Over the years, I have attempted to find models to help me understand birthers. There are learned papers on the subject of conspiracy theory from the disciplines of history, psychology and political science. (Some of those are linked in my bookmarks, and some of the books are listed among the recommended one on the sidebar.)
Today as I was replying a comment at Gerbil Report™ about anti-birthers (Obots) who they say are now working with Mike Zullo and providing him with valuable information, I felt a sense of déjà vu. This was the comment from FatherTime (grammar errors in the original):
I’ve been watching this all day and I find it funny how Dr. C comes out first to challenge that no Obot has flip. Of all the Obots it was Dr. C.
I didn’t know but I have heard our good Dr. C was the one who flip but I’m sure he don’t want his follower Obots to know this. He also protest too much if he had not flip with his Challenged.
I may not have known before but now I’m sure Dr. C is the one who flip. Now I want to know who the other Obot is?
Upon reflection, the sense of familiarity comes from my early childhood, from fantasy games we played. They were so very much like the comments at Birther Report (albeit BR is much nastier than any kids I ever knew). These games consisted of some kind of fantasy scenario (army men, cowboys and Indians, Zorro) where we made up the story as we went along. In these stories we would sometimes dispute things, things completely contained within our completely made-up scenario. Sometimes we could get very angry in these disputes. Birthers play games like army men, Perry Mason and CSI. We didn’t call them “role playing games” back then; our term was “make believe.”
The test of a model is whether it is predictive and whether actually provides value. I have a feeling that I’m going to have more peace of mind dealing with birthers at BR if I view them as adult children playing make believe.