One of the blogs I read regularly is Juanita Jean’s: The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Parlor, Inc. “Juanita Jean” is really a Texan named Susan DuQuesnay Bankston. She’s a longtime Democratic activist in her part of Texas, and a wit who reminds me a lot of the late, great Molly Ivins.
Bankston’s husband and son are both lawyers (these things tend to run in families), and her son recently represented parents of children who were killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, in a suit against Alex Jones.
As many of you are probably aware, Alex Jones is a truly vile, probably crazy conspiracy theorist who spent years making life hell for those parents–telling his depressingly large and equally crazy audience that the massacre never happened, that it was a “false flag” operation conducted by the government, and that the parents were really actors. Followers of his constantly harassed and threatened the parents. Bankston sued Jones on their behalf and in a deposition, got Jones to admit that the massacre had been real and the children had actually been murdered.
Partly due to negative publicity generated by the lawsuit, Jones has been removed from the larger Internet platforms–Facebook, Twitter, etc.–although he evidently remains on the “dark web.”
These details are prologue: recently, Juanita Jean blogged that her son would be on an upcoming PBS Frontline show about Jones, The United States of Conspiracy. So I watched it.
You all need to watch it too. It explains a lot about ugliness and fear and hate, and where America is right now.
The fact that someone like Jones–who certainly seems visibly deranged, whether that’s a schtick or real–could amass literally millions of viewers (presumably equally deranged) is depressing enough. The danger posed by Jones’ devotees is very real; Frontline showed a video made by the listener who believed Jones’ “Pizzagate” conspiracy and proceeded to shoot up the pizza parlor where Hillary Clinton was supposedly running a child porn ring out of its (non-existent) basement. It showed him hyping several other, equally bizarre conspiracies–including 9/11 and Obama “truther” fabrications.
The really eye-opening revelation was the show’s documentation of the relationships between Jones, Roger Stone and Donald Trump. It is not too far-fetched to think that Jones’ exuberant embrace of candidate Trump–an embrace which included Trump’s appearances on Infowars and his public praise of Jones–resulted in thousands of votes Trump wouldn’t otherwise have received.
Jones’ audience of conspiracy-believers obviously form a significant part of Trump’s base–and while that explains some things, it’s also terrifying.
Far and away the most spine-curdling part of the documentary were the repeated instances in which Jones would be shown making a wild, unsupported and frequently bat-shit crazy statement–followed by a clip showing Trump echoing that statement.
We know that Trump doesn’t listen to Dr. Fauci (or any experts, for that matter). He does, quite obviously, listen to Alex Jones.
Anyone sane who has followed politics in the United States the past four years knows that Donald Trump is both appallingly ignorant and seriously mentally ill. We’ve seen that he can be receptive to conspiratorial theories. But it’s impossible to watch this Frontline presentation without realizing how much closer to the edge he is than most observers have recognized.
I also didn’t realize how many Americans aren’t just close to that edge, but well over it.
17 thoughts on “Alex Jones And Donald Trump”
I know four people who could easily be called “conspiracy nuts”. They all have the same traits, namely, they are narcissists, they are not educated in the college education sense, they have used drugs their entire adult lives, they hold non-traditional type jobs when employed, and they are estranged from family members who are not into conspiracies. The attraction of conspiracies seems to be as a diversion so that they do not have to look at themselves for the reason for their failures. They are a sad lot indeed.
Trump has presented to this country and the world the unbalanced workings of a one-man conspiracy as the inner working of his unbalanced brain churns out theories too bizarre to be believed or taken at face value…but his insane tactics have worked thus far. They are the myriad of “shiny things” to distract us from yesterday’s output of chaos and terror to concentrate on the one(s) he throws at us today. Along with being bizarre; the vast number of his threats and actions daily are distractions in and of themselves. The Democratic House members and their many committees are running in place trying to keep up with what has happened and what is happening and what is going to happen which requires another Committee be formed to deal with new issues never before seen from the Executive Branch of this government. Nor have we seen the Senate, by one man’s powers, STOP all action to confront Trump’s insanity.
