Things don’t typically spring out of nothing. Sexual predators are often persons who were abused as children; international conflicts often have deep historical roots. Parents teach their children that actions have consequences.
The example today is the early Hillary Clinton supporters who were birthers in 2008. Do you remember Linda Sue Belcher? Perhaps you recall her screen name, Linda Starr. We encounter her on this blog as part of my shout out to John Avlon’s book, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America. That book a source for Politifact’s misfire in its own article: “Reince Priebus says Clinton campaign and supporters started the birther movement?”
Here’s what Avlon wrote:
But there’s an inconvenient truth liberals are going to have to confront: The Birthers began not on the right, but on the left.
Investigations for my new book, Wingnuts, revealed that the Birther conspiracy theory was first concocted by renegade members of the original Obama haters, Party Unity My Ass, known more commonly by their acronym, the PUMAs. They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters who did not want to give up the ghost after the bitter 50-state Bataan Death March to the 2008 Democratic nomination.
Because of that, Politifact gave Priebus’ lie a “half true” rating.
We know that whatever claims might be made about support from the PUMAs for birtherism, it was concocted and first appeared on a right-wing forum, the Free Republic a month before any alleged buzz among Clinton supporters (see Loren Collins’ report, “The Secret Origin of the Birthers”).
So here we have some Hillary Clinton supporters who failed to exercise critical thinking, or perhaps even dishonestly spread birtherism. John Avlon, writing his book in 2010, didn’t do a complete job of research. Now, 8 and 6 years later, their actions are giving aid and comfort to Donald Trump and his surrogates, allowing them to excuse Trump’s birtherism by saying Hillary did it first. What they did was wrong, and what goes around, comes around.