Are ALL Republicans Now Conspiracy Theorists?
I’ve never been shy about delving into conspiratorial terrain, despite the common responses to posts that examine conspiracy culture, which is ridicule. I’ve even received a sort of well meaning warning for exploring my gut suspicion regarding the alleged Aurora gunman, James Holmes.
Here is the comment:
Lizard, you are a smart fellow. You have good communication skills, you’re a talented poet, write exceptionally well, work hard at your job, are committed to an admirable employer, advocate for what many consider worthy causes and represent yourself well in public. Yet your constant conspiracy rants marginalize your future as a potentially effective community leader and diminish people’s perceptions of you as an intelligent reasonable person.
Your lengthening list of worn out conspiracies (the list I keep on you is up to 8 conspiracies now) makes you sound as paranoid and as delusional as the far right conspiracy theorists you frequently attack as being paranoid and delusional. For your own sake, try to resolve this inner issue and get on with more meaningful things in your life.
I addressed this comment in the original post’s comment thread, but for the purpose of this post, I’d like to contest the idea that it’s only the “far right” conspiracy theorists who I’ve allegedly “attacked”.
When I called Glenn Beck a Conspiracy Pimp, it wasn’t to attack the far right. It was an attempt to point out how an opportunist like Beck was injecting paranoia from the far right into susceptible mainstream minds.
This trend of mainstreaming conspiratorial paranoia into the GOP has been so successful, the Republican National Committee approved a resolution on January 13th of this year, to expose the United Nations diabolical socialist world takeover lurking within its nefarious Agenda 21.
I guess that means it’s official. If you’re a Republican, you are now also a conspiracy theorist.
For a great look at this weird creeping of the Agenda 21 movement into the official platform of the GOP, Stephen Lacey at Think Progress has this piece, titled Republican Party Officially Embraces ‘Garbage’ Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theories As Its National Platform.
The article features an interesting interview with Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is very much worth reading in its entirety. As a tease, when asked about what conditions need to be in place to make these conspiracy theories so prevalent, Potok says this:
I think that what is really going on is that the world is changing. And in our country, we’re seeing change in fairly dramatic ways. So, you see these kinds of crazy theories pop up at a time when major changes are a foot in our society — changes that really cause people to struggle, that make a significant number of people out there genuinely uncomfortable.
There are many things happening right now. Probably the most significant is that we, as a country, are losing our white majority. The census bureau has predicted that whites will fall under 50 percent of the population by the year 2050. Well, you know, that’s an enormous change. It’s already happened in California 12 years ago. And as a result, the politics of that state changed significantly. So it’s those kinds of changes, along with the very serious dislocations caused by economic globalization and by the kind of decline in the power of the nation state.
Apart from this, I think, we also have an extremely long tradition — in this country in particular — of distrust of the federal government. There’s also distrust around our government engaging in any kind of an international institution like the United Nations. You know, this fear of One World Government, of some sort of government forcing us all into a kind of global socialist hierarchy, goes all the way back to the League of Nations and Woodrow Wilson’s support for it. And really even before, as early as the 19th century, you see people on the extreme right in this country and in Europe voicing fears of One World government.
This country in particular has really been plagued with an irrational fear of the United States somehow being sublimated to a global government. The reality of Agenda 21 is it’s not a treaty, it’s not a legally binding agreement, it forces absolutely no one to do anything at all. It is purely and utterly voluntary. And yet it is being portrayed by the Republican National Committee, among others, as sort of a diabolical plan to strip away private property and to generally impose Socialism and Socialistic ideas upon this country.
The impending loss of a white majority is a very interesting condition for Potok to mention. That imminent reality was also mentioned in the Democracy Now clip I included in the post about Karl Rove. In that clip, Unger describes Rove’s infamous claim that he’s trying to create a permanent Republican majority as being just a line, and Unger says of that line “I’m not buying it.”
Instead, Unger states that by 2020, the Hispanic population in America will reach 70 million people, so the big challenge for Republicans is how to respond to that huge demographic shift.
What we are seeing with the state by state attack on voting rights is just one example of how Republicans are responding to the changing world around them.
And making sure their ranks are filled with angry, paranoid white people who feel their position in society slipping away is another example.