“I also didn’t realize how many Americans aren’t just close to that edge, but well over it.”
Sheila’s comment above refers to Trump’s supporters and followers but many of those of us working against his White Nationalism and his lies are also “close to the edge” ourselves due to the constant, changing stress level with no end in sight.
“Far and away the most spine-curdling part of the documentary were the repeated instances in which Jones would be shown making a wild, unsupported and frequently bat-shit crazy statement–followed by a clip showing Trump echoing that statement.”
Or was it Trump’s statements and actions which provided the approval for Jones to proceed with his his conspiracies? Which came first; the theory or the conspiracy?
Remember when Nancy Reagan listed to the advice of astrologers and passed it on to Ron? Gosh. Those were the days.
It’s a frightening thought, but I don’t think there is an antidote for the mental poison that has afflicted so many millions of people. I just don’t think we’re going to crush this (no longer) fringe cult’s golden idols in an election or two and see them suddenly wake from whatever insanity has a grip on them, and hear them say, “Oh, golly- you all were right. We should have listened to and been persuaded by facts and reason, and we sure will be from now on. We won’t get fooled again.”
Extremist (“right-wing” and “conservative” are no longer meaningful terms) media are the voices in the cult’s collective head. Yes, social media platforms have a civic responsibility to make editorial decisions, including removing content that violates their (thin) standards , even booting the Alex Joneses of the world off their platforms. Even so, that only moves the problem to another outlet.
I have no idea what happens next, even if the GOP is so badly defeated in November that it can never recover. Dystopian societies (what makes you think we aren’t in one?) aren’t sustained just by an entrenched elite. They’re sustained by the people who want to live in them. It’s been looking more and more of late like there are way more of these folks than one would have thought.
Some people believe that they have been let in on a big secret when they hear Jones and his brethren on the right espousing their craziness. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that the real secret is that they are being led by a madman. Those who are the most off-kilter will deem it necessary to take action, like shooting up a pizza parlor or sending pipe-bombs to the enemies of freedom. The rest will simply believe it is their sworn duty to harass and harangue whoever their leader says is bad. Does this cross the line of free speech? Yes. Can we stop it? Probably not.
Yep, it’s the real deal!
I’ve mentioned some of my cousins before, but, they follow the same program.
After arguing with them about reposting conspiracies concerning covid-19. Stuff that was just mind-numbing, how it was all fake, deep state, just pick your poison LOL, one of them actually got it!
Now, they’re forwarding all of this information about how to cure covid-19 and how to prevent yourself from catching it, LOL, so they now are huge fans of hydroxychloroquine, sitting under black light and bathing in bleach and Lysol?? and the deep state is involved in this also! I guess the deep state can’t figure out what the deep State wants to do with covid-19 ??
You couldn’t make this up if you wanted to! It just goes to show how really dangerous it is when you can have every lunatic on the planet converse with each other. It’s almost like a cesspool of ideas detached from reality poisoning society.
Sadly, then the citizenry has been lied to for such a long period of time, generations of animosity buildup to where it becomes toxically insane. Making individuals who might have seemed fairly rational before, conduct themselves in a completely schizophrenic sociopathic Manor.
And in their minds there has to be something responsible for their lot in life, it must be the government’s doing, or the immigrants, or the others, ethnicities, genders, gays, non-Christian religions, Christian religions, the educational institutions. Everyone or everything is responsible except themselves! They believe it because they see a lunatic with a bullhorn telling them so. They have absolved themselves of their personal responsibility because it’s easier to be led by the nose, than to be a rational productive responsible individual in a civil society.
Not sure what his conspiracy was about 9/11, but anybody believing that two aluminum planes brought down three steel and concrete buildings in New York precisely the same way, might be a little crazy themselves. 😉
I’ll go with the engineers on this one — demolition blast.
As for Jones, I don’t watch pro wrestling for the same reason I won’t listen or don’t care about Alex Jones or any of the conspiratorial whack jobs in America. There has to be much more than one million of them.
How many people in this country believe in a white-bearded god-like manifestation beyond the clouds running the Universe from a crowned seat who grants prayers for some, but not for others because He wants you to be patient?
