My Silly Thoughts On The Birthers
Yes, most of you have heard, Obama has confirmed again that he is a citizen of the United States and legitimately holds office. All has been show at a press conference so that maybe, just maybe, we can talk about the real problems of this presidency. As much as I’d love to see reason win out, I have experience with conspiracy theorist to know that the lack of evidence is all the evidence they need.
At every family meal around the holidays I can be guaranteed that one elder will be a birther, one of the younger and more liberal members will be a Truther, and the grandest of the Irish will still believe that Freemasons invented the Novus Ordo and encrypted the secrets of Kennedy in its hand puppet theatres. I have argued with all members until I was blue in the face, and then had to bear their scrutiny when I realized I was wrong about Bill Clinton’s body count. They’re family, I love ’em and they love all my wackiness.
With my experience, I know that nothing the president can do will ever satisfy the people who think he’s a foreign born Muslim who is acting as a sleeper agent. Barak Obama could hold his birth certificate, at a pig roast, drinking a beer, and being blessed by the bishop and there would still be people looking for the hidden symbols of the Koran in the pig’s dripping fat. It remains true what Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy, “The madman’s explanation of a things is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory.” I can tell someone that all evidence points to the president being a natural born citizen and the response will be, “That’s because the evidence was placed there in 1961.” I’ll then point out that it is unlikely for someone in 1961 to know that he would become president and thus have motive and then the response is, “Yes, that’s what they want you to believe. Are you defending a man you yourself have criticized.”
The alternative is that someone knows that this is all crazy and unlikely and then they’ll say, “Well, I’m not saying that he isn’t legitimate, but this raises questions…” and this is then followed by their raising bad arguments to the level of legitimate evidence and trying to lead people. The justification is that this will allow them to plant seeds of doubt without actually laying claim to the crazy conclusions that they are leading everyone else to believe. This isn’t madness or confusion, but is in fact lying or perhaps something worse. Some well-meaning people know that Obama and the political machine presents many dangers to America and so they employ consequentialism, using bad ends to bring out the good. To lie and deceive about the president in hopes of turning things around is to claim a power that belongs only to the divine: bringing good out of evil. However, even angels will not commit evil to bring out the good and the destroying of a man’s good name based on a lie is exactly the evil that should repulse the angels of our better nature.