Trump’s conspiracy theories aren’t far outside GOP mainstream

NBC News reports: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has caused an uproar by repeatedly associating President Barack Obama with terrorism, raising questions about his citizenship and casting aspersions on his loyalty to the country — but what is often lost in all the outrage is the fact that the real estate mogul’s views are not that far outside the mainstream of conservative opinion.

While Trump has differentiated himself as the first presidential candidate to lend credence to conspiracy theories about Obama’s motives and background, his views are shared by a majority of Republican voters and have been for some time.

A recent NBC News Survey Monkey poll found that a whopping 72 percent of Republicans have doubts about Obama’s citizenship and 41 percent are emphatic that he was foreign born. Meanwhile, 31 percent are unsure if he is an American, leaving 27 percent who acknowledge that their country’s president was born in the U.S.

The fact that most rank-and-file Republicans refuse to accept the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate has long been something of an embarrassing open secret which prominent party leaders have chosen to sidestep. The reality is that even after the president begrudgingly released his long-form birth certificate — confirming that was born in Hawaii — to the public in April of 2011 to quash the rumors, it did little to shake conservatives’ steadfast belief that he is a fraud. [Continue reading…]

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