Someone always has to lose, and in 2008, it was the Republican ticket. Many were simply devastated at the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States. It was a time of great uncertainty in the country. Our military was fully engaged in two major wars, the economy was struggling mightily, and a man had just been elected who promised to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America.
Given the intense emotions of a presidential campaign cycle, many appropriately entered into a process known as the five stages of grief. The first stage of grief, of course, is denial.
Some simply couldn’t accept the fact that Obama had won the election fair and square and in an entirely legitimate manner. There had to be a way out before 2012. There were rumors in the media (which were in part circulated by the Hillary Clinton campaign) about the president’s place of birth, with some speculating that Obama was engaged in a massive cover-up. And just like that, some were given false hope that there was a way to delegitimize Barack Obama’s election. Shortly after Obama stepped into office, the birther movement caught fire.
The birther movement gave hope to the possibility that Obama could be thrown out of office at a moment’s notice. After all, only a natural-born citizen can serve as president of the United States. Conspiracy theorists claimed that Obama’s true place of birth was Kenya. If the birth certificate conspiracy could be proven correct, Obama would be constitutionally ineligible to serve. It was the apparent lifeline that untold numbers gripped to when they refused to face the fact that Barack Obama was going to be their president.
Fast-forward to today, and you’ll see significant parallels in the “Trump-Russia” conspiracy theories.
Similar to the birthers, the Trump-Russia conspiracy theorists refuse to recognize the fact that Donald Trump is their president and that he won the election fair and square. The “Trump-Russia” crowd, just like the birthers, seeks legal means to delegitimize his presidency through finding proof of “collusion.” They estimate that this would trigger impeachment proceedings and would result in the president’s resignation or removal from office.
If Trump is indeed a shill for the Russians, as many on the Left claim, he’s not doing a very good job at it. His foreign policy has become very much opposed to Moscow’s interests, from his arming of Ukraine and other NATO allies to his actions against Russian allies in Syria and Iran.
On top of that, not a single piece of evidence has surfaced that even hints at the possibility that the president teamed up with the Russians to win the election. Tales of collusion fall apart as fast as they surface, but that hasn’t stopped the legacy media and Democrats in Congress from constantly discussing this White House as if Trump’s days in office are numbered.
The last stage of grief is acceptance. Everyone would be better off accepting that Donald Trump will in all likelihood serve out at least one full term, just as Obama served his two. Both men won an election honestly. There’s simply no evidence that either conspiracy — whether that’s the birther movement or “Trump-Russia” — has any grounding in reality.