There is an old saying, often attributed to Hitler's Minster of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
This propaganda technique has found a home with those on the extreme right who purposely have abandoned logic and use lies to advance their cause — to undermine President Obama and his changes for America.
Boldfaced lies, one would assume, would appeal only to the ignorant and uninformed, but in reality these lies are being used by elected officials as well as the national media. Long before Rush Limbaugh on his syndicated radio program announced to the country that he hoped President Obama fails, the conspiracy theorists were at work with misinformation designed to sidetrack the truth about then Senator Obama.
In the beginning people questioned Senator Obama's religion. Even though he stated that he was a baptized Christian, with a name like Barack Hussein Obama he must be a Muslim. He must be lying, and if he becomes president of the United States, he will make us all Muslims.
After all he was educated at a madrassa according to such sources as Insight News, Fox News, The New York Post, and The Glenn Beck Show then on CNN Headline News. It was CNN that debunked that myth by sending Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate the allegation against the Busuki school that Obama attended from 1969 to 1971. What he found was a "public school" with boys and girls in uniforms and teachers in Western dress. The headmaster of the school said, "We don't focus on religion. ... We try to respect religion in our daily lives, but we don't give preferential treatment."
That did not satisfy those who believed there was an Islamic conspiracy to overtake this country with Obama leading the religious conversion. Fortunately, the American public was smart enough to see that lie as just a lie and still voted for Obama for president in 2008.
However, back in April 2008 USA Today reported that 10 percent of Americans believed that Obama was a Muslim with 16 percent of conservative Republicans and 16 percent of Evangelical Protestants believing he was a Muslim. However, 19 percent of rural American believed that Obama was a Muslim. It hasn't changed; the numbers are about the same according the Pew Research Center.
So is it any surprise that the "birthers" never really went away after the election? These are people that still present a loud objection to Obama being an "illegitimate president" because they believe he was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii. "I want my country back," a woman shouted in a town hall meeting held by Congressman Castle of Delaware. As shown on all the major news networks, she demanded to see Obama's birth certificate and was cheered on by an angry crowd.
According to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at a recent press conference, the Obama's birth certificate question has never gone away: "The state of Hawaii provided a copy with the state seal. ... I know there are apparently 400,000 [people] that continue to doubt the existence of and the certification by the state of Hawaii of the President's birth there. But it's on the Internet because we put in the Internet for each of the 400,000 to download," CNN reported.
The Obama campaign posted a digital scan of the birth certificate on the Internet. According to FactCheck.org, the birth certificate is real: "[S]taffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship."
The website also has close-up photographs of the raised seal and the official stamp of the registrar of vital statistics Alvin Onaka. Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of Hawaii's Department of Health, has "personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures." The website also has a photo of Obama's birth announcement published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, August 13, 1961: "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, son, Aug.4."
But it is all a hoax according to some who swear that President Obama was born in Kenya. They're Machiavellians. On July 28 the House of Representatives passed a resolution to recognize Hawaii's 50th anniversary of statehood. It states "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961."
Happy birthday, Mr. President!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Carol Jensen is a long-time Barstow resident, graduating from Kennedy High School and Barstow College, where she was an English instructor for many years. Much of her time now is spent writing political and social commentary. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.