About Those Conspiracy Theories…

Maybe it’s the Internet, and the ubiquity of social media, but it sometimes seems as if we are living in the age of conspiracy theories. Most of these contemporary versions aren’t just new twists on old standbys–aliens landing Roswell, UFO sightings, people who really killed JFK.  In this age of hyper-partisanship, they tend to focus on political figures.

We saw an explosion of wild accusations when we elected our first African-American President. Obama wasn’t “really” American; he was born in a foreign country (Kenya, or for the more geographically-challenged, Hawaii). He wasn’t really Christian, but Muslim (which in their “minds” evidently equates with being a fellow-traveler of some sort). He was going to confiscate all the guns, eliminate the election and seize continuing power…

Usually, the people susceptible to conspiracy theories are those who find the real world baffling or uncongenial or both. I suppose it is bafflement that may explain a recent theory about Donald Trump’s inexplicable campaign for President.

This theory, which has been making the rounds on social media, rejects the premise that Trump’s self-immolation is due to his significant intellectual, moral and emotional deficits. Reasoning that no one could be as un-self-aware and self-destructive as Trump appears to be, they speculate that it is all part of a nefarious Clinton plot: he is really running to ensure Hillary Clinton’s victory in November.

After all, as one person considering this thesis asked, how would his behavior be any different if he were trying to elect her?

The posts I’ve seen point to Trump’s previous statements complimenting Hillary, his prior campaign contributions to her, and–especially suspicious–reports that he actually talked to the Clintons at some gathering a few months before entering the race. Ergo, they put him up to running a campaign so disastrous that even people who strongly dislike Hillary would vote for her.

What seems to distinguish this particular conspiracy theory from, say, the aliens at Roswell, is that it is offered by people who are generally logical. They are desperately trying to make sense of farce. No sane person, they reason, could possibly behave the way Trump has behaved. It’s one thing to fashion an appeal to white supremacists–that may be reprehensible, but it’s comprehensible. It’s another to constantly lie about matters that are easily fact-checked, to insult individuals and constituencies whose support you desperately need, to display a breathtaking ignorance of the world and the rules governing the country you propose to lead.

It must be an act, part of a clever, if convoluted, plot.

I’m sympathetic to the desire to explain the otherwise inexplicable, but let’s face it; this conspiracy is pretty implausible.

Freud famously said that “sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.” Sometimes, a narcissistic buffoon is just a narcissistic buffoon.


  1. Another example. East Germany was dealt the non-democracy card after WWII by the winners of WWII. No choice on their part. Now they too are a Democracy. Not because of Reagan but because they insisted on it.

    It takes so much effort to deprive people of choice that it simply cannot be sustained.

    We who have enjoyed Democracy for so long tend to take it for granted. We shouldn’t even if you believe as I do that losing it is always temporary because it takes a great deal of trauma to restore it. Much more than maintaining it.

  2. Marv, the only power to decide that you and I can influence is Democratic power. The power of the people to hire and fire who makes and enforces and adjudicates law here.

    That’s a good thing. I have a feeling that if you and I were N Koreans we’d be silent now as that is the fate of the dead.

    You and I are different so we approach our common goal of sensible moral sustainable government by emphasizing different things which will resonate differently among different folks.

    A victory for you is one for me too no matter what caused it. And vice versa.

  3. “that you’re doing……. attempting to control the truth”

    To a scientist this is about the most offensive charge imaginable.

  4. Betty; I have seen the short ads for that movie, being deaf I have to wait till it is on Blu Ray or DVD and singing off key won’t matter to me. Thanks so much for the critique, no real information on the TV ads. Meryl is my cousin’s sister-in-law; I have been a fan since the “Holocaust” mini-series on TV. I had read the book “Ironweed” before the movie was released with Meryl and Jack Nicholson; I have always believed it never got the credit it was due because this country does not want to admit to the increasing rate of homeless on the streets of all our cities and the reasons for most homeless. Haven’t seen that as a political campaign issue but it certainly should be.

  5. Pete, “that you’re doing…..attempting to control the truth”

    “To a scientist this is about the most offensive charge imaginable.”

    I apologize. I’m not a scientist and you’re not an expert on democracy. I didn’t mean that you were intentionally not dealing with the truth. However, when my long time companion was dying, I didn’t tell the truth either. I didn’t want to admit to it. However, it was the best thing for the both of us.

