Every now and then, with all of the troubles around the world, it is easy for many of us to begin to question whether there really is a God out there. We are taught that God works in mysterious ways, so we don’t necessarily expect him to just make every problem on earth simply disappear. When things are bleak, quite often all we are looking for is some sign that he is out there, so that we may maintain our faith and hope. Today, God gave us a sign not only that he is out there, but he also has a great sense of humour.
Many people associated with the “Tea Party” in the United States, a loose affiliation of extreme fiscal and social conservatives, have long questioned whether Barack Obama was eligible to run for president. They helped fuel a type of conspiracy theory that President Obama was not actually born in the United States. The theory was that his mother gave birth to him in Indonesia, then later somehow falsified his birth certificate to make it look like he was born in Hawaii. As the Tea Party movement grew, so did the “birther” movement, eventually forcing the president publicize his birth certificate and as well as a copy of a birth announcement from a Hawaii newspaper. This helped to quell the issue but by no mean extinguished it.
The questions regarding Obama’s birth have always been dripping with irony. His first presidential opponent, John McCain, was actually born along the Panama Canal. His next opponent, Mitt Romney, actually embraced those who were fueling the conspiracy theory around Obama’s place of birth even though his own father was both born in Mexico and ran for president. But nothing could have been as comically ironic as the darling of the Tea Party, Ted Cruz, seeking the presidency despite being born in Canada.
Keep in mind that it is not a rumor or an accusation that Cruz was born in Canada; he himself has been quite open about it, but asserts that because his mother was born in the United States (his father is from Cuba) that makes him a natural born citizen. Nobody has ever disputed that Obama’s mother was a US citizen, but yet huge numbers of Tea Party supporters felt that if he were born in another country he should be ineligible to run for president. Most of these same people, with the notable exception of Donald Trump, are now enthusiastically supporting the Canadian born Ted Cruz for president.
If Ted Cruz’s campaign accomplishes nothing else, it will at least help to have exposed how absurd and shameful the entire birther conspiracy was. If Barack Obama’s skin was the same colour as Ted Cruz’s there would never have been a birther story to begin with. This is not to say that every Tea Party supporter who subscribed to the theory are racists. Most of them were simply mindless, fanatical hyper-partisans.