Jesse Jackson (in the Chicago Sun-Times): Donald Trump has risen to the top of the Republican presidential candidate ratings while campaigning on the nutty charge that President Obama isn’t American, that he is not legally qualified to be president.
The Trump effect has led others, like Sarah Palin, to start hedging their dismissal of these absurdities. If this continues, the Republican race could turn into a race for the muck.
…he’s riding a toxic wave by emitting poisonous charges he must know are not true. This nonsense about Obama’s birth is one of various efforts to label him as un-American, as alien. Some say he’s not a Christian, but a Muslim. Mike Huckabee muses on the Kenyan socialism Obama must have imbibed while growing up in Kenya, where he never lived.
This is an old and tawdry game. When Dr. King was challenging segregation, Southerners knew they couldn’t win the argument with him on equal rights or the right to vote. So they labeled him a communist. They said he was an outside agitator, even though his church was in Georgia. When he spoke out against Vietnam, they debated not his views, but his qualification even to have an opinion. He was a preacher, they scorned, not a foreign-policy expert, even though the experts got us into the debacle. For King, as for Obama, all this was simply a diversion, a way not to debate his ideas or his positions, but to dismiss them from consideration by slurring the messenger.
…We now know Donald Trump is happy to peddle a lie about America’s president. We know virtually nothing about his views on America’s course forward … Voters shouldn’t honor or reward him – or anyone – for that.
Full article here