My dad is a "birther." We were talking about the election fraud in Iran, and he pops out about how our last presidential election was also fraud, explaining that Obama isn't a citizen because he wasn't born here. And I'm thinking, "Wow, and from my own family too." And I don't know why I'm surprised, seeing as how he still believed that Clinton was a Soviet spy long after it was obvious that Clinton presided over a huge capitalist boom; which I suppose would make him the worst spy ever.
And this sort of nonsense holds through here. Because again, he plopped this factoid out there as if it were common knowledge, and yet somehow thought that Obama's mother was an immigrant who was about to be deported. Yes, he considered himself to be an expert on Obama's citizenship, yet didn't know that Obama's mother was an American citizen born in Kansas. And when I told him this, as well as that Obama was raised by his grandparents, or how his grandfather was involved with D-Day, this was all news to him. He had never heard some of the most basic parts of Obama's bio. And yes, he had somehow confused Obama's mother with his father's half-sister.
And this is someone I'm supposed to have an intelligent debate with. And the thing is, I don't necessarily fault him for this. He's just repeating what he's heard, and that obviously wasn't enough. He didn't even know the basics of the birther's wild claims. All he knew was that there was some sort of controversy over Obama's citizenship and lack of birth certificate, and that's it. He was convinced this was true and had the audacity to call this "election fraud" while talking to me; a guy who eats, drinks, and sleeps politics. He even insisted that birth certificates are public information, and because it was being withheld by Obama that it was part of the conspiracy.
But I can't really blame Rush Limbaugh and his ilk for this (and yes, Limbaugh was on my dad's radio when we were talking, which was why we were talking about Iran (I was correcting Rush's errors)); because this is Rush's shtick and how he pays the bills. And I guess I could blame the media for not correcting dopes like Rush, but why? That would just make my dad ignore them more and Limbaugh would just use the corrections as something to fume about.
And so there's really nothing that can be done and no one is to blame, as my dad is too ignorant to know that he's too ignorant. I just wanted to take this time to mention that my dad is a birther, despite not even having a basic understanding of what the birther's argument is. He's heard enough to be dangerous and that's good enough for him.
I should add that my correction of all this was quite smooth and it's possible he realized his mistake. He would never have admitted to this, of course, but I was so matter-of-fact about the whole thing that it left him with nothing to say. He had obviously never heard any of it before and it never even occurred to him that there was a defense of Obama's citizenship. Oh yeah, and he also asked me "What's a liberal?" later on during a slightly different discussion. Keeping it simple, I said "FDR was a liberal." And again, I was met with silence.