Lately it seems that criticism of President Obama’s fiscal policies has been pushed aside in favor of ludicrous questions surrounding his birthplace, nationality, and religion. While such issues were raised during his initial presidential campaign, they seem to have exploded to wider prominence lately.
If one were to discuss the various conspiracy theories surrounding our president, the most logical place to begin would be the so-called “birther” movement. Advocates of this absurdly misinformed cadre hold that Obama has failed to prove he was born in the United States. Some pinpoint Kenya as the location of his birth.
The latest, and perhaps most prominent, proponent of the “birther” movement is mogul Donald Trump. The star of “The Apprentice” has been making the rounds on national TV, asking why President Obama hasn’t publicly shown his birth certificate.
One must admit that it would be rather fishy if the president refused to publicly disclose his birth certificate. That said, reality is not subjective, and the truth of the matter is Obama has publicly shown the requested documentation. In addition to the official government records, in August 1961, Hawaiian newspapers announced Obama’s birth.
Thus, Barack Obama was born in the United States (more specifically, Hawaii), and as a natural born citizen he is entirely eligible to serve as Commander and Chief.
None of this has stopped the “birthers” from claiming something is amiss. Donald Trump claims he recently sent a team of investigators to Hawaii to attempt to uncover the truth about our president’s origin. And wouldn’t you know, following this absurdly ignorant claim, his speculated presidential candidacy gained traction in the polls.
But the conspiracy theories don’t stop in Hawaii! It is still widely believed that Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a recent letter from Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi has further fueled speculation that our president might not be who he says he is.
An entire article could be dedicated to why it shouldn’t matter even if he was a Muslim; however, that argument would be purely hypothetical since Barack Obama is a Christian. While his father may have been a Muslim, and he may have had a past heavily influenced by individuals of Islamic leaning, Obama has stated several times that he is a Christian, and that he has accepted that faith because “the precepts of Jesus spoke to me.”
It must be noted, however, that America did have a non-Christian president. His name was Thomas Jefferson!
Last week, radio host Rush Limbaugh discussed Muammar al-Gaddafi’s recent letter to President Obama. Within the letter, Gaddafi implores Obama to end the attacks on his nation. He referred to the president as his “son,” and called him by the Islamic version of his name [Baraka Hussein Abu oumama]. Limbaugh immediately latched onto this as proof that not only is Obama an African Muslim, but Gadaffi is willing to let America bomb his country so that Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012!
This is absurd on so many levels. First of all, why should Americans take anything Gadaffi says seriously? The man has long believed that Obama is a Muslim, but this likely stems from the fact that Colonel Gadaffi harbors one of the most warped world views in contemporary politics. Secondly, the United States is at war with Libya!
During times of war, combatants often play mind games with each-other. Isn’t it possible that Gadaffi is trying to subvert Americans' respect for the leader by exploiting political tension? Rush Limbaugh should be ashamed; he is simply doing Gadaffi’s bidding!
Finally, there are those who believe Obama is some sort of Communist, Socialist, or other far-left ideologue. Communism is an extreme ideology that has been responsible for more war and death than any other socio-economic idea created.
To label Obama, who is center-left at best, as a Communist is to trivialize the dangers of Communism, and the death of 85 million innocent people. Communism also advocates the complete abolishment of private enterprise. Among Barack Obama’s top contributors were Goldmann Sachs, Citigroup, and Microsoft. Since when do Communists receive corporate backing?
Why are Americans so suspicious of Barack Obama? The disheartening truth likely lies in his ethnic background. The President is half-black, and as such, many subconscious racists are innately suspicious of him. Thus, they are willing to defy logic in an attempt to discredit the president or expose him as some sort of fraud. This racially motivated fear is truly disheartening, and it shows that we really haven’t made the great strides in ethnic understanding that we claim.