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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Birthers" are their own worst enemies

There's a reason nobody takes the "Birther" movement seriously. Pressed for any real arguments, "Birthers" resort to blaming the media for being in the pocket of the POTUS (even Ann Coulter?) and making claims that show just how uniformed they are:

This is the second time I've seen Taitz interviewed where she argues Obama could not be a US citizen because his father wasn't. The sad/scary thing about it is that neither time did someone correct her. And this woman is a lawyer.

Nevermind that every argument proposed by birthers has been debunked numerous times, they keep coming. And it seems their hope is that if they keep repeating the silly arguments loudly that it will somehow legitimize them.

Of course the question(s) that keeps looming is... "If he's a real citizen, why not... (insert request here)?"

The reason is simple: It won't work. For one thing, even the birthers can't agree on exactly what the truth they are trying to prove is. Second, birthers are not going to be convinced if they were shown video footage of his birth in a hospital in Hawaii time-stamped and authenticated by the CIA. No matter what proof they are shown, the birthers can always claim it is fake. They already do this with the birth certificate that was released before the election. Yet they have shown their own "birth certificate" that "proves" he was born both Muslim and in Kenya and many still cling to it as legit. These people are only going to believe what they want to believe. Responding to anything they demand only gives them the power they want but don't deserve.

The White House and many Republicans and conservative commentators are outright dismissive of the movement and rightfully so. These are not credible activists, these are bitter people who didn't get the result they wanted in the last election and are looking for any way to undermine the President.

In a report by CBS, Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University Michael Barkun, an expert in conspiracy theories, had this to say about why so many people get hooked into conspiracy theories like this:

"There are people out there who firmly believe that the truth is always hidden, regardless of whether it's about politics or science or any other subject," he said. "That whatever is presented as public knowledge is necessarily false. That the truth is always hidden from them, regardless of what the subject is."

He also said that, "in a strange way, conspiracy theories are comforting."

"They give people a feeling that we know the truth," Barkun said. "That we have secret knowledge, and that we know how the world really works. In a sense, we're part of a kind of elite of those who know and everybody else is misled or are trapped by illusions."



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