Who says America lacks innovations to create new industries these days? Why, in just the past few months, a huge growth industry sprang up from nothing but a novel theory, and it quickly swept across the country.
It was a truly simple idea, namely that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.A. and, therefore, is not qualified to be president.
This humble theory gave birth to the "birther movement," whose diehards refuse to accept anything (such as facts) that might discredit their theory.
Originally the work of beyond-the-fringe goofballs, it rapidly metastasized into a "truth" propounded daily by right-wing radio yakkers and Internet-connected conspiracists.
Then it moved inside the GOP — in an orchestrated political stunt, Republicans in at least 13 state legislatures are pushing bills to require presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates. And most recently the birther theory emerged as the No. 1 national issue fueling Donnie Trump's cockamamie presidential campaign.
How absurd is The Donald? When a fed-up Obama finally shoved his Hawaiian birth certificate in the face of Trump and the whole birther circus, Donnie saw it as validation of his seriousness as a presidential contender.
"Today I'm very proud of myself," exclaimed the strangely coiffed ego who takes pride in being proud of himself every day, no matter how big a jerk he's been. Yessiree, you've got your George Washingtons, Thomas Jeffersons, Abe Lincolns, and both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelts, but who could (or would) touch Donnie Trump for true presidential greatness?
The Donald says he's still not convinced that Obama's birth certificate is legit. "I want to look at it," he sniffs, thus showing all of America what he's made of: silly putty.
Not quite the stuff for the White House, much less Mount Rushmore.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.