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July 27, 2009

Birthers May Be Crazy, But Their Brand of Crazy Isn’t New


It is a sign – a good sign – at how little traction the Birthers controversy has gained. Rather than wondering aloud whether there weren’t something to their claims that Barack Obama is a Kenyan by birth, an illegal immigrant by law and a fraud of a president by the Constitution, the Birther movement instead has been greeted by a mix of amusement and shock that anyone could be so devoted to believing something for which there is just simply no concrete evidence.


What is surprising is the shock that these people have generated, as if they are a new breed of creature that has crept from the forest as the American people slumbered. They are not. They have walked forever among us, obscure and anonymous, churning out pamphlets and newsletters broadcasting their madness.


Among these were conspiracies of soccer stadiums used to beam mind control rays around the world, nanorobots injected into potential troublemakers to be later unleashed for secret murder, covert re-education camps being constructed in the wilds for the day that all the Christians are rounded up, dark forces spreading population control gas through the contrails of jet airliners. The people responsible for these are the Illuminati, a shapeless formless thing that will someday bring about One World Government. Its members include politicians, industrialists and bankers who gather occasionally in northern California to worship at the feet of a giant stone owl in a place called Bohemian Grove.


These stories once percolated only along the fringe of American life. They would be shared via shortwave radio programs, books, underground press; and shared to the outside world through bulletin boards, speaking engagements and cryptic postcards to members of the press suspected of sympathizing with them.


Every president was in some way connected to the rising One World Government, except for John Kennedy whom the dark puppet masters of the world could not control so they connived to have him slain. Every spoken word by major political players in every party was further evidence that the world as we know it is a web of insidious lies. Everyone who dissented from them was to be suspected; the Illuminati has spies everywhere.


For these people to suggest that the president isn’t an American citizen is as controversial as buttered toast for breakfast. To them, every president is part of some wicked conspiracy. All that was necessary was for someone to dream one up. Barack Hussein Obama is today a swarthy-hued devil from Kenya come to put the Republic into its final death throes. It will be fought not with evidence but by demanding that everyone stand up to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.


The idea has already taken hold, and will never be extinguished. Evidence against is evidence of conspiracy. Documents will be regarded as forgeries, excuses will be found to dismiss birth announcements, government officials will be accused of covering up the truth.


Complicity for unleashing this beast rests chiefly with the people who once kept these things away – media outlets. They protected the gate, ensuring that the madness was kept at the fringes. Today, those gates have been thrown wide open to whoever can shout their way into the door. There is no one who shouts with the amplitude of a True Believer. They not only make cheap and entertaining theater, but the conspiracies themselves can be softly pushed by political opponents who can qualify their statements by saying, “I’m not saying this, but the fact that someone is means it must be taken seriously.”


What is not apparent are limits to the kind of crazy to which news networks will give time. Ten years from now, today will be remembered when questions were raised as to whether an American president is actually a citizen. What new and even bigger crazy will be on the front burner is anyone’s guess, but for those familiar with this, it will undoubtedly be entertaining.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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