Over at Salon.com, Alex Koppleman has an interesting story about the still-bubbling controversy over Barack Obama’s birth certificate — and why it doesn’t matter that said controversy was debunked months ago.
See, Obama was born in Hawaii, but a very persistent subset of right-wing lunatics insists he wasn’t — the truth, they claim, is that he was actually born in Kenya as part of some elaborate Manchurian Candidate scheme to install a secret Muslim in the White House nearly five decades later. (Which worked out spectacularly well, I have to say.)
You can disprove that story pretty easily, but as Koppleman points out, it doesn’t matter — actual, factual evidence won’t do a thing to change people’s minds on something like this:
“There’s no amount of evidence or data that will change somebody’s mind,” says Michael Shermer, who is the publisher of Skeptic magazine and a columnist for Scientific American, and who holds an undergraduate and a master’s degree in psychology. “The more data you present a person, the more they doubt it … Once you’re committed, especially behaviorally committed or financially committed, the more impossible it becomes to change your mind.”
I mean, I think these people are just plain nuts — driven by a combination of unacknowledged racism and open rage to reject the results of the election by any means available. The validity of said means is pretty much irrelevant; as we’ve seen in recent years, if you say something often enough, and loudly enough … well, you can get a lot of people to believe it.