I was driving this morning when that question came to mind: exactly what is the birther movement (BM)? I mean, what kind of movement is it?
This afternoon, I was reading an article by Dean Haskins over at The Birther Summit and noted where he said about the BM:
If I am to be “blamed” for telling the truth, then so be it. I suppose there will always be those who believe that Orly is the face of our movement, and I’m sure they now believe I am the movement’s ass.
I feel a little sorry for Haskins, who had the honesty and the integrity to point out that the Queen has no clothes when it comes to legal competence, and got dumped on by the BM for daring to criticize Taitz in public.
Upon reflection, Haskins shouldn’t be surprised. In essence the BM is about the elimination of something that is foreign to them (in this case someone who is black, progressive and has a foreign-sounding name). The BM is by its nature a purifying movement and it would naturally turn on any member who offended the party line. It’s not about valuing diversity. I see the BM as part of the larger movement to purge foreignness from American society. There have always been anti-immigrant factions in the country (and in many countries) and this BM is part of it.
Of course, it’s not fair to label the whole BM as racist and xenophobic. Some of it just plain politics, always a dirty, smelly aspect of our democratic system. I’ve been right in the middle of a particularly dirty Republican primary battle here in South Carolina, and I see first hand that politicians will say almost anything to get votes. Truth is not the issue, but whether the smear sticks. Some part of the political BM comes from the pro-Israel lobby and you will see anti-Arab influences in Ron Polland and Orly Taitz, to mention a few.
While the Tea Party is a very visible movement, drawing thousands to its rallies, the BM tends to be something largely confined to small rooms in private homes. Rarely do you see significant public display from the BM. The contrast between the Tea Party and the BM is striking and should not be underemphasized. While polls show the BM to be large, its support is also soft. I would speculate that the hard core BM is really quite small, just very loud.
Haskins speculated on the virtue of the BM speaking with a single voice. If unity and enthusiasm is essential to the BM, then it is a political movement. In that view, it would seem that the goal of the movement is to convert others to the BM. If I thought Obama wasn’t eligible, I would be focusing purely on pursuing my legal options, not creating a movement and not poking my nose into what other people were doing.
Perhaps what most of the BM is about is about is self-validation. From the earliest appearance of the BM, the majority pooh-poohed it. That’s gotta be unpleasant. The parts of the BM stick together for mutual support and validation. In that sense the BM is a self-help movement.
Noisy and unpleasant as it is, we’re stuck with the BM for the time being, at least until Barack Obama’s term in office has passed.
I’m Dr. Conspiracy and I don’t know whether I approve this message or not.