Why Conspiracy Theories?

Conspiracy theories are not a big problem for a large majority of Americans and they wonder how this marginal group of fellow-citizens have come under their spell.

I have a theory that’s not conspiratorial

 At least I don’t think it is. We all are presented with things we don’t actually understand. I don’t really understand how Space X returns its rockets back to earth and lands them perfectly in an upright position on a landing pad. I also don’t properly understand why Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are so eager to get humans to Mars.

But I also don’t fret about these things and go online to join outlier groups who may share my confusion or, worse yet, encourage me down a rabbit-hole of off-the-wall theories.

And that, perhaps, is the difference

 I have friends who are conspiracy theorists in certain areas. One quite firmly believes the 9-11 Trade Center attack was done purposely by our government. He has elaborate theories of deconstruction by dynamite, no matter that the world saw two passenger planes—hijacked and with passengers aboard—fly into the buildings.

When I ask him how government involvement could possibly be kept a secret, he launches into an explanation about the deep-state and I lose interest. Otherwise, he’s a perfectly fine friend and I value him as such. Go figure.

And then there’s QAnon, White Supremacists and 147 Republicans in the Congress

It seems to me they all have one thing in common and that’s a deeply felt fear for their futures. I fear for the future of society from time to time, but their fear is different. One way or another, they fear someone is after them.

If they’re supporters of QAnon, they believe that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotted against former president Donald Trump while he was in office. If true, that would scare the shit out of me. Essentially, they’re a cult that has split families and driven friends apart—all because an unknown, unidentified ‘Q’ has told them so. Facebook and Twitter are their enablers because there’s big money in enabling.

White supremacists have a different agenda

 Theirs is race-based and they’re terrified America will lose its white majority—as well it may by mid-century. It’s an unfortunate thing to admit, but America has been a racist country since its founding. America was never a white majority nation if you count our red-skinned natives and black-skinned slaves, but we committed a genocide against the former and considered the latter less-than-human.

If you feel that white America, having committed those societal crimes, is a superior being, you have good reason to fear.

Fear drives those 147 Republicans as well

 They put their solemn oath (sworn on a bible) to protect and defend the Constitution on the line when they gathered to protest the lawful election of Joe Biden as president. And they did that not because they despised Joe Biden, he’d been their fellow legislator for nearly forty years and they knew him to be a decent and straightforward opponent.

They did it out of the abject fear they would be turned out of office if they failed to support Trump’s claims of fraud. All else aside, no one has answered to my satisfaction how this blatant dereliction of sworn duty allows them to remain in the Senate of House.

But that’s my theory

 That conspiracy theories are always tied to fear rather than investigation. They spread like wildfire because they attract the equally fearful and there is no satisfactory rebuttal once you have shaken your fist in another man’s face.

Take it for what you will.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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