As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been in Asheville for nearly a month, and the number of Baptist churches is impressive. You can’t go down any road without seeing at least one, if not two, churches who apparently bring in enough money to support a preacher and maintenance on a building.
Religions maybe the biggest conspiracies on Earth, yet how many occupants of this planet believe in such fallacies on ‘faith.’
If you commit suicide on behalf of a specific belief, you will be greeted with virgins in the sky promised by the gods. If that isn’t over the edge, I’m not sure what it’s called.
And, how many of our historical wars have been due to conspiratorial-based religions?
Sorry, but when I hear about Americans going “over the edge,” I always wonder if religions are counted in the neurotic analysis. I would say there are hundreds of millions, if not billions, across the planet, who believe in matters already disproven by facts and evidence.
Maybe those of us sane people should hire lawyers and form class-action lawsuits against the world’s religions for all the damage they’ve done.
Can I get an amen? 😉
Actually skyscrapers are quite aluminum airplane proof but not 10s of thousands of gallons of jet fuel fire proof. They were felled just like buildings which are imploded fall, the structure was weakened and the weight above does all of the work.
As long as either we or the business of entertainment cannot distinguish real from make believe, democracy is in trouble from the fact that we have allowed ourselves to be immersed 24/7 in media. If we cannot escape it, and it packages fiction and nonfiction without distinction, and we are unable to determine which is which, our freedom is as easy to take as virginity on Epstein Island.
That’s only one of the things that makes this civilization unsustainable.
Everyone on today’s blog has voiced part of the explanation for the cabal of crazy turning our country into a mass of babbling idiots looking for a tower to yell at… as in Tower of Babble.
Yes, churches and religion have been in the business of spreading unfounded nonsense for centuries. It’s how they make a living… for themselves. Meanwhile, without a valid intellectual alternative, the mindless rule the mindful. Modern schools are supposed to be the bastions of facts and truths, but with idiots like Betsy DeVos trying to foist her religious fantasy world on ALL our children, a thinking person can see where this intellectual sloth comes from.
Yes, it’s pure mental laziness. It’s easier to let some other idiot do the thinking and blindly follow it even if it means one’s demise. That’s what entrenched mental laziness will do. As a former science educator at all levels, I saw this paradigm first-hand. Some children are taught by their “ministers” that science teachers are the spawn of Satan.
Well, we now see that that title belongs to the modern four horsemen: Trump, Barr, Miller and Meadows. These wretched creatures are riding the horses of ignorance, pestilence, backwardness and hate to the demise of our entire country. Alex Jones and the screamers like him are just the fuel by which the horsemen of our current apocalypse are riding.
The coming election will only be the first step (I agree that it will take some doing to overcome our current state of insanity) to creating moats too wide and fences too high for these evil things to span and hurdle. Our votes will be a shovel full of dirt from the moat and another brick in the wall to stop the jumping.
Sorry for the metaphors, but I too was inspired by Molly Ivins. For better or worse, it’s what started my writing adventure in 2009.
“Actually skyscrapers are quite aluminum airplane proof but not 10s of thousands of gallons of jet fuel fire proof. They were felled just like buildings which are imploded fall, the structure was weakened and the weight above does all of the work.”
I’ve often wondered (but didn’t research) if one or more Saudi engineers trained in Amerlcan universities devised with surgical precision exactly how the Twin Towers could be felled (without regard for the lives of thousands of human occupants) and even captured the several disasters on film then to provide unimpeded escapes while US air traffic was halted.
Please anyone: What’s wrong with this picture?
Good article in The Guardian on QAnon.
Per WIKI in case U do not know what QAnon is:
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory detailing a supposed secret plot by an alleged “deep state” against U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters. The theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard 4chan by someone using the name Q, who was presumably an American individual initially, but probably later became a group of people, claiming to have access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States.
QAnon may best be understood as an example of what historian Richard Hofstadter called in 1964 “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”, related to religious millenarianism and apocalypticism.
The Guardian article is: ‘They need voters’: QAnon is finding a home in the Republican party.”
