Recently, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee repeated statements about President Obama that were disproven before the last election. In one interview, Huckabee falsely claimed that Obama had been raised in Kenya; in another, Huckabee implied that Obama had attended a madrassa as a child. Huckabee is not stupid, and he must know that both of these claims had been thoroughly investigated and proven false.
While it’s not shocking for politicians to slander their opponents, two aspects of this story are especially troubling.
First, Huckabee’s statements seem to be an attempt to appeal to the fears and prejudices of the worst elements of the Republican base.
Second, this is further evidence that the truth no longer matters in American politics. “Birthers” refuse to believe Obama was born in the U.S., despite having seen his birth certificate. In 2009, opponents of the health care reform law repeated lies about the legislation that were widely believed. Climate change deniers continue to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting man-made climate change.
Sensible people change their opinions when contradicted by facts; honest people do not make statements they know are false.