Submitted by Aaron Arkin.
Right off, I should tell you I’m very fond of conspiracy theories. For one, they save me a lot of time and trouble. Take Socialism for example. If you believe and fear (as I do) that one political party wants the US to become a socialist country and is pushing for increased regulation of private enterprise to accomplish this, then you won’t have to trouble yourself as to whether regulation is ever good and necessary: for example, the regulations that some people argue will protect people or the environment. In other words, you don’t have to worry about nuance (whatever the heck that is) or holding competing thoughts in your head at the same time. Even better, no need to research issues.
Another example: accept “big guy’s” assertion that the election was rigged, that he lost because of fraud on a grand scale, and you won’t be swayed by people arguing there are contradictions: such as how could fraud have been perpetuated in 50 independent States with 50 different Secretaries of State (some in the same party as “big guy”) all stating that the election was fair with no fraud on any scale that would affect the outcome? Neither will you be thrown by the lack of historical evidence of significant fraud in national elections, or that if there was widespread fraud, how come down-ballot candidates from “big guy’s” party did better than expected this time around? And, since you know there was obvious fraud, dismissing arguments tossed at you that “big guy” supported voter suppression is a no-brainer.
No, all you and I need to do is accept as a given that these fraudsters are clever, have cooked the historical books, bribed the Secretaries of State in every State where he lost, corrupted the vote counters and observers from both parties, got millions of unqualified voters on the rolls, and tossed a bone to down-ballot candidates of “big guy’s” party to give the election the appearance of legitimacy. Works for me.
Conspiracy theories have great utility. Name your issue and a conspiracy theory will explain it: immigration (gangs of rapists coming for your wives and daughters), systemic racism (no such thing, it’s communist propaganda and anyway, slaves were happy), Black Lives Matter (an anarchist-inspired movement), Covid-19 (a clever ploy to both enrich physicians and deprive us of our God-Given freedoms), Antifa (they’re really Nazis). And don’t forget those debased left-wing organizations (such asthe national child pornography ring hiding in plain sight inside pizza parlors). Tie people, issues and movements to a catchy-named conspiracy theory and the hard work is done.
People try to confuse me and throw me off my game all the time. They point to (even relish) inconsistencies, conflicting evidence, what they say are obvious lies, contradictory statements, etc. But I say, “You just don’t get it. These are quibbles: you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Hey, it works every time; they stop talking to me.
So you see, there is great elegance in subsuming events under the rubric of an overarching conspiracy theory. O.K., so maybe the pizza parlor thing didn’t pan out. Nothing’s perfect. I think I’m going to stop here: my head is beginning to hurt.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.