There’s an argument to be had about President Obama’s record and the course he’s set for our nation. There’s also an argument to be had about his leadership and his willingness, or lack thereof, to unite our nation.
However, when the president travelled to Orlando, Florida to address the Disabled American Veterans’ convention on Friday, some of the protesters who lined his motorcade resurrected the infamous "birther" cause, only further detracting from the integrity of American debate.
Namely, one woman without anything more productive to say, held a sign that read: “Kenyan Go Home.”
The vast majority of Americans dismiss this conspiracy theory because of its blatant invalidity and irrelevance to the real issues facing the nation. It is an insult to President Obama, and it demeans the positions of those who oppose the president for practical reasons.
Those who still cling to the hope that the president wasn't born in the United States are behaving in a way that is actually counterproductive to their interests. No rational person will subscribe to an argument that President Obama has been an unsuccessful president because he isn't constitutionally qualified – there is adequate proof that he indeed is. Republicans cannot advance their cause by fabricating technical flaws in their opponents. Advancing the birther phenomenon only cheapens Republicans' credibility, even if only a few delusional protesters are the ones doing it.
Democrats, too, are guilty of clinging to trivial arguments to undermine their adversaries. Dwelling on Mitt Romney's "binder full of women" comment and then claiming that Republicans are waging a war on women did not contribute to the national dynamic.
The worst part about these claims isn't that they insult those who they attack.
Americans should be actively critical of President Obama and all other government leaders – it is essential to democracy. Protest is likewise a productive way to express discontentment and those who lined the streets of Orlando have both the perogative and the responsibility to voice their opinions. That said, when someone tells the President of the United States to go back to Kenya, he or she is doing no one any favors and only contributes to the nation's problems.