Obama’s birth certificate “dispute,” redux

July 21, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More

Many conservatives are still yapping that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. when an official Hawaiian birth certificate and a Hawaiian newspaper birth announcement clearly prove otherwise. The believers are ignoring evidence that disproves their claim, and bonding over what is thus an absurd claim. Maybe they’ll be soon start building a new church dedicated to their article of faith that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. I do wonder whether we are seeing the mechanism by which religions are born? Check out the video below for some especially surreal moments by some desperate fringe conservatives who are clearly annoying the hell out of conservatives that still have their brains engaged. Rick Sanchez calls it right. And check out the need to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Creepy. I really don’t get it. Is there buried racism at work?

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Category: Culture, Current Events, Networking, Psychology Cognition, Religion, Videos

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich,

    No, it's not racism. This kind of cul-de-sac thinking attaches to all manner of nonsense. Good heavens, the Grassy Knoll is still hotly debated in many a kitchen!

    What it is, a deeply felt conviction that this man ought not to be president. Combine that with the belief that the only way he could be president is for some kind of massive conspiracy to defraud true-blue Americans into either voting for him or accepting him that must be other than an expression of national sentiment. The woman at the town hall meeting probably hates the fact that a Democrat, a liberal, someone under the age of 65—and, yeah, probably a black man, especially one who speaks better than she does on her best day—is now president. And rather than believe that her neighbors voted for him because they had legitimate cause, she believes they were duped, and here's The Smoking Gun.

    And the perversity of such psychology is that the more it is denied, the more people say that's nonsense, the more convinced she is that the conspiracy is simply more wide spread than anyone can imagine. It's like The Invaders, only more and more people than she ever suspected have those bent pinky fingers.

    It feeds on itself and becomes a raison detre, a mollifying explanation for why the country is headed in such a clearly wrong direction.

    Because the alternative is that she and those like her are in the minority (they are, but for different reasons) and no longer are part of how most Americans think.

    It's easier on some level to believe that Kennedy was assassinated by some vast and complex plot than at the hands of a doofus with a mail-order gun who got lucky.

    It's easier to believe that Obama, who often forgot to wear an American Flag pin in his lapel, is a Foriegn agent than that the country has changed its mind about who should be leading it.

    And it's easier for them to believe the moonlanding was staged in a sound studio than wrap their heads around the fact that we actually did it.

    Perverse.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Mark: It is sad to see this woman clinging to the birth certificate when there is so much else out there to consider and when the evidence is clear that the birth certificate is not an issue. You can hear the fear in her voice. You can hear the social bonding by the other audience members chiming in, especially when they NEED to say the Pledge together. Complex reality boiled down into something so simple. Fact-free reasoning. That's why I suggested that this meeting illustrates the process by which religions are born.

  3. Erich,

    I hear ya, but…

    Conspiracy is easy. Reality is HARD.

  4. NIklaus Pfirsig says:

    It's is the typical fallout of a marketing technique known as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). FUD tactics leverage people's prejudices and bigotry in order to sell something.

    Some co-workers of mine bought the FUD campaign hook line and sinker. They rationalize their stance like this:

    Obama is a "Manchurian Candidate".

    He was borne in Kenya and is a Muslim.

    Muslims don't worship God, they pray to Allah.

    Muslims want to enslave the world under Moslem(Sharia) law.

    We are a Christion nation, it says so on our money, and in the pledge of allegience.

    Even though the claims are patently false, a large number of people subscribe to them becasue they refuse to learn for themselves.

    For some, it is a racist attitude. For others, it is religious bigotry. and the neocons who want Obama to fail see it as an opportunity to further their agenda.

  5. Alison says:

    I would actually be surprised if it ever went away. There are still people who believe the moon landing was faked, even among people who were old enough to have been around when it happened! There are multiple holocaust denial groups out there who would have no trouble explaining how that didn't happen, even to someone with a concentration camp number tattoo. To their faces, even. This birth certificate is small potatoes to conspiracy theorists.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    From a post on Intershame.com:

    There are people who believe with absolute certainty that a man managed to herd every earthly creature onto a boat but if the president's birth certificate was placed in their hands, they couldn't bring themselves to accept it's real.

    http://intershame.com/on/Birther_at_Political_Ral

  7. Erika Price says:

    To my surprise, I discovered today that even Bill O'Reilly & co have investigated the birth certificate claim and have come down resolutely that Obama is clearly a citizen.

    This further demonstrates just how fringe the citizenship dispute really is. Video of O'Reilly on the subject below:



  8. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I think O'Reilly decided to actually read the constitutional eligibility requirements for the office of the President.

    The citizenship requirement state the candidate must be either born in American or born abroad of at least one American parent. The fact that Obama' mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth is undisputed and even if he was born in a cab in Timbuktu, he would still be eligible.

    Notice too how no one questions the fact that John McCain was born on a military base in Panama. According to the eligibility requirements, being born on foreign military bases or embassy grounds does not qualify the child as an American citizen. But McCain is a US citizen because is father was.

    The birthers are arguing a totally moot point. Most people know from dim memories of their third grade social studies class that the Prez must be over a certain age and a natural born citizen, and they assume natural born means born on American soil.

  9. Erika Price says:

    Slate's Explainer series demonstrates just how hard it would be to oust Obama, even if he was born in Kenya: see here.

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