These believers in QAnon, a conspiracy theory labelled a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI, are all running for national office – not as fringe independents, but as Republican candidates.
If you think Louie Gohmert is a lone wolf, the new recruits from QAnon running for political office will form a pack. Some are running in safe GOP districts.
You may be right, but isn’t this another conspiracy theory run amok?
Without factual, tested evidence, the wild speculation continues. You might have noticed that the twin towers were struck at two different levels. Oh, and whatever happened to the airplane wreckage from the Pentagon attack?
I have a beauty… As I was traveling from Ohio to Ft. Sam Houston in 1966 for my combat medic training, I stopped to visit a family friend who had moved to Dallas. He took me to Dealy Plaza and showed me a bullet impact mark on the curb opposite to the “grassy knoll”, and down the street from the book depository. The impact mark indicated a right-angle impact with a straight line back to the fence and the grassy knoll. The angle of impact to the book depository was not available to make that impact mark to the curb. I wonder if the conspirators patched that bullet mark since then. LOL.
OMG, the 9/11 terrorists may well have not known for sure the whole outcome of their use of modern autopilots to crash into the WTC buildings. What was very likely to happen at a minimum was lots of Americans burned alive, their message. The fact that they got the maximum made Osama bin Laden famous, a bonus.
Jones is either crazy or pretends to be to cover his dark worldview and in another day (and with a mere nod to due process) the big guys in the white coats would have come and taken him away to a quieter world in the vale. The worrisome thing to me is not that there are fruitcakes among us; it’s that we have some who don’t seem to be fruitcakes but peddle such nonsense in sane circles for effect and advantage; and worse, aspire to office. (See Trump, Golmert er al).
As for Trump’s cult, I think many can be rescued, and I think (and hope) many of them will either not vote or even vote for Biden this trip around, and why? Because I think many people are just a little nutty, have not gone the whole route and have had time to return from their one time fling with their vote for an amoral and lying real estate investor, an investor who will say , believe, or pretend to believe anything for a vote or a buck. This fall’s election, unless stolen by post office shutdown, Russian intrigue or electronic miscount, should help us back to the road of mere ordinary chaos in this human adventure – so let’s get on with it.
Wait until all of the conspiracy theory nuts find out they are just part of big plot generated by other conspiracy theory nuts.
Alex Jones claimed it to be a missile attached to the Jets, they even had pictures which were proven to be fake. But hey, all conspiracy theorists are, just a bunch of liars who will say and do anything for attention. Really, just a bunch of losers!
And, Todd! I’ll tell you what I learned through my engineering career, when you ignite through compression, tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel, or alcohol, or whatever, it will explode just like dynamite or c4.
Diesel engines run on the same principle, there is no spark, compression ignites the diesel fuel to explode in the cylinder ignition chamber thereby turning the crankshaft.
The chimney effect from the stairwells and the elevator shaft would have fed an unrelenting volume of oxygen to the blast site and fire. This would have been like a blacksmiths bellows on steroids! The fire probably burnt more than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, had enough to melt steel easily, and turn concrete into glass and burning copper and aluminum like firewood. (all of the aluminum studs, aluminum office furniture, and copper wiring for the offices & cubicles) So what would have been fireproof, just fed the fire and made it even hotter.
The weight of hundreds of tons of building on top of the blast site and fire would have pushed down through gravity, and once it gave way, just the inertial movement of 10ft would have caused enough Force to pancake the floors below and that inertia would have continued all the way to the ground.
please list the experts you are quoting, because I think everyone would want to make sure they would bypass them for any rational engineering jobs, lol?
I’m concerned, Sheila, that some of your readers actually believe the narrative that the 9/11 tragedy was actually the result of a controlled demolition and not the result of two airplanes crashing into the buildings. I guess crazy conspiracy theories are not the domain of the right.
Maybe this is a stupid question but what difference does it make if the towers were brought down by a controlled demotion or the planes …. or a combination of both ? They are gone …. and we know who wanted them brought down at this point at time . I am not an engineer , so I feel lost with that conversation .
Comments are closed.