A couple of weeks ago, four Republicans in the New Hampshire Senate acknowledged and supported a group of Birthers who are requesting to convene a hearing in order to have President Obama taken off the presidential ballot for 2012.
While the issue of Obama's nationality seems to be a rather hackneyed one, I revisit it because a lot of Americans seem to be rearranging the chairs on the Titanic as we experience a general long-term decline in the global economy—and the core root of this division is seen not just amongst groups like Birthers, but also in our own communities and even households.
Justification of spending money and political clout on the issue should serve as an alarm bell, and is demonstrative of all the negative things America has become known for: Excessive waste and a decline in productivity. Think of the gross waste of energy and time that the Birther Movement—and movements like it—have demanded.
I don't believe it is just a coincidence that issues like the obsession over our president's nationality gains momentum as the American economy is still challenged. While it would not be responsible to claim causation, it is possible that the z variable—which is the inclination to sacrifice productivity for our own prejudices or clear reason—connects the two.
The longevity of the birther issue is just one tragedy in which the resources that we do have are not working for us. Imagine where we could be if people could look past their own prejudices and support the man who has been given the authority of the presidency in his effort to support the people.
I am not sure if the Birthers and their allies in the New Hampshire Senate really believe in their cause, but I cannot help but to imagine how much better America would be if Americans could let go of the irrational politicking—which often gives the field of politics a bad name.
We all know the Birther issue is a dead one, a tragedy of resources, talent, and time. However I broach the topic because this example is an opportunity to shake our heads in frustration and then look at our own lives to begin to identify where we provide a microcosm of sorts.
Where in our own lives are we holding up progress because we refuse to let go of our irrational yet deeply ingrained prejudices? Because we refuse to admit we're wrong? Because we don't want to lose the argument? Or because we hold on with the death grip to the agenda of self-promotion?
Politics has become a game where right and wrong, true and false dichotomies are irrelevant, and resources are spent not to improve lives as the single greatest priority, but rather to improve campaigns. And look where we are now. I encourage members of this community to examine politics and see it as a cautionary tale for our collective and individual lives.