    But I will stick to what I said, that you cannot handle and neither can I both the global and the U.S. models at the same time. You can’t be scientific or an expert on both at the same time. Sorry, but that’s how I feel. I’m sure if I was also on a scientific blog concerning ecology and/or global warning, I would be accused of not dealing with the truth.

    Because, SUBCONSCIOUSLY, I would play down the seriousness of the ecological and global warming problems in order to keep myself motivated on my primary interest DEMOCRACY.

    If you know of someone who has dealt honestly with both at the same time, let me know. I’ll be glad to retract everything that I have said if you furnish me with all your SUBSTANTIATED facts.

  6. To the airport at I’dark thirty. Finally in Montreal. Get on wifi at the airbnb. First stop? Right here so we can get our daily dose of Sheila. Fortunately we are traveling with likeminded friends who were happy to have me read today’s missive!

  7. Humans are not anonymous, nor multitudinous parents with “crack” to comment on carts before horses and such. We, the People, can write home, ” Indianapolis Conspiracy Theorists said yesterday A New Chicago Study of Manuals of Style by Archeologists are fictitious. Theorists said of 100 daughters of archeologists, not one had found the book in the School of Journalism library. Archeologists countered they would need to examine the book to discern its authenticity. “(Anon)

  8. “Freud famously said that “sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.” Sometimes, a narcissistic buffoon is just a narcissistic buffoon.”

    Yes, Trump is a narcissistic buffoon followed by a whole lot of narcissistic buffoons. Heaven help us if the buffoons take over.

  9. Marv, I think that I’ve mentioned before that I see the connection between my interests and yours as financial. The biggest threat to our Democracy is oligarchy and the biggest motivation right now of oligarchs is to continue our addiction to fossil fuels because that’s their chief (not only) source of wealth.

    If we ignore their denial propaganda and do what has to be done to maintain earth as a viable home, one consequence is that their source of wealth will be attacked as well as their reason for lying. And of course we’ll have a place to live while we’re dealing with other problems.

    Now, if I understand you correctly (and sometime I admittedly don’t) you seem to be focused on anti-Semitism and racism as sources of trouble for our Democracy. I personally suffer from neither but object to both as I see them destroying cohesiveness which is at the core of why Democracy works.

    Is that right so far?

  10. Pete,

    I agree with everything you say. I have people helping me in many different places. You’ve been a great help these past months. We need to be on the same team.

    But there have been earlier and deeper machinizations than the Powell Manifesto and I was privy to all of them, especially the plans to play the Jews against the Blacks, or vice versa, set in motion in 1970 which is still a viable option but not a very smart one at this point in time. But, you never know what a narcissistic and probable sociopath might do out of desperation.

    The Republicans tried that before in the Presidential contest between George Bush and Bill Clinton. I pre-empted that scenario in 1991 with my multi-page A.L.A.R.M. Report presented to the members of the Dallas City Council. Look at http://www.TheAlarmReport.info. [The 29 pages documenting my allegations are not included on the website]. When Trump boasted that he “knew the system better than anyone,” I’m sure the potential of playing the Jews against the Blacks or vice versa was somewhere in that “bigoted” mind of his.

    Hillary Clinton has enough problems without having to also face a break-up of her fragile coalition of potential incompatibles. I’m sure you don’t disagree with me on the dire repercussions of that scenario.

  11. Marv, there are enough things that need fixing to keep us all busy forever. There seems to be as many people breaking things as fixing them.

  12. Pete,

    “Marv, there are enough things that need fixing to keep us all busy forever. There seems to be as many people breaking things as fixing them.”

    The fixing must overcome the breaking. The political system in the U.S. is now totally dysfunctional. The CORRUPT OLIGARCHY is influencing both sides. We must START to fix the system NOW, not after the presidential election in the fall. Then it will be too late.

    There still is enough time to accomplish the mission. We have the benefit of the August 30th election in Jacksonville. The CORRUPT OLIGARCHY must be put on trial at that time. A guilty verdict at the CENTER of their network will start the collapse of their TOTAL system of control.

    That won’t be the first time. Many years ago, I witnessed a similar CASCADE in Texas [I started it]. Once it begins in the system, nothing can stop it.

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