This is one of those pure blog posts, rather than an article on something. I write it to chide myself for some silly thinking.
As I mentioned a few times, I have been spending an unusual amount of time this month disputing with birthers at Birther Report and WorldNetDaily. In all of that time, I ran across a total of one person from the “other side” that I was able to exchange information with. Here’s an example of a failure to communicate where I had listed the 6 experts who looked at Obama’s birth certificate and didn’t find it was a forgery: Pex, Broyhill, de Queiroz, Coburn, Zatkovich and Krawetz. This is the reply I got:
I got your so called experts and found that they are Marxist/socialist/demonrats, like you.
I hadn’t even given first names for some of them!
My silly thinking is to expect that when I present a good argument, a well-documented fact, or expose a formal fallacy, that I would at least get some indication that the person on the other side understood what I said, but that’s rarely the case. Generally, the commenters I engage at WND and Birther Report are the bottom of the barrel so far as birthers go. I mean, those folks at WND are still reciting the April Fools “Obama was a Foreign Student at Occidental” joke, and believe it with an unshakable passion! It doesn’t bother these folks for a moment that they cannot articulate any reason for why they believe that. Some folks at Birther Report are saying that the Naturalization Act of 1790 proves that the children of aliens born in the United States were not citizens.
What I should do, and it will be difficult, is to reset my expectations when commenting on birther sites. I have to keep in mind that if the birthers were reasonable, they wouldn’t still be birthers. I am not sure though how to dumb down the conversation enough. It may be impossible.
I suppose this article might come across as haughty and condescending. It is.