by Tonyaa Weathersbee, BlackAmericaWeb.com
I guess Donald Trump doesn’t see why the Koch brothers get to have all the fun.
For some time now, the ultra-conservative billionaire brothers have been bankrolling the Tea Party – a movement of anti-government white people who don’t mind working against their best interests so that rich people can get richer.
But while Charles and David Koch have found a place with the tea baggers, Trump, the billionaire and potential GOP candidate, has hopped on the crazy mobile with yet another group of disaffected white people.
Those people would be the birthers – people who are bent on not allowing reality to disrupt their notions of white supremacy.
They are people who are obsessed with trying to prove that President Obama can’t be legit; that for a black man to have won such a high office in a nation that, up until 2008, they thought only people like them had a right to rule, there must have been some chicanery involved.
And they’re mostly Republicans.
Back in February, Public Policy Polling found that 51 percent of likely GOP 2012 primary voters believe that Obama was born outside of the United States. No matter that Obama’s birth certificate is posted online or that Politifact.com and other fact-checking organizations have actually examined the original one. Or that his birth on Aug. 4, 1961 was announced in not one, but two Hawaii newspapers.
The people who don’t believe the president was born here (or who have doubts that he was born here) are pretty much like the old white ladies who clutch their purse tighter or get off the elevator when a black man gets on. It doesn’t matter if he is wearing a suit or paying more attention to his Blackberry than to them.
All that matters to them is that he’s a black man who has no right to scare them by daring to be in their space.
That’s the way birthers feel about a black man being in their White House. Obama’s presence there has made them crazy.
And when that many people allow racism to make them stupid, for Trump, that means there’s a whole new population of ignoramuses to exploit.
In 2009, right after Obama was elected, the Tea Party movement was formed. It’s a movement that, for the most part, caters to white people who have decided that since a black man runs the government, they no longer want to do what’s needed to make it run – like pay taxes. No matter that those taxes support Medicare and other programs they rely on.
The Koch brothers don’t like taxes either. So they’re cool with bankrolling the tea partiers’ animus against the president – because they can buy their own motorized carts.
So now, we have Trump and the birthers.
What’s sad is that if Trump truly believes that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., that may actually endear him to some Republicans. In a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of likely GOP primary voters, he tied for second place with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Against that surreality, Trump doesn’t seem like a loony, but as an empathizer with enough money and energy to hire investigators, to go on television shows and to add legitimacy to their absurdities – as if his money and mouth can turn a lie into the truth.
Yet, I don’t believe that Trump has discovered birtherism as much as he’s discovered what the Koch brothers have found: A sizable population of fearful white people to pimp. By doing so, The Donald stays in the spotlight.
And if you’re a billionaire whose flamboyancy has played – and continues to play – a huge role in building your empire, the spotlight is never a bad thing.