Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stupid People: The “Birther”

Now let me begin by making it clear this isn’t meant to take sides on a political issue, nor is this an analysis on President Obama. I could care less if someone loves the man and thinks they should carve a fifth face on Mr. Rushmore in honor of his greatness, or if someone thinks he is the worst President in history and not only should be impeached but have his Presidential portrait replaced by a picture of the output end a donkey.

My point about those who question President Obama’s citizenship or those who proclaim he wasn’t actually born in the United States (which are commonly referred to as “birthers”) are just stupid. I wish I could sugarcoat it and claim they were just uniformed or ignorant or otherwise confused, but after all that has been said on this subject, there really is no other way to describe these people other than stupid. It is not stupid to have strong political beliefs nor is it stupid to want to find clever ways of attacking your political opponents (rude and childish perhaps, but not stupid). It is also not stupid to ask questions until the answers have been provided time and time again.

However the issue with the birthers is that they are so convinced of this silly rumor that even now – well over two years since Obama has been sworn in as President – they are still running around trying to pretend he isn’t a legitimate President. They have ignored mountains of evidence, they have invented convoluted conspiracy theories, they have filed multiple lawsuits claiming Obama is not our legitimate President, and they have even gone so far as to fabricate a Kenyan birth certificate which was presented as evidence to show that Obama was not born in the US. Granted the Kenyan birth certificate was put together via photo editing software and was proven to be forgery about 15 minutes after it was released, but you still have birthers claiming it is the real thing.

In at least one case we even witnessed a member of the US military (U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick) who refused orders because he believed Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Personally I feel Mr. Frederick is merely a coward and didn’t want to have to fight in a war since he is merely a reservist, but in any case he used the birther argument to the best of his ability.

So what is it about these people that makes them so ignorant of facts? We know the Hawaiian Secretary of State and two different Hawaiian Governors have verified Obama’s birth certificate. One of the two Governors (Governor Linda Lingle) was even a Republican, and she go so sick of these idiot birthers wasting state employee time that she signed a law that state government can ignore repetitive requests for Obama's birth certificate. So basically, a new law was created due to the stupidity of a very small select group of idiots, and people sometimes wonder why we have so many laws on the books.

In any case we know the Hawaiian State Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino testified that she had seen vital records that prove Obama was born in the state. We know the Hawaiian state registrar of vital statistics verified that the Health Department holds Obama's original birth certificate. We also know that Obama’s birth announcement was printed in Honolulu’s two largest newspapers at the time of his birth, and unless Obama has figured out a way to time travel back 50 years to insert fake birth announcements, it seems unlikely that there would be more than one Barack Obama born the same day.

Of course, in the mind of a birther, the birth announcements in two newspapers aren’t good enough because for all we know, Obama’s parents has the foresight to realize he could be President one day… so they could have faked them I guess. I know this doesn’t make any sense, but bear with me here – this is how the mind of a birther works.

A copy of the official Obama birth certificate was actually released back in 2008, but even then the birthers made claims about it not being real or arguing that it didn’t include an official seal etc. Time after time after time the state of Hawaii confirmed it was real, and time after time the birthers refused to accept the facts.

So it seems the birth certificate provided and verified by the state wasn’t good enough, so they decided to change the game and claimed they needed the “long form birth certificate” to verify it exists and that it is not a forgery. So this begs the question… what exactly is a long form birth certificate? Well, put simply, a long form birth certificate would be a certified copy of the very original birth certificate rather than an electronically produced document as we commonly receive today.

So now just this week Obama decided he was tired of all the distraction so he released the actual long form birth certificate.  Personally I think it was a bad idea because it doesn't change anything, and now instead of birthers asking for the long form, now they are already starting to claim it is a fabrication which is why it took two years to produce.  Rest assured in the mind of a birther, the release of the long form birth certificate hasn't changed a thing because they continually move the goal posts time and time again.

It goes without saying that anyone who is still questioning Obama's ability to be President is obviously on the fringe of the political spectrum, and more times than not these people are from the far right (his opponents). Most would probably also consider themselves members of the Tea Party although I’m sure there are a handful from the far left too… crazies come in all shapes and sizes and are members of all political parties.

So if these birthers are still making this an issue and still trying to argue a point which fair minded Americans have long since considered settled, it actually only serves to harm Obama’s political adversaries. It puts members of the Tea Party in a difficult position when they are forced to comment on the issue, and it creates countless opportunities to make those on the right appear petty, ignorant… and dare I say it – stupid (yes I'm looking at you Donald Trump).

Granted if we had a Republican President in office under the same circumstances, I can promise you we would have more than a few birthers from the far left demanding the same thing and making the same ignorant statements. In fact, to some degree this whole debacle resembles the issue with George W. Bush’s National Guard records. President Bush would never release all his records, accusations were tossed around, idiots forged documents, and it remained in the headlines for months. To some degree I feel that President Bush used that controversy for his political advantage just as Obama uses the birth certificate issue to his advantage.

This all goes to show that stupid people do not have any loyalty to one political party and that we have more than enough to cover the entire spectrum. Unfortunately we really didn’t have a clever name for those who continually demanded President Bush’s military records most likely due to the fact that they were never well organized, but if we had… they would have been just as stupid as the birthers.

When a person refuses to accept fact, ignores common sense, believes hundreds or even thousands of people could all be in on some vast conspiracy without a single one of them coming to the surface to blow the whistle, it seems obvious to everyone that the person in question is stupid.

Stupid might not grow on trees, but it does seem to have roots, and unfortunately those roots run pretty deep for anyone who has attended a political rally and held a sign with a picture of President Obama near the words “undocumented worker”.

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