The Slogan “Believe In America”: Translation, The Birthers Are Back In Town
Even after the release of his birth certificate, more Republicans than ever believe President Obama is foreign-born.
For most people, the “birther” conspiracy—centered on the belief that Barack Obama wasn’t a natural-born American citizen—ended when the president released his long-form birth certificate to the public last April. Birther claims were always bogus, but the release of the birth certificate was supposed to nail the coffin shut.
For a while, it did.
According to YouGov’s Adam Berinsky, the proportion of Americans who said that Obama was born in the United States rose from 55 percent before April 2011 to 67 percent afterward. Likewise, for Republicans—the group most likely to believe the conspiracy—the number who said Obama was born a citizen increased from 30 percent to 47 percent. Still low, but a real improvement.
Recently, Berinsky polled the question again, focusing on Republicans to see if their attitudes have changed in the ten months since the president released his birth certificate. Far from getting better, Republicans have actually doubled-down on the belief that Obama is foreign born:
Berinksy points to the durability of rumors in the face of lasting information as the culprit. As he writes, “Rumors tend to be sticky and merely repeating a rumor—even in the context of debunking that mistruth—increases its power.” Likewise, political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler have found that corrections often fail to reduce misperceptions among the target ideological group and that corrections can even backfire and strengthen false beliefs.
In addition to both factors, I wouldn’t be surprised if election-year rhetoric plays into it as well. Up until recently, the GOP hopefuls have struggled to distinguish themselves, and some candidates—like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich—have centered their attacks on the assumed “foreignness” of President Obama. The slogan “Believe in America,” for example, doesn’t actually make sense unless you assume that the president isn’t American enough to lead the country. And claims that Obama is a “Saul Alinsky radical” who “apologizes for America” and wants to adopt “European socialism” are nods to the myth that Obama is foreign-born (and thus, untrustworthy).
As the election heats up, and this rhetoric becomes more intense, I wouldn’t be surprised if the proportion of Republican birthers increases from its current high.
2 Comments »
Share This Blog
- “Hey, Liberals; SCOTUS Ain’t Your Friend”: Conservatives Literally Want To Roll Back The Judicial Clock To 1905 July 1, 2015
- “Supreme Court; If It’s Worth It For Corporations, Pollution May Be Okay”: EPA Can Only Regulate Pollution When It’s Cost-Effective July 1, 2015
- “The Voters Should Choose Their Representatives”: The Supreme Court’s Election Reform Ruling Is A ‘Big F-ing Deal’ July 1, 2015
- "The Right To Be Free From Guns": Those Who Want To Live, Shop, Go To School, And Worship In Gun-Free Spaces Also Have Rights
- "When Even NASCAR Won't Defend The Confederate Flag...": The Debate, For All Intents And Purposes, Is Over
- "The Supreme Court’s Ruling Be Damned": Ted Cruz Isn’t Taking The Marriage Ruling Well
- "Must Vow To Never, Ever, Betray The Conservative Cause": GOP Candidates Will Now Have To Promise Supreme Court Litmus Tests
- "Enlightenment On Confederate Flag Was Long Overdue": This American Swastika Is Unfit For Human Consumption
- "Stochastic Terrorism": Did The Four Dissenting Justices In Gay Marriage Case Just Suggest Treason?
Affordable Care Act African Americans Bain Capital Bush Tax Cuts Citizens United Congress Conservatives Contraception Corporations Debt Ceiling Democracy Democrats Economic inequality Economy Eric Cantor Florida Foreign Policy Fox News George W. Bush GOP Government Shutdown Gun Control Health Exchanges Health Insurance House Republicans Immigration Immigration Reform Iraq War Jobs John Boehner John McCain Koch Brothers Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio media Medicaid Medicaid Expansion Medicare Middle Class Minorities Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney National Security Newt Gingrich NRA ObamaCare Paul Ryan Politics Poor and Low Income Poverty Racism Rand Paul Republicans Rick Perry Rick Santorum Right Wing Ronald Reagan Rush Limbaugh SCOTUS Senate Social Security Spending Cuts Tax cuts Taxes Tax Revenue Tea-party Teaparty Ted Cruz Texas Unemployment uninsured Voter Suppression Wall Street War on Women Wealthy
- “Hey, Liberals; SCOTUS Ain’t Your Friend”: Conservatives Literally Want To Roll Back The Judicial Clock To 1905 mykeystrokes.com/2015/07/01/hey…----------- 4 hours ago
- “Supreme Court; If It’s Worth It For Corporations, Pollution May Be Okay”: EPA Can Only Regulate Pollution When… mykeystrokes.com/2015/07/01/sup…----------- 4 hours ago
- RT @pourmecoffee: 49 years ago today Medicare took effect. "When Medicare launched, nobody had any clue whether it would work" http://t.co/…----------- 5 hours ago
- RT @GinsburgJobs: John Roberts is an evil genius: How he convinced liberal America that the Supreme Court is “just right” http://t.co/zjWhN…----------- 5 hours ago
- "@cnnbrk: Macy's is pulling Donald Trump brand merchandise from its stores after controversial remarks. cnn.it/1U8321e"----------- 5 hours ago
- 201,053 hits