The ‘birthers’ have been derided as a part of the lunatic fringe of the right and appropriately so. Like others who take fanatical positions, no amount of proof seem adequate. Yet as Jeff Jacoby reminds us in his column such lunacy has been seen before. Many of those who scorn the ‘birthers’ fawned at Michael Moore’s idiocy in ‘Faranheit 911’ accusing Bush of colluding with the Saudis and Osama bin Laden.
Jacoby noted the survey in 2007 that 35% of Democrats believed that Bush was tipped off about the 9/11 attacks and another 26% were not sure. Many still believe Reagan conspired with Khomeini not to release the American hostages until after his election. Others still contend that FDR intentionally left our fleet in a vulnerable position in Pearl Harbor to engineer our entry into the global conflict contrary to our natural isolationist preference.
Our world is filled with hatred, instability, and uncertainty. It seems to give many comfort to find a conspiracy or an enemy to explain our fears rather than to accept our own limitations in an uncertain world. The paranoid justify created conspiracies and fantasies because they fit the facts they used to create them to begin with.
I believe these conspiracies are easier for some to absorb than to face the real issues. It is far more important and productive to address the real problems with this president’s policies than to waste energy on far fetched conspiracies