It’s a Mad, Mad World

Well, I see that a new poll has found that 51% of likely GOP primary voters believe Obama was not born in the United States. (The poll did not offer a breakdown between those who believe he’s Kenyan and those who don’t think Hawaii is part of the U.S.) The percentage of “birthers” was even higher among those with a positive impression of Sarah Palin.

It is really rather amazing to see the tenacity of this assertion, especially in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. Equally mystifying are the large numbers of Republicans who continue to insist that the President is a Muslim (many of the same people who condemned his former Christian pastor).

I think there is really a simple explanation for both accusations. We live at a time when it just isn’t considered acceptable to use the “N” word, or to be forthrightly bigoted against African-Americans. And that, at least, is progress. But it presents a dilemma for the folks whose real problem with the President is the color of his skin. Better–or so these folks evidently think–to cloak your racial animus by attributing your disapproval to the illegality of his election, or to your opposition to (okay, bigotry about) his “real” religion.

It must be really awful to live with so much fear of people who don’t look like you.

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