Conspiracy theory is a favorite weapon of the rising authoritarian. The most skilled and ultimately successful strongmen are able to wield conspiracy both as an offensive and defensive instrument. They use it both to legitimize those who sit on the extremes of society and then ostracize those who reside in the moderate center, the moral majority. It’s classic gaslighting and, no surprise, but it is a favorite tool of this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers that now sit at the controls of our nation.
Take Donald Trump as an example. Trump’s political rise was birthed by his embrace of conspiracy. Legitimizing the deplorables of society by giving a mainstream voice to a baseless race baiting accusation that the first Black President of the United States was born outside of the country. More so Trump proclaimed, it’s your worst dreams come true because he has proof that proof exists that Barack Hussein Obama is actually a secret Muslim born in and therefore loyal to the barbaric cause of a shithole African country!
Gurrrl please, Trump’s twitter avatar may as well wear a tin foil hat. His feed and timeline a virtual opus of dog whistles and baseless accusation against the deep state. That he now uses conspiracy to divide and assault our perception of Antifa, the Clinton’s or Epstein’s death, is par for the course.
What is unique about the coordinated response to Epstein’s death is how Trump and the GOP mouthpieces are able to fan both sides of the conspiracy with this one trigger. On the one hand you see Twitler using his favorite medium to sling some serious red meat fodder; his very contribution to the #ClintonBodyCount. On the other side we see clickbait headlines strewn across social media and the echo chamber of right wing talking points making the Sunday rounds bemoaning the “mainstreaming of conspiracy theory.” A carefully orchestrated symphony of disinformation.
Ridiculous. Epstein’s death is not what brought about the birth of mainstream conspiracy theories. Donald Trump is the one and only birther of all such things conspiracy theory.
Like all bullies this administration’s plan is to use false equivalents and misdirection to marginalize, delegitimize and, if necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Doing so allows them to present alternative facts and declare phony national emergencies, only now without the alternatives or independent oversight. Lies then become truth, and conspiracy and perception reality.