Birthers, or most of the right-wing, nutso conspiracy theorists in general, remind me of abused children all grown up.
Through a systematic upbringing of beatings, they mature into semi-functioning adults who think it’s entirely normal to slap around others to prove a point, and expect to be slapped around themselves any second now.
Of course this isn’t really about beatings, it’s about the concept that liars think everyone else is lying to them. When you deal in negative myths, fact-checked by the echo chamber of a speak-first, think-later system in place on conservative talk radio and 24-hour cable news, it becomes difficult to distinguish reality from fiction. Naturally, if you can’t trust your own truth, how can you trust someone else’s?
I’m not just talking about the tinfoil-topped true believers, the ones whose watery eyes take on that video game glaze after too many hours watching Fox News, with one ear bud wedged in their head absorbing the latest Alex Jones or Rush screed, the other ear listening for ATF agents at the front door.
I’m also talking about guys like Donald Trump, a gold-dipped P.T. Barnum who well knows he’s found his suckers who will believe his bull even if he doesn’t, and they are lapping it up … with a new one born every minute.
This goes for any politician, newscaster, radio host and the even casual conservative hater who entertains talk of a Kenyan-born, socialist President, whose long-form birth certificate they’ve been clamoring for still isn’t good enough. They see more conspiratorial questions in each line than they do answers.
(The only conspiracy I see is why Obama’s Mama’s Mama named her Stanley. Weird.) Now many of them have pointed their Reynold’s-wrapped antennae toward Osama by way of Obama, forming new conspiracies over the burial at sea or the post-mortem photo. While the majority of this nation celebrates the killing of a monster, our 21st century Hitler, we have a legion of post-birth certificate conspirators looking for something new to latch onto; afterbirth, if you will.
Again, these are men and women from the top down, in positions of influence (Bachman, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Trump) to couch potato potentates, who believe this stuff.
And again, it’s the idea that these deception mongers don’t believe anything, don’t trust anyone, especially not a Muslim president who tore Nixon’s bowling alley out of the White House and bulldozed the Rose Garden for a basketball court. In the hours after the Internet broke the Osama bin Laden raid, people I would never suspect to subscribe to such nut-jobbery were Facebooking things like “too bad it wasn’t Obama who was killed,” or talking government lies and cover-ups over the fact that the president was honoring Muslim law by burying bin Laden at sea within 24 hours of his death.
Common sense tells people who use common sense that to further inflame Muslims or desecrating Osama’s remains — even if he couldn’t have cared less for our people — would add to this nation’s problems aboard.
Same thing with the photo. At least the Hussein boys had a make-up artist work on them before their glamour shots. The Osama photo would have been raw and would have incited more animosity if not violence.
We, as a nation, got what we wanted. Osama’s dead, and I trust my system of government, my government officials and my president to know that none of this was trumped up. I don’t need to see a photo, and I don’t need Leon Panetta explaining why an unarmed Osama was shot. Did anyone really think Osama would ever be brought back alive under any circumstance?
It’s shameful that even something as unifying as the killing of Osama bin Laden — the man behind the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil! — would be further evidence of how divided we are as a nation, and how the messages from the most unhinged and meanest among us slice right through the meat of the middle ground to reveal the rot.
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