I wish Obama hadn’t released his long form birth certificate

I wish President Obama hadn’t released a long-form copy of his birth certificate. This entire birther conspiracy — that President Obama is not actually a U.S. citizen and therefore doesn’t meet the requirements to be president of the United States — is not about citizens concerned with paperwork. It’s about some citizens not wanting Obama to be president, and no amount of documents proving his citizenship will change how they feel about Obama’s politics or about him as a president.

The same goes for the conspiracy that Sarah Palin’s son Trig is actually her grandson, and that her entire pregnancy was a ruse to cover up her daughter’s own teenage pregnancy. Conspiracy theorists have said that Palin’s not making public her medical records regarding her pregnancy is key evidence that the entire thing was a cover-up and she was never really pregnant. Again, this isn’t about medical records, it’s about people who dislike Sarah Palin.

As Stephen Stromberg wrote in The Washington Post, paperwork proof isn’t going to stop the birtherism; nor would Palin’s medical records stop people from claiming she isn’t really Trig’s mother. These situations remind me exactly of relationships that have trust issues — A is suspicious that B is cheating, and asks for phone records to see who B has been calling, under the guise that seeing the proof on paper will calm any fears of infidelity. But those phone records won’t fix anything, because the underlying problem is that A doesn’t trust B. A will find something else suspicious and will keep feeling insecure unless the root of the problem — the lack of trust — is addressed.

The goal of birthers and hoaxers isn’t to get to the bottom of whatever “conspiracy” they’re investigating, but to create a lack of trust by planting seeds of suspicion and doubt in as many Americans’ brains as possible. I understand wanting to silence critics by providing factual evidence, but bending to their extraneous demands is just enabling them and giving them attention they don’t deserve. It’s a waste of Obama’s and Palin’s time because prejudices and political leanings (the underlying causes for the distrust/dislike of these politicians) won’t be changed by pieces of paper.


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4 Responses to “I wish Obama hadn’t released his long form birth certificate”

  1. Captain Dreamboat Says:

    Although it is nice to know that conservatives expect ALL non-white people (not just immigrants) to have their “papers” on hand at all times. Consistency is key here.

    Also, I think we can safely say at this point that there is no such thing as a waste of Sarah Palin’s time.

    • cathyjwilson Says:

      I’ve read about arguments about why it’s good that he did it because it really socked it to the birthers, but really it kind of just goes along with what Democrats do all too much. They are really wishy-washy at the beginning and don’t start making definitive, powerful decisions until too late in the game. If Obama wanted to really sock it to them, he should’ve been like, “HERE,” from day one, end of story and moved on. I worry that him caving just shows that if birthers (and more widely, Republicans) are persistent enough in harassing the Democrats, they’ll eventually always cave to their demands, no matter how non-sensical. Part of me is glad there is definitive evidence to shove in their faces, but part of me is sad that it even went this far.

      • Captain Dreamboat Says:

        I could not agree more. There’s no way to “prove” anything to these people anyways.

        What makes me curious is the behind-the-scenes calculations on the administration’s part. I don’t buy that Obama personally “got fed up” and then ordered this done, so I figure something about the current dialogue was making somebody sweat (and not for the reasons the Birthers would want to believe). What does the administration gain by doing this?

      • cathyjwilson Says:

        I’m not sure — even though Trump was reopening the issue, a lot of Republicans were not interested in revisiting the birtherism, and I think it could’ve been divisive within the party. Unless the administration was really worried that Trump could stir up something new, or they just wanted to nip the second round of birtherism before it got out of control? I dunno.

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