Editorial: Obama born on Chinese warship off Peru’s coast?
At some point this “birtherism” becomes a significant question about American democracy. Are we becoming better informed or less well informed in the “information age”? What are the limits to “urban legend” and “suburban legend”, if any? To what extent do politicians try to ride the “coattails” of these type of legends? Will we see (or experience and not see) more active efforts by “mainstream” political players to organize or more actively exploit this sort of thing? On the “birther” matter specifically, how will this play out with simultaneous campaigns in the US and Kenya in 2012?
I am sure that most Americans who have lived in Kenya recently have experienced strange incidents of people telling them stories or asking questions about Obama being born in Kenya. I had a prominent lawyer from Texas tell me about how in Kenya it was common knowledge that Obama was born there and that there was a “big monument” to reflect this–and that he had been told this by “African-Americans”. I had to explain that I had lived in Kenya for a year during the 2008 American and Kenyan presidential campaigns and managed to completely miss this while I was there.