Obama conspiracy theories

2012-05-31 11:25

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New York - Anyone who has administered policy in a rubbish economy will have weaknesses.

There are plenty of holes to prick in US President Barack Obama's three years as head of state, but for some reason people choose not to fight on this front. They don’t even choose to take a step down the ladder of usefulness and have an ideological argument about religion.

No, some folks have fallen so damn far off the realism ladder that their ability to argue has risen no higher than the gutter. Here are some of the top ways the crazies have managed to scour the depths of reasonability.
 
Birtherism

Donald Trump, yes, the orange, fake-haired pseudo-celebrity with bags of money is probably the loudest proponent of the brigade that believes Barack Obama was not born in the USA.

One is not allowed to become the president unless one's mother gave birth to one on American soil. And being black AND having an Arab name raises all sorts of suspicions about how someone with these credentials could possibly be born in the land of the free.

Well Trump and his troop, called "birthers", demanded to see the birth certificate of Obama last year to prove he was born in Hawaii, which Obama produced. The birther crew then wanted his long-form birth certificate, which Obama produced.

But, with not one shred of evidence, they refuse to believe he was born on US soil. According to The Nation, this evidence is backed up by anecdotal evidence such as birth announcements in newspapers.

While this issue was seemingly resolved in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 it has raged back in the last fortnight because of the discovery of promotional material for a book published in 1991 that said the president was born in Kenya. Which is conclusive?

Trump isn't the only high profile individual doing this dance - Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said last week he would not put Obama on the election ballot in the state if he didn’t supply proof of being born in the USA (like a birth certificate..?).

Bennett has since backed down and said he is satisfied that Obama was actually brought into the world inside the border. But this wave, backed by not one shred of evidence - isn't set to shut up.
 
Muslim

One of the other popular myths about the president is that he is secretly a Muslim, which shouldn’t really be an issue, but in reality is.

Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia (the world’s largest Muslim nation) and two years in a Muslim school, but has never indicated he is a Muslim.

Obama has always maintained he is a Christian, and attended as much Catholic school in Indonesia as he did Muslim school. In fact, it was his relationship with Jeremiah Wright, an outspoken Christian pastor, which got him into a controversial spat when he ran for president in 2008.

There is absolutely no proof of Obama ever being a Muslim, in spite of his middle name being Hussein. There is not a picture, a witness statement or any kind of documentation of Obama praying in a Mosque, observing holidays of Islam, reading the Qur’an or even intentionally facing Mecca.

One of the largest misconstructions is that Obama swore on the Qur'an when he took the oath of office, which is patently untrue. Conspiracy theorists have most likely confused him with a Muslim member of congress, Keith Ellison from Minnesota, who did swear on his own holy book.
 
The terrible second term in which Obama will ban guns

The heinous things Obama might do in his second term have some shaking in their booties, even without a shred of evidence that anything drastic will happen.

Of course, had Obama really wanted to change anything drastically he would have done so in the first half of his first term, with a Democrat controlled House of Representatives and Senate. But that’s disregarded by this lot.

The most common fallacy is that Obama will enact legislation to clamp down on the 270-million guns rampaging around the USA, permitted by God's decree. This is complete poppycock – in fact Obama signed laws permitting folks to bring weapons to state parks.

In fact, the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobby groups you will ever see, has packed their lot in with Republican candidate Mitt Romney – who signed a law in 2004, as governor of Massachusetts, that banned assault weapons.

There isn't one bullet of proof or even an indication that Obama will do anything about gun rights. In fact, the issue has become so contentious that Democrats hardly run on this issue anymore.
 
Send your kids to college – for secular indoctrination

According to CBS, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said (on conspiracy theorist nut) Glenn Beck's TV show that Obama wanted American kids to go to college (university) to be indoctrinated into a secular worldview.

There are plenty of issues to take from this statement, but let's crack on with the blatantly obvious ones.

Firstly, secularism is hardly the point of college. Obama, like a majority of people in the US know that university degrees enable a greater step towards employment, that higher education is beneficial to the economy and success of a country, and that many kids’ career dreams are dependent on a college degree.

It's probably also worth pointing out that Obama has maintained that people should not necessarily go to college, but that all American kids should have the opportunity.

Also, isn't it a possibility that the secular ideology might be a legitimate point of view? It is not conclusive that college turns folks from singular religious beliefs to secularism, but more likely opens up new points of view.

In the land of the free it’s ok to be exposed to information and make up your own mind. If a point of view is so flimsy that a few years at college destroy it, it might not have been all that strong to begin with.

Again, there’s no proof that Obama is trying to indoctrinate the nation into secularism – plus, he’s Muslim, remember?
 
Obama is a communist

This unfortunately is an allegation levelled at every Democrat, most likely because they are reputed to believe the state has a role to play in administering the US, often funded through taxation.

It’s also a nice loaded term to throw at anyone who disagrees with you. Weirdly enough, though, some famous Republicans - Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan (Reagan also temporarily raised taxes to plug deficits – also believed the government was able to further projects, particularly infrastructure, in spite of public utterances to the contrary.

Obama has actually sustained a payroll tax cut, and extended a series of tax cuts enacted under his predecessor. He also appealed to congress to pass legislation to cut corporate taxes by seven percentage points to 28%. While that’s still fairly high it’s hardly deleting the principle of free enterprise.

Indeed, Obama has pushed for extending welfare benefits, but that’s not exactly the same thing as forbidding private salaries and handing out people a ration of food every week.

While many aspects of what Obama is implementing, including his healthcare plan, lean left in ideology they are not communist. Just go and ask anyone who lived under Chairman Mao.
 
And Romney?

And then there are, of course, the odd bunch of conspiracy theorists who hate all over Mitt Romney due to his Mormon faith.

There are those who claim Mormonism is a cult – that's pretty difficult to prove in a religion than has branched out again and again and again.

The Mormon church's stances against black priests was rescinded in 1978, historically quite recently, but there is no proof of Romney outwardly exhibiting racist tendencies. The modern Mormon church also outlaws polygamy, contrary to popular belief.

And before any conspiracy theorists claim Romney is coming to Mormonise the government, Mormons have held senior positions in congress, most notably current Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
 
So this nonsense should be dropped. Barack Obama has three and a half years as president to pick apart. Romney has a reign as governor of Massachusetts and a famous career at Bain Capital.
 
Obama has a high national unemployment rate that he hasn't yet reined in. Economic growth is sluggish. His administration invested over $500m in a solar power technology company that then filed for bankruptcy and laid off all its employees.

Under his presidency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives attempted to plant and then track weapons to drug cartels operating in northern Mexico, except no tracking happened which means the gangsters got the weapons anyway.

Romney has a record of spending – as governor of Massachusetts and when he was put in charge of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 – yet is running on a platform of cutting spending.

He has changed his mind on some key electoral issues like gun control. He created and implemented a healthcare plan for Massachusetts on which the Obama administration based their healthcare plan, but he is running to repeal it.
 
And these are hardly exhaustive lists.
 
Neither candidate really needs conspiratorial allegations with no evidence to be criticised. I assure you.
 

- News24
Read more on:    barack obama  |  simon williamson  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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