I was reading a birther comment over at the Fox News affiliate web site for Dallas – Ft. Worth attached to an article about WorldNetDaily’s comical banner flyover at Cowboy Stadium, a flyover that happened when the domed stadium roof was closed and there were few cars on the parking log.
The comment opened:
That "birth certificate" was a 21-carat fake and everyone knows it.
I typed a reply, concluding:
In many ways the birther movement is a backlash against competence.
One of the reasons that conspiracy theories exist is that some folks have problems with random events in their lives. The demand a framework to explain the great events that swirl around them and threaten to engulf them. It is easier to believe that one is the victim of a known conspiracy rather than an untold number of unknown random events.
The desire to understand events of necessity leads to simplification. The average Joe can’t understand complex explanations of complex events, and so must reject such explanations in favor of simpler ones, and in turn must reject expertise in general.
The birthers in their talking points grab onto simple explanations, and rely on their own for expertise, which leads to volunteer document experts, volunteer judicial bodies and volunteer legal experts – that I would call “second rate” except that they don’t rate at all. In many ways the birther movement is a backlash against competence.