This just in: The majority of Republicans still don’t believe that President Barack Obama is from ’round these parts.
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In a new nationwide survey of registered voters that examines Americans’ belief in political conspiracy theories, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind project found that 64 percent of Republicans think it’s “probably true” that President Obama is hiding important information about his background and early life.
Yes, even though the President has a memoir he released long before he became a national political figure and released his birth certificate and had his kinfolk attest to his story — ditto for the teachers, neighbors, and old classmates along the way — nope, none of that matters.
To be fair, 63 percent of Americans believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, though the others are far more common.
Other factors that have contributed to the lingering believe that Obama is secretly from Kenya? The fact that the President is constantly IMing Allah.
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The researchers noted:
Generally, the more people know about current events, the less likely they are to believe in conspiracy theories — but not among Republicans, where more knowledge leads to greater belief in political conspiracies.”
Fairleigh Dickinson political scientist Dan Cassino, added:
There are several possible explanations for this. It could be that more conspiracy-minded Republicans seek out more information, or that the information some Republicans seek out just tends to reinforce these myths.
Now, where on Earth would they find such information?
And then there’s this:
SARAH PALIN (pictured right): Well, I appreciate that the Donald [Trump, pictured] wants to spend his resources in getting to the bottom of something that so interests him and many Americans. You know, more power to him. He’s not just throwing stones and – from the sidelines. He’s digging in there; he’s paying for researchers to find out why President Obama would have spent $2 million to not show his birth certificate. So, you know, more power to him. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine,4/9/11]
Doocy: Birth Certificate Produced By Obama’s Campaign “Is Not The Exact Birth Certificate.” After airing Trump’s birther claims from an appearance on ABC’s The View, Doocy stated during the March 24 edition ofFox & Friends that the Obama campaign “did produce – before the election – something called a certificate of live birth, which is not the exact birth certificate, but something that the state says indicates that he was born there.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/24/11]
Plus, the wizards of radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, among others who help fuel stories like this along with other statements, such as “ACORN helped Obama steal the 2012 election.” That, too, is a popular theory held by at least half of Republicans according to a Public Policy Poll survey released last month.
Never mind that ACORN no longer exists.
We’ve heard about the problems that come with the “conservative entertainment media complex” and the need for the saner members of the Republican Party to stand up and say “enough is enough,” but have you noticed how little of that dialogue has actually happened so far?
Sure, people like Governor Chris Christie are making the media rounds and offering hope to senior party leaders, but I still hear calls for Obama’s impeachment and cries of fascism because he wants us to join the other industrialized nations of the world and have a universal health care plan.
The year 2016 may be a long time away, but thus far, the conspiracies and hyperbolic drivel from the fringe element of the party hasn’t subsided at all.
The same goes for the companies and personalities that help perpetuate it for profit. We all might give weight to certain theories that perhaps we shouldn’t, but some are getting far more promotion than others. That will work for ratings, web clicks, and social media, but when will these fools learn it does nothing for the pursuit of their politics?
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick
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