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IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING (2016 EDITION) REASON 6-THE BIRTHER KING


We all know people who belong to the “Obama is a Muslim” crowd.  We see them on television.  We hear them at political events.  We may be related to them.  We may be friends with them.  We hear their proclamations and we realize that, in reality, there are a huge number of totally gullible individuals out there who parade their ignorance.  Even after Donald Trump’s feeble attempt to end the “birther” issue, there are thousands who still believe that which is untrue.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton started the ongoing “birther” campaign against Barack Obama.  The disgusting birther campaign started in 2004 during Obama’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.  At that time, Andy Martin, an Illinois politician was alleged to be the author of an email entitled “Who Is Barack Obama?”  The main thrust of the email centered around lies about Obama’s ethnicity, religion, and birthplace.

Donald Trump’s claim that the birther campaign was started by Hillary Clinton is provably false, as is much of the rhetoric espoused by the Birther King.   During his 2008 Presidential campaign, those prone to conspiratorial efforts started fomenting the lies associated with the soon-to-be-Presidents birthplace.  For her part, Hillary Clinton immediately denied that there was any truth to the birther stories that began circulating at that time.

For the record, Obama was born in Kapiolani Women’s Hospital in Hawaii.  However, the fact of the location of his birth was never accepted by many conspiracy-spreading members in the Red State region of the country.

The real thrust of the birther theories that swamped the country evolved around the fact that Obama’s father was born in Kenya, and was a Muslim.  The theory projects the birthplace and religion of the father on to the son.  Birther’s have relied on a giant leap in logic (huge shock there) to assume that Obama is a Muslim and has allegiance to Islamic terrorists who are creating havoc on the planet.  At the very least, in their minds, he is an Islamic “sympathizer”.

Donald Trump spent half a decade fanning the flames of the birther issue.  Basically, the basic goal of the birther’s is to prove that President Obama is not “one of us”.   Since he is not “one of us” his Presidency not legitimate.  Here are some of Trump’s comments on the issue.

  • During television interviews in 2011 Trump stated “I’m starting to think that he was not born here.”
  • In 2012 he used a twitter rant to state that he had an “extremely credible source” stating the Obama’s birth certificate was “a fraud”.
  •  In 2012, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate. A lot of people do not think it’s authentic.” (In typical Trump fashion, he calls attention to statements of others but doesn’t really go out on a limb and tell us that he is the one fomenting the issue).
  •  In 2013 he used twitter again stating How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived”  (Can you spell “conspiracy”?)
  •  In 2014 he invited hackers to “please hack Obama’s college records and check his place of birth.”
  • In 2015 at a town hall event at a town-hall event, Mr. Trump didn’t denounce a comment from an attendee who said Mr. Obama isn’t an American. The man said, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.” Mr. Trump interrupted, saying, “We need this question.”

In September of this year, Mr. Trump briefly addressed the issue at an event at his new hotel in Washington. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.” In his remarks, he also falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the birther controversy.

The truth is, Trump did his best to “slyly” advance the birther issue throughout his future base of support.  He claims to have ended the controversy.   First of all, there was never any controversy.  He didn’t create the controversy.   However, he advanced it regularly to the point that a large percentage of Conservatives who tended to grasp at any and every conspiracy theory as long as it fit their view that the country’s first African -American President was really African and therefore was not qualified to serve.

His efforts worked very well.  Even today, the “Our President is a secret Muslim” crowd permeates the Republican Party.   There is no room for that kind of ignorance in the electorate.   Yet, that ignorance is on display by those who believed Trumps birther lies.

At a time when the Trump campaign seems to be failing regularly, this is just one more reason that I will never support any candidate who spreads garbage disguised as truth in efforts to shape the all-to-willing hearts and minds that support his candidacy.

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