Yesterday, President Obama tried to dissuade Americans from getting distracted over whether he’s an American citizen. Then reality TV star and presidential hopeful Donald Trump quickly took credit for Obama’s move to release his long form birth certificate. Now Trump is flirting with the idea of prolonging the issue with concerns over the certificate’s authenticity and concerns over whether Obama should open up his academic records from his undergraduate work at Occidental College. Is the birther issue over? And how do conspiracy theories like these become full blown political issues?
By now, you've probably seen The Guardian newspaper's quiz, which asked takers to determine whether Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen or Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was responsible for a series of choice quotes like, "I have defeated this earthworm with my words – imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists." That, incidentally, was Charlie Sheen. The situation unfolding in Libya is certainly no joke; nor is Charlie Sheen's public meltdown. The point is that both Gadhafi and Sheen seem, at least to many armchair psychologists, to have one thing in common: mental illness.