Strong Majority of Trump Voters Still Think Obama Born in Kenya

A new poll of voters, most of which focused on Trump and the Russia investigation, found that 57% of those who voted for Donald Trump still believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. He begrudgingly admitted in a one-sentence statement that Obama was born in Hawaii during the campaaign, after five years of being one of the loudest of the Birthers.

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If you thought birtherism was over, you thought wrong.

Survey results released by YouGov Friday show that 51 percent of Republicans said they think former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, compared to just 14 percent of Democrats. Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election were especially convinced of Obama’s African origins: Fully 57 percent said it was “definitely true” or “probably true” that the 44th president came from Kenya.

I am becoming less and less convinced that the center can hold in American politics at all. Democracy requires compromise, but how do you reach a compromise with people who live in this kind of alternate reality? We live in a country so childish and absurd that “when I’m president you’ll be allowed to say Merry Christmas again” is actually a winning campaign promise. That’s depressing and enraging at the same time. Why must we pander to the most ignorant and reality-challenged and not to well-informed and thoughtful people? Oh yeah. Because there are a hell of a lot more of the former than there are of the latter. And being easily manipulated makes them powerful as a voting bloc.

Is it really possible to maintain a functioning democracy when half the country believes such things? My answer is more and more one of despair than of hope. And it shows you the staggering power of propaganda, tribalism and information isolation. These people live in a different reality because they really are surrounded by almost nothing but constant lies and false facts — all while dishonestly accusing the other side of their own worst sins.

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