I love conspiracy theorists.
I love them because, in a sort of a sick way, they’re idealists. They really want to believe that the real world is so exciting that masterminds are constantly plotting in black leather chairs, stroking white, furry cats, and coming up with intricate plans based on almost no motive.
And I can understand the excitement of treating the world (and, specifically, American politics) as though it were one, big mystery movie: everyone wants to be the guy who says, "I totally called the ending of The Sixth Sense." It makes you feel smarter.
There's a feeling of validation in that. And, at least in terms of a basal approach to the news of the world these days, it does pay to be a skeptic.
Unfortunately, in my experience, politics is less about the evil cackle of a successful plan, and more about "oops." It's hard to base my political understanding on the paranoia that everyone is a mastermind when our Congressmen are getting caught tweeting pictures of their peckers.
Call me the crazy one, but I have a hard time believing humans (in general) are really all that deep, smart, or coordinated to pull off some of the theories I've come across-- not all, but most.
I’m certain that there’s some covert military stuff going on in this country that’s being kept secret from me; but that’s also how I know it was actually masterminded by someone—because it’s still a secret.
Yet, that hasn't stopped people on both ends of the aisle claiming the government is engaged in some plan to take your guns away, take over the media, convert us all to Socialists, or turn us all into Soylent Green.
If you really want to go ahead and believe (as some liberal conspiracy theorists do) that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were the architects of an involved plot to destroy the Twin Towers, please, go ahead.
I’m just not with you on that. Because you might try to convince me logically that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should have been impeached for going to war in Iraq on a lie, but there’s (at least arguable) evidence of that.
There’s no credible evidence that George W. Bush was smart enough to mastermind a controlled demolitions project that would have involved tens of people silently wiring the floors and support beams of two massive structures with blasting gelatin, while simultaneously invisibly shooting a rocket at the Pentagon and flying an airliner directly into the ground in Pennsylvania and then keeping their mouths totally shut about it for ten years.
The dude had trouble with “The Pet Goat.” Let’s appropriate the correct amount of credit here.
Still, 9/11 conspiracy theorists aren’t the only players in this game.
The blossoming of the internet, and the emergence of both the Tea Party and Occupy Movements lately, have assisted in exploding paranoia as the reference point for some peoples' approach to politics.
There is, of course, the Birther Movement, which cannot be silenced by reality and/or documents. They seem convinced that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and therefore cannot be the President of the United States. I’m not sure why this concerns them, though, as Barack Obama has already been the President of the United States for three years now.
Being concerned about his legitimacy after winning an election, and possibly winning a second, is a little silly to worry about ex-post-facto. Not to mention HE’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Even if the birth certificate he produced was a fake, I’m fairly certain he has access to someone who could make a forged birth certificate capable of fooling your average conspiracy theorist who plays dress-up at Tea Party rallies.
The answer-and-questioning start to go a little overboard when people start saying things like “Obama is a Muslim” (He's not, but... even if he was… So?), and “Obama murdered Andrew Breitbart” (Why? Over a videotape? Who, but a jackass like me, even knows who Andrew Breitbart is anyway?), and Rush Limbaugh’s recent favorite: “The villain in the new Batman movie is named Bane as part of a liberal conspiