“All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.” – Samuel Butler
Only in America, the land of propaganda and fairy tales, does a rather silly story develop, engulfing the entire nation as it snowballs. I guess the chickens do need to come home to roost sometimes.
Anyway, a few days ago, while surfing on the Internet I happened upon a recent Donald Trump interview, where he was basically questioning Barack Obama’s birth credentials and his eligibility to be US president. According to Trump, no one seems to remember Obama from Hawaii – where he was born – which could imply that Obama was not born in the US.
At the time, I thought Trump was simply trying to whip up momentum and interest for his own political ambitions, so I dismissed these comments as no more than mere castles in the sky. But hey, I was wrong.
This ludicrous allegation appears to be a big issue in the US. A telephone poll carried out by Wenzel Strategies in mid March shows that 77% of Americans are aware of the saga over Obama’s birth credentials. In fact, 61% of Independents, 58% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats want Obama to prove he is eligible to be president by virtue of being born in the US.
Those who hold with this conspiracy theory are known as the “birthers” and they believe that Obama’s birth certificate is fake, that he was born in Kenya and that he does not qualify to be US president. There are a number of websites promoting this rather absurd theory, including a Facebook fan page.
I think Obama, for his part, has remained dignified amid this political farce, sometimes joking about the idea. As the African adage goes, you laugh about things you cannot cry over. Despite Obama’s dignified handling of the situation, this saga is ludicrous, a waste of time, and tantamount to campaigning after the election.
Considering the historic significance of Obama’s election win in 2008, he would never have made it to the White House on suspect credentials. It’s most certain that US intelligence agencies would have gone over Obama’s background with a fine-toothed comb before he became president. Or are the birthers suggesting that US intelligence agencies botched what should have been a fairly routine check?
Okay, maybe this conspiracy theory started off as a campaign rhetoric in the run-up to the 2008 elections, but for God’s sake, Obama is now over two years into his presidency and there are far more important things to deal with than this political birth-obsessed nonsense.
There is a critical situation in Japan, which has not only claimed the lives of between 10,000 – 20,000 people, but also poses significant future environmental risks. There is also an alarming political situation in the Middle East, which could change the political dynamics of the region for years to come. Furthermore, the US foreign policy of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” is causing more world conflicts, than the US cares to admit. In the same breath, we cannot forget the US-led war on terrorism, which seems to be a toxic investment yielding no plausible return at the moment, apart from creating more US animosity. So how can this baseless conspiracy theory take pride of place over more serious matters affecting humanity?
I am, however, somewhat relieved that not all Americans are awash with this nonsense. In the wake of Donald Trump’s recent comments, former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, made the following remarks about Obama:
“He’s born in the United States, I don’t see any real question about that, and even if some people have some doubts in the back of their minds it’s really too late and futile. … We have so many more important things to talk about.”
Thank you Rudy! Birthers, get a life ! Stop propaganda wars ! Somebody’s surely got to say it.
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