The problem with conspiracy theories and our democracy
Last updated 11/20/2020 at 12:45pm
Here’s the problem I have with conspiracists. First, it’s a lazy grasp at intelligence. Second, personal accountability doesn’t exist for the conspiracist.
Accountability. There’s that word again.
I keep using it in my description of what ails our society in many ways – from student accountability to parental accountability, and now to societal accountability.
Remember that wild-talking community member who always had something to say about someone being out to get them? The FBI, the CIA or the government.
There were jokes about tinfoil hats and boarded up windows.
Sometimes you would hear, “You know, I heard Mr. So-and-so was taken away in handcuffs last night, I think maybe he was right and someone was out to get him.”
Then later, it turned out that Mr. So-and-so had robbed three people and was arrested by local police department.
It turns out Mr. So-and-so was a fraud, a liar and a thief.
End of story, wasn’t that fun?
Fast forward to 2020.
Mr. So-and-so has a Twitter account and, as seemingly impossible as it may seem, he’s the president of the United States of America.
In the years prior, Mr. So-and-so has run many baseless theories up the flagpole, widely proven to be false and discredited:
The Deep State.
Obama supported Isis.
The 75-year-old ANTIFA provocateur.
Ted Cruz’s father’s involvement in the assassination of JFK.
Joe Biden having Seal Team 6 killed.
Judge Scalia was murdered by pillow.
Hydroxychloroquine or go ahead and throw ingesting bleach in there.
And now his attempted coup of our nation’s election system – from the “Stop Counting!” to the “Keep Counting!” to the “Fake Votes!”
Of course, Twitter, try as the social media giant may, continually blocks the conspiracy content from reaching its intended audience. In response, Mr. So-and-so breaks every conceivable Hatch Act law by taking to the airwaves from the White House to spread false election information.
Mr. So-and-so, at last count, was trailing by more than 5 million votes in his bid for reelection and current projections giving his opponent 290 Election College votes, nevertheless, he continues on with his wild-flailing claims of “fraud” and “cheating” in American states where he is losing.
Oddly, however, Mr. So-and-so does not make the same claims about states in which he’s won or garnered more votes. Nor has he called for recounts in states where senators or representatives favorable to his cause have been victorious.
No, no, those votes are good, quality, non-fraudulent votes. Smirk.
And the lawsuits pile up – even though, already, his team has lost at least 10 of the bids.
In his battle to prove his conspiracy theories correct, he’s reached out to the folks who made his illegitimate presidency possible – his wayward flock – sorry, I mean – his supporter base.
In one day alone, the campaign sent more than 149 fundraising emails since 11 p.m. on election night, sometimes threatening and demanding, asking for donations to “fight voter fraud” and “the integrity of our elections.”
But, according to The New York Times, 60% of donations to the Trump campaign “election defense” fund would actually go to Trump’s “Save America” leadership PAC, a fund established to help finance other Republican candidates’ campaigns and Trump’s future role within the party.
In the fine print of a ploy by the campaign sent a week earlier, NBC News said, at least half of donations would go toward paying down his campaign debts.
Sounds legit, right?
Translation: “Give us your money to fight voter fraud, but also pay me back for what I lost in my election bid and help me retain relevance within the party that I failed with a resounding loss after an impeached one term in office.”
Oh, and there’s also the issue of the nine major impending lawsuits facing Mr. So-and-so once he’s skipped out in the middle of the night from People’s House.
I am guessing a little extra cash on hand will come help once he doesn’t have the taxpayer-funded help of Billy Barr in late January.
The fleecing is on – as if it ever stopped since 2016 – and he is doing it with a half-baked attempt at burning down the integrity of our elections for the benefit of his own personal wealth.
There’s the local angle that I am getting at – stop sending this loser candidate money. Just stop.
He hasn’t uncovered widespread voter fraud, especially when by “widespread” he means “in states he lost.”
The Brennan Center’s seminal report “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” confirmed that “most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless and that most of the few remaining allegations reveal irregularities and other forms of election misconduct. Numerous other studies, including one commissioned by the Trump administration, have reached the same conclusion.”
In other words, Mr. So-and-so is using American citizens – those that believed in him and ignored his many failures – unsurprisingly, to his personal benefit regardless of the damage it does to our union.
And that, above all else, is what he should be held accountable for.
The United States will recover from this, the system will correct the gray areas that allowed for this gross misuse of power, the American public will only remember Mr. So-and-so for what he is and has always been – the only proven fraud in the conversation and a stain on our country’s reputation with the rest of the world.
We must hold him accountable for all of that – at long last.
Go get him, Mrs. Vice President … he’s all yours.