift upward in the quality of our education across this nation. It is now an imperative if this nation is to survive the future she has created for herself.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 6, 2009 11:25 AM
Comment #285702

Well put David, I would definitely agree that the future of America in the twenty first century depends heavily on an overhaul of our entire education system. The kind of critical thinking skills you speak of would limit the growth of groups such as the birthers and the truthers, making them less and less important.

There is the personality factor, though. Even in a highly educated electorate, there will be a few rightwing and leftwing nuts flying around spouting blind rhetoric. I guess it’s kind of a byproduct of freedom of speech and well worth it.

Posted by: Fred at August 6, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #285704

David,

You said it well, the problem with our education system isn’t that it has been poorly done, but that the demands of society are increasing the need to raise the general level of education well beyond what it ever has been.

While high school education rates are rising, the question is are they rising fast enough, and what is wrong with college graduation rates?

http://daugherity.com/blogfiles/HSgrad_rates.htm

http://www.act.org/news/releases/2002/11-15-02.html

http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/college_and_inequality_1.php

Posted by: gergle at August 6, 2009 1:48 PM
Comment #285726

Fred and gergle, right. Our current pre-college educational system is still geared toward an agrarian society, albeit, a more literate one. It is wholly insufficient.

What is wrong with college graduation rates is the preparation education received in our elementary and secondary schools. Some great, most average, and some really horrible. But, we don’t live in average times, and therefore, we need extraordinary education K-12 in EVERY state of this union, if the union is to survive.

With both parties fighting and spending for the support of the ignorant and undereducated who do vote, politics is reaching down, instead of reaching up in its discourse, rhetoric, and policy making. It is a true tragedy unfolding if we can’t turn this around.

Health care reform very well may not pass. If it doesn’t, our economic woes only get more dire going forward. And who is pushing back against health care reform besides the Republicans who are doing it for political reasons, the ignorant, the uneducated, and the misinformed. Just watch the footage of the demonstrations at the town hall meetings, and listen to what the protesters are saying. Devoid of fact, relevant information, and rational logic.

One lady said government control of health care would ruin her Medicare coverage. Just doesn’t get more ignorant, uneducated, and misinformed than that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 6, 2009 4:39 PM
Post a comment