When popular opinion is fuelled by good sense and sane laws then popular opinion can serve us well. When it’s fuelled by conspiracy theories it can serve us poorly. It can lead us to reach bad conclusions about historical events, like the Kennedy assassination or the moon landings or the attacks of 9/11.
And sometimes the consequences of conspiracy theories can be deadly. They can lead us to think that the side effects to vaccines are somehow worse than the diseases they cure, that global warming is a hoax and we don’t need to recycle, that racism isn’t a real problem, that it’s a scam of the “woke.” People actually lose their lives every single day because of these conspiracy theories, and there is every indication that conspiracy theories are increasing in number at an alarming rate.
We are, in short, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and I am not talking for once about coronavirus. Conspiracy theories are a major sociological problem and they are going viral thanks to the internet. Conspiracy theories — such as the 2020 election was rigged or that masks and social distancing are taking away our Constitutional freedoms or that coronavirus vaccines have a microchip in them — are being cynically and deliberately employed to powerful effect by the Republican Party.
Nothing new about politicians lying to get their way. In a nation with a significant portion of the economy governed by advertising dollar$, we might think folks had already figured that out. But, on one hand [this is strictly subjective], I think advertisers simply can’t getaway with lying as much as life before the Internet. On the other hand…the article even suggests this…the Internet swallows up any critical evaluation of information that might straighten out the gullible and spits crap back out as fact…when offered by cultural heroes of no value whatsoever. Like the meathead up top of this post.
One of the more ironic aspects of Donald Trump’s improbable election win in 2016 was that many of his supporters declared they were voting for him because unlike career politicians, he actually told the truth. In reality, of course, he lied about everything all the time. Whether it was a big lie like the one about how Mexico was going to pay for his wall; a weird lie like the one about having been named Michigan’s “Man of the Year”; an insane lie like the one about windmills causing cancer; a sad, pathetic lie like the one about his inauguration crowd being bigger than Barack Obama’s; or a truly WTF lie like the one about the Boy Scouts of America calling to tell him his crazy speech in front of thousands of children was the best one they’d ever heard, the man spent his entire time in office lying through his caps, to the tune of 30,573 lies in four years. (Or 7,643 lies a year, or 21 lies a day.)…
The Save America PAC “is probably the most lucrative thing he’s had in terms of cash flow since the Plaza casino in Atlantic City,” Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer, told the Post. “This is just as lucrative. He has recognized because of what happened after the election—he can make money as a candidate.”
Sad, but, true. In this case, the old aphorism still counts. You get what you paid for. Give some of your money to a proven crook…you may discover, later, he kept milking your bank account…like the dumbass cow who doesn’t notice they’ve been switched from the milking barn to the slaughterhouse..
This is the first time I ever heard Brian Williams say, “It’s all crap!”
Thanks, Neil deGrasse-Tyson
By Luke Mogelson
Balazs Gardi for The New Yorker
By the end of President Donald Trump’s crusade against American democracy—after a relentless deployment of propaganda, demagoguery, intimidation, and fearmongering aimed at persuading as many Americans as possible to repudiate their country’s foundational principles—a single word sufficed to nudge his most fanatical supporters into open insurrection. Thousands of them had assembled on the Mall, in Washington, D.C., on the morning of January 6th, to hear Trump address them from a stage outside the White House. From where I stood, at the foot of the Washington Monument, you had to strain to see his image on a jumbotron that had been set up on Constitution Avenue. His voice, however, projected clearly through powerful speakers as he rehashed the debunked allegations of massive fraud which he’d been propagating for months. Then he summarized the supposed crimes, simply, as “bullshit.”
This is Luke Mogelson’s story, published in THENEWYORKER. Click on the link in the first paragraph of his story. Read the article, a tale of woe, of ignorance, of racism and bigotry.