President Obama's pitch for a military strike in Syria looked so politically clueless that he left supporters and foes alike scratching their heads: What was he thinking? For some, the answer was obvious. Because every conspiracy theory ever concocted about the President — from him being a secret Muslim agent sent from Kenya to take over the government to gay-sex-and-cocaine binges in the backseats of limousines — all make perfect sense if you simply accept the foundational supposition that Obama hates America.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Sunday, Norman Podhoretz argued that Syria showed the swift collapse of American global influence, which was all part of Obama's plan."His foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish," Podhoretz wrote. This international success follows Obama's great domestic success, which he concealed by "singing the praises of the free-enterprise system he was assiduously working to undermine." On Monday, Rush Limbaugh picked up this idea and ran with it. "[Obama's] always able to convince people he's trying to build this country, he's trying to save this country, trying to revitalize it, while he's doing just the exact opposite," Limbaugh said. By Thursday, Limbaugh was linking the Syria controversy to every other piece of the Obama agenda. Americans are "so appalled and opposed to Obamacare, Obama's economic policies, amnesty, illegal immigration with impunity," Limbaugh said, "because it is a direct assault on the very foundation and fundamentals of the creation and the founding of this country."
Tying Obama's diplomatic embarrassment to all his other policies is easy, because all Obama conspiracy theories rest on the same idea. That Obama is a secret Muslim, or a secret Kenyan, or a religion-hating atheist, or a black radical, are all attempts to explain why Obama hates America so much. The anti-Americanism of the president of the United States is accepted as fact. All the theories — from the mainstream, like Obamacare is a socialist takeover, to the fringe, like Obama saluted the flag with his crotch — rest on this premise. We have mapped them all below.
Some of these conspiracy theories are more familiar than others. You've probably heard about the New Black Panther Party — a small group that was accused of voter intimidation in 2008, which some theorists think Obama refused to prosecute for nefarious reasons. But if you are the regular recipients of right-wing email forwards (lucky us!) there are so, so many others you might not have heard of, such as:
Obama's crotch salute. A photo supposedly show a group of people putting their hands over their hearts during the national anthem, while Obama keeps his hands clasped together over his crotch. "One would expect Obama to pretend to love his country and respect his office at least until after the election," the blog Tea Party at Perrysburg wrote last year. "He should have to explain to the voters why he refuses to salute the flag. What an embarrassment!" (The photo was taken during "Hail to the Chief."
Stevens was supposed to be kidnapped. What happened in Benghazi? One conspiracy theory is that Obama colluded with terrorists to stage Ambassador Chris Stevens's kidnapping in Benghazi. Obama plotted to then arrange a prisoner exchange with the terrorists for the Blind Sheikh — an October surprise that would win him the 2012 election. But the kidnapping went wrong, the theory goes. (Obama won anyway.)
Gay sex. A couple authors claim Obama had a gay lover and murdered him. Obama hid his true sexuality to become president, they claim. This was hidden by the media, who did not "vet" Obama in 2008. This claim is often linked with race. Sample: "Ten years ago, The New York Times reported on a growing underground subculture in the black community known as Down Low, comprised largely of men who secretly engage in homosexual activity while living 'straight' lives in public." You might be asking, what does loving gay sex have to do with hating America? Allow WND to continue: "It’s within that subtext that opposition researchers for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign began investigating rumors that Rev. Jeremiah Wright was running a 'matchmaking service' for members of his Trinity United Church of Christ known as the Down Low Club, which included Barack Obama."
Latino vote. Obama and Democrats support an immigration overhaul to bring in tons more Latino voters, who tend to vote Democratic, and keep them Democrats by making them dependent on the welfare state.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.