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Torn

“That men know not how to be splendidly wicked or wholly good, and shrink in consequence from such crimes as are stamped with an inherent greatness or disclose a nobility of nature.”—Niccolo Machiavelli, The Discourses. Book I, Chapter XXVII

I’m torn like I was with the French ban on the Muslim headscarves: on the one hand I detest that a religion proscribes the scarf on the other I am all for freedom of speech (eventually I settled on the latter since freedom is more important to my view than not, and because it allows me the secondary benefit of criticizing the French yet again). Today, Obama released (re-released) his birth certificate to show us what legally we already knew: that he is a natural born American Citizen. We knew this because he was president, and no one can be president who doesn’t meet this requirement.

People who doubt this are idiots. I’m categorically making the statement and if you are insulted by it, you can always recant this belief and not be an idiot. However I hold it to be a contradiction that you can be an intelligent person and not believe what has already been proven. And, no, this isn’t because I voted for him. It’s because it is a fact.

To believe otherwise is to believe that fifty years ago the Democratic party, which was wholly different than it is now—in that it actually opposed civil rights legislation (the so-called “Solid South”), conspired to forge a birth certificate so that an African baby could one day be president. Complicit in this, are all of the newspapers in Hawaii (two I think), the governor at the time and then consequently down the line, the doctors and medical staff at the hospitals, and the subsequent heads of the Democratic Party since that infant’s birth until the 2008 election. Due to planning we should actually say that the conspiracy existed prior to Obama’s birth.[1]

Furthermore, whoever was in charge of this plot (for it couldn’t have been Obama himself, for obvious reasons) had been allowing the opposition party to win elections. This presents two difficulties because either it happened due to incompetence, which is hard to believe since they have been so effective at achieving the goal of getting a Kenyan in the presidential office. Or those elections were lost on purpose (which we can say actually counts as a win) which means that the plan is much more subtle and devious than we can realize. All of this was done without one leak or flaw.

That is what believers in the “birther” conspiracy have to accept as the course of events of American history until now. I say now, because today Obama released his birth certificate to the Whitehouse website (remember .gov not .com [.com used to be a porn site]) to settle the issue. I think this is a terrible mistake.

For two reasons: the first is that I maintain that if a person believes in a conspiracy of such proportion this birth certificate is not going to prove anything. If “They” can make everything happen the way it has happened, then what is stopping “Them” from forging the document in the first place? You are telling me that an organization planning a conspiracy for over 5 decades couldn’t put a stamp on a piece of paper in a hospital. That’s more ludicrous than what the “truthers” believe, and they believe in some bullshit.

Secondly, and this is why I have the quote above, I think it’s a bad move politically but on the other hand it does prove that the President is a better person than I. Here’s why: the controversy wasn’t costing him, or his party anything. For the entire existence of it, they’ve been happy to ignore it and that move makes sense. The people who believe it weren’t going to vote for him anyway so why pretend that the issue of birth was going to sway anyone in the first place. As the movement spread (I think the number of Congressmen who believe in the controversy was estimated at 51% of Republicans) all it did was indicate that the mainstream GOP was being kicked around by fringe elements and that all of the swagger and cowboy-effectiveness[2] that Bush brought to the party was now gone. In short it made them look like clowns.

Then came Donald Trump’s candidacy for President. And while the believers in the conspiracy looked like clowns before now they looked like someone slapped a clown suit on a wino ala Simpson’s episode “Kamp Krusty.” The actual sane frontrunners of the GOP, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney (seriously these are the rational ones) were taking a back seat to Trump who’s only issue seems to be the birther issue. You can tell that Romney and Huckabee are thinking big picture because they have no comment on it. On the one hand if they deny the issue (Tim Pawlenty style) they risk alienating the core believers but on the other hand if they accept it they basically risk losing the independent vote and the minority vote (for whom the related issue of immigration is a big deal, i.e. that whole “real American” thing). Even if you know that Trump is using this whole thing as a publicity stunt, as a GOP candidate you can’t ignore it. Thus there’s the pickle.

The president released the document (which it had already done before and it was viewed as authentic) because he thought that this issue was being a distraction in times where there are serious issues to reckon with. That of course is true, but I would never have done it. I would have made false slip-ups to keep it going and never, ever comment on the issue. I would have done all of this because the more and more the GOP had to mainstream a fringe theory the more and more they looked like tin-foil hatters and that would have made the presidential choice in 2012 a choice between crazy and not-crazy, which makes it much easier for re-election. I would have exploited the stupidity for my own gain, and then as the election approached maybe the October before I would have released the document in an attempt to sway any of the former believers. If I were him I would fire whoever advised me to release it.

Then again, I suppose I should be happy that maybe there will be slightly less crazy in the world. Maybe the GOP can put up a real candidate for president. Maybe.


[1] Or not, I could actually see it go either way. If they picked a child at random they would need a set plan, if they chose him on purpose they could have begun the planning later.

[2] My term, patent pending.

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