Birtherism Writ Large

TPM Reader RW on birthright citizenship …

In some sense, birthright citizenship is birtherism writ large–Obama is the son of a non-American born on American soil. It draws attention to Obama’s alleged “foreign” origins. It isn’t a mere stalking horse–in other countries, including, until recently Germany, the child of a male citizen and a female non-citizen was a citizen but the child of a female citizen and a male non-citizen was not a citizen. Although equal protection would likely prohibit such an interpretation here, attitudes like this are installed deep in some human psyches.

But more important it brings up the question upon which all of this madness, birtherism and the like turns. Will America forever be a white country? For any demographer, this question has answered itself for many years. But the very existence of Barack Obama has startled a significant part of the population into realizing what the rest of the world has known for some time–that the day fast approaches when America will no longer be majority white–not just in population, but in governance and culture. It is only through this prism that the the new political hysterics can be understood.