The major conservative and liberal media networks have found one thing to agree about: birthers are wackos, freaks and raving lunatics, to be avoided at all costs. The mainstream liberal pundits poke fun at the “conspiracy theories” they turn out in endless succession, and conservative writers bemoan the way they waste their energies on irrelevant issues and detract from the credibility of conservatism. Unfortunately, the stigma that has been attached to these doubters has prevented many of their very valid concerns from receiving the media attention they deserve and has forced the natural-born citizen skeptics into an ignominious corner of public affairs where they can be comfortably avoided by respectable people.

Obviously, not all birthers are created equal: there’s birthers and then there’s birthers. Overall, though, the birthers have a lot of serious questions to ask about the Obama administration and the President of the United States, if only we can bring ourselves to pay attention to them.

However, regardless of whether or not their concerns turn out to be valid, it is a fatal mistake to shrug off the birthers as pursuing a “pointless” aim or to condemn them for distracting the American people from the damage that President Obama is doing to the union. On the contrary, it could be said that the birthers have hit upon the very crux of the matter of President Obama’s alarming authoritarianism.

Whether the birth certificates that the president has released are fraudulent or not, the doubters have a legitimate reason to be perturbed: it took President Obama three years to provide his evidence, and when he did so he did it in an arrogant and condescending manner. “We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” he said. “We’ve got better stuff to do.” Better stuff to do than assuring the American people that their Constitution has not been violated by their president? Better stuff to do than complying with the legal requirements of the nation that has elected you to be its leader? I think not.

Furthermore, there has been a slew of worrying claims leveled against the birth certificates that were finally released, and some of these are disturbing enough and compelling enough to merit some consideration and independent research at the very least.

In the first of a few examples, Breitbart has released some unsettling information this week. As Mark Steyn puts it:

“the lunatic theory that Barack Obama doesn’t meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be President of the United States was first advanced by Barack Obama’s official representative.”

CBS News reported several weeks ago that Arizona Sheriff Joe announced that his six-month investigation had found that “probable cause exists indicating that forgery and fraud may have been committed” in the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate.

Controversial journalist Jerome Corsi claimed last year that moles in the Department of Health in Hawaii say the birth certificate which the president ultimately released in 2011 was not present in the department records just a few weeks before it was released.

When investigators commissioned by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to examine Barack Obama’s eligibility for office went to look through the Immigration and Naturalization Service travel records, they found that the records for the week of Obama’s birth were missing.

Is Barack Obama a natural-born citizen? Is the birth certificate that he released three years after his election a valid document or a forgery?  We may never know the answers to these questions, but we should be able to expect our president to take our laws seriously and to respond with grace and understanding to challengers who demand further proof that he is who he claims to be.

Bryana Johnson | @HighTideJournal