Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Obama Releases Birth Certificate--Will It Work?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyApril 27, 2011 6:57 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

We already know that birthers are strongly committed to their wrongheaded views--which they hold for political and ideological reasons--and very driven to argue them. In this context, the White House's surprise decision to release the president's actual birth certificate may not have its intended effect. Motivated reasoning theory suggests that this will not work to change the minds of the most committed--rather, new excuses will be created for why Obama was not born in the U.S. (or, some other new favorable argument will be constructed). The White House's approach may, however, be successful in driving birtherism entirely out of polite discourse. If it is viewed as untouchable throughout the media, and unutterable by all serious elected Republicans, then that is still a victory. But while I'd be glad to be proven wrong, I don't really expect hardcore birthers to suddenly change their minds. Rather, I would expect to see goalpost shifting.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In