Today President Obama released his birth certificate.
This is a really, really sad day in a lot of ways.
First, because an irrational argument carried weight. The whole Birther line of questioning was a lie from the start. It was not based on an argument that said there was evidence that President Obama wasn’t a US citizen. It was based on the argument that said that he hadn’t proven that he was a US citizen.
That’s the most paranoid argument I’ve ever heard. There is no positive reason to believe that there’s a problem here; nobody has come forward with evidence that the President was born elsewhere; nobody has produced witnesses saying that he’s been born elsewhere; there was no first cause for this argument other than to attack the man.
And the media, and the population, has eaten it up. This is fucking stupid. We, as a nation, should be smarter than this. And for the people who legitimately oppose the President – fine, legitimately oppose him! Attack him and his policies on legitimate grounds! I don’t care what either side does as long as it’s for the benefit of the country and it’s based in reason! THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ALL SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT. You can support the man because he’s advancing causes that you think are good; you can oppose the man because you think that his policies are going to weaken the nation and put its citizens at peril. Both sides have merit.
But come the fuck on. Base arguments in reason and evidence. Have some basis for making your arguments. Appealing to easily excitable emotions is crass and and indifferent to the whole damn country.
Almost as disturbing, Obama gave in to it. I’m not judging him lightly. I know that there was a lot of pressure on him. I know that I’ve been put in very difficult situations and I’ve responded to the pressure, and so done things and said things that I regret. I can’t say that I would have done anything different. But it’s a situation that nobody should ever be put in. It should not be necessary to dignify a baseless accusation with a response. But because we do get put in those situations, and because other people choose to dignify those accusations, we react to them. And when we give in, we legitimize the whole damn process.