Monday, June 15, 2009

My Birther Dad

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.


Anonymous said...

Your Dad is correct. Get your "factoids" straight. Do some research.

Obama hasn't proven eligibility as required, nor did that airhead Pelosi vet him.

Get up to speed, and quickly. You're way behind. said...

The "birther" myths (and that's what they are, myths) don't hold up well to the light of day. Unless one is of the "my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts" school of though, even the most basic research shows there is not a single piece of credible evidence to support that President Obama was born anywhere BUT the United States, that his mother was a US citizen, that he himself is a Native-Born US citizen by birth.

Some birthers try to claim that one cannot be a "Natural-born" citizen unless both parents are US citizens. The problem with this claim is that neither the US Constitution or US case law support it. Case law for the last 150+ years says that a natural-born US citizen is one that was born in the United States, or was born outside the United States by a US citizen parent. The birthers will cite Swiss legal expert deVattel to support their claims, but they will not cite the section in which deVattel makes a distinction on how British Common Law handled citizenship from birth (which US law was based on).

Birther claims don't hold up to even the slightest amount of serious investigation.

Witch said...

"Your Dad is correct. Get your "factoids" straight. Do some research."

Do some research!! ROFLAMO!

And the Irony Meter goes OFF THE SCALE!!!

"Obama hasn't proven eligibility as required,"

That's it, I'm putting all my money into Tin Foil Hat stocks. With people like the Birthers having access to the internet, I've a feeling there's going to be a run on them.

LanceThruster said...

Unfortunately, many in my family swallow the same poisoned kool-aid.


Kapiolani said...

I was very moved by your story about your father. Thankfully, my 79 year old mom isn't a Birther but it's been sad to see how she's being dumbed-down by Fox & right-wing talk radio as she ages. I've always been so proud of my Mom: born/raised on a sugar plantation in Maui, given an "affirmative action"?? religious scholarship to a Mainland US university in the
40's. She's lived most of her life in the Mainland while I came home to Hawaii. We are very proud of President Obama here in Hawaii. Most elderly parents lament the fact that their kids don't call them. In our case, the middle-aged kids are sad that Mom rarely initiates contact with us. Well, after my not getting a call from her in ages, I got a frantic voice mail from her about the fact that the Hawaii legislature has chosen to designate a "Muslim Day" here. She was all worked up because of a rant from Sean Hannity. Did she ask about the grandkids?, her brothers?, the rest of the family? No. Is the 24/7 cable news cycle responsible for talking heads yelling at each other all the time? I don't know. I sure believe that Limbaugh's culture of hate & argument are damaging America. Again, mahalo for sharing your story about your Dad. I'm glad he seemed to listen about the facts you told him. Mahalo also to the folks on the BB @ for linking me once again, to another informative blog.