Blowing the Birther Whistle

When dangerous loon Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his tax-dollar-wasting posse unveiled their “evidence” against President Obama, it got me thinking: Have we finally reached a point where Birtherism is a good thing? I think so. In the beginning, it was a reflection of the racist need to discredit the first African-American President in history, and as such it became a touchstone to like-minded people throughout the country. (Not shockingly, though, it seems primarily a southern phenomenon.) After their ridiculous conspiracy theories were thoroughly debunked, it entered more of a distraction phase, used by fools to get attention. But now, I believe it has morphed into something that can serve a vital purpose: as a dog whistle heard only by laughable idiots.

Sound the Birther whistle, and they stick their heads up like predictable prairie dogs, making themselves presentable so we can see who they are and take note to never listen to their opinions again. You can even use it as a kind of outside-hosted social networking filter. Just try it: Wait until Arpaio’s nonsense is shared or retweeted, then unfriend/hide/unfollow at will. That’s one more fool you need no longer worry about.

Of course, some of you may think your friends could be swayed to reason. They can’t be racists, they even say they like Obama personally, don’t they? I tend to think this is a deflection, like saying “some of my best friends are Presidents”, but who knows?

I am skeptical that you will have any success, but feel free to try. I recommend first educating them about Brother William of Ockham, and the rule known as Ockham’s Razor. It tends to be the deciding factor against most conspiracy theories. Then perhaps work your way up an analytical chain, taking some logical baby steps to get them acclimated. Bigfoot isn’t really wandering the world’s forests. UFOs aren’t really abducting rural alcoholics. Gradually move up the ladder. Shakespeare wrote his own plays. The moon landing really happened. 9/11 was not planned by the U.S. government. Then maybe, just maybe, they’ll be in mental shape for the big leagues.

If all should fail in the end, don’t take it too hard. Restricting the movement of such people through social circles serves an important function in society. It limits the damage they can do, both literally and metaphorically, in terms of spreading their crazy ideas. Think of it as quarantine for thought disease. Besides, they’ll be happier out there in the wild, where they can frolic with their own kind. They’ll be happy as little gun-toting clams, plotting secession and discussing the paradise state they’ll create, where pregnant teen moms pray in home school before dying in botched back alley abortions.

Try to remember, though, they’re human beings too, of a sort. Sure, they lack critical thinking and have only rudimentary social awareness and reading comprehension, but genetically at least they are our family. They deserve to live with whatever shreds of dignity they have not already cast aside left intact.

So blow the whistle. But when you point and laugh, do so with compassion.

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