22 Times The 2016 Presidential Election Was A Dumpster Fire

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14. Birtherism 2.0

During Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency, Donald Trump repeatedly raised the issue of his place of birth. Though Obama was born in Hawaii, and released his birth certificate to that effect, Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts. Even after the long form certificate was obtained, the accusations continued. It seems that knowing Obama was the son of a Kenyan man was enough for Trump to doubt his origins. (Which is unsurprising, considering that Trump has previously accused a judge of bias simply because of his Mexican heritage.)

It’s been more than enough time to put this issue to rest. And Trump did, in a manner of speaking. But accountability has never been the Republican nominee’s strong suit. So rather than acknowledge that his beliefs were wrong, he decided to deflect blame. “Hillary Clinton and her 2008 campaign started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

As The New York Times reports, this statement is misleading if not wholly false. Clinton’s campaign may have emphasized the difference in Obama’s upbringing and history, but not his actual place of birth. And Trump only finished it in the sense that he finally let go of a falsehood that only he was holding on to. If proof were all he needed to stop deriding people of colour, he would’ve let go of the claim five years ago. But to congratulate himself on stopping spreading lies is a pretty low bar for decency.