Archive for July 29th, 2009

“Birthers” And The DIS-Information Age

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

With all the focus on topics like War, Recession, and The Real Housewives Of Atlanta this week, you may have missed the BIG STORY: a newly-named group claims that Barack Obama fails to meet the statutory requirement that our Presidents must be born in the good ol’ US of A.

These folks are now called “Birthers,” and while a few otherwise reputable souls like Lou Dobbs of CNN might be among their number, they are generally dismissed by the President’s backers as right-wing nut-jobs. Which isn’t fair, because Birthers also include some left-wing nut-jobs.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Democrat Birthers asserted that John McCain – having been born in the Canal Zone of Panama – was similarly disqualified for the Oval Office. Senator McCain’s parents – whose citizenship is not in dispute – were stationed there with the U.S. Navy.

Nor is Birther-ing really new at all. As far back as the 1960s, there were those who tried to prove that JFK was actually born during a sea crossing from England, not (as stated) in Massachusetts immediately after the voyage.

What each group failed to realize was that exemptions to the Born In The USA rule apply to both the McCain and Kennedy situations. But apparently, mere facts won’t deter a zealous Birther from his holy mission.

Witness the current email making the rounds which alleges that then-college student Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981, at a time when such trips were outlawed to US citizens. Therefore he must have been traveling on a foreign passport, mustn’t he?

Actually, no. The whole premise is a phony. In fact, US citizens could and did travel to Pakistan in 1981 – perfectly legally.

We live in an age of instantaneous worldwide transmission of video, audio, and print. For this reason, we’ve been called “The Information Age.” Unfortunately, a lot of what goes out each day – like the Birther story above – is crap. With no filters to stop anybody from saying anything about anyone, what we really live in is the DIS-information Age.

So here’s a note to Birthers: whatever you might wish were true, if you have to resort to lies to sell your thesis, it’s probably not a very good one to begin with.

Now here’s a second thought: just because Americans could travel to Pakistan in 1981 doesn’t mean the collegiate Obama did use a US passport on his visit. So, if you really believe in what you’re saying, have Lou Dobbs ask Pakistan’s Immigration Office to check whether any Indonesians named “Barry” stopped by, around 28 years ago. And – until you and Lou do that – cut the crap. You’re just making those of us with actual valid reasons for opposing this administration’s policies look like we’re in bed with the loonies.