Once in awhile, instead of taking my usual route home from the petting zoo, I'll motor down Memorial Drive on its unremarkable path through the eastern suburbs of Atlanta. Perhaps the most notable thing about the road is that although everybody still calls it "Memorial Drive," officially it is the "Cynthia McKinney Parkway." This doesn't sit well with a lot of people.
As the linked article mentions, McKinney once suggested that President George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance. So there it is, folks, you can drive a major thoroughfare in a large American city, from the state capitol building in downtown Atlanta all the way out to Stone Mountain, on a road named after a conspiracy theorist.
I was thinking of that the other day in regard to the current fiasco of these dips who are convinced that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, in spite of official documents and newspaper announcements that show he shot out of his mother's womb in Hawaii.
This now makes three presidents in a row we've had that attracted speculation by tin foil hat wearers. Before the "Obama Birthers" and the "Bush Knew" crowd, we had Bill Clinton, who was accused by nutcases of having orchestrated the deaths of Vince Foster and Ron Brown. There wasn't a shred of evidence to support such musings, and besides, if Clinton was that evil why do Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, and Monica Lewinsky still walk the earth?
So why has this happened? Why can't we have anybody, Republican or Democrat, in the White House without some yo-yos screeching that the Commander in Chief isn't who or what he says he is?
I blame it on Chris Carter. He is the creator of "The X-Files," and as the wikipedia entry for this television series declares:
"The show was a hit for the Fox network, and its characters and slogans (e.g., "The Truth Is Out There", "Trust No One", "I Want to Believe") became pop culture touchstones in the 1990s. Seen as a defining series of its era, The X-Files tapped into public mistrust of governments and large institutions, and embraced conspiracy theories and spirituality, as it centered on efforts to uncover the existence of extraterrestrial life."
Accusing Clinton, G.W., or Obama of being extraterrestrials would be a stretch. Blaming them for keeping from America evidence we'd been visited by beings from other planets would be less of a reach, but still beyond what could get you a mention on respectable news outlets.
But a dark cabal that kills the President's rivals? A President who knew in advance that an attack on American soil was coming? A conspiracy to keep the world from knowing the President was born in a foreign land and thus constitutionally ineligible to hold office? Ah, now we're getting somewhere! These are thoughts that can be expressed without concern that the one uttering them will get tossed into a rubber room.
Chris Carter delighted a generation of people living in their parent's basements by putting on a program that made Fox Mulder and the Lone Gunmen heroes. Everything was a conspiracy, it was always just slightly beyond the ability of Mulder and Sculley to completely unravel it. Because, of course, whenever they got close the government would add new wrinkles to their nefarious schemes. I'm just guessing here, but don't you suppose that most of the "Bush Knew" and "Obama Birthers" probably would list "The X-Files" as one of their three all-time favorite TV programs?
Well if you're ever in Atlanta, be sure to make the trip east on the Cynthia McKinney Parkway to Stone Mountain. As you no doubt are aware, beneath the mountain is a government installation where they study extraterrestrial life and produce forged birth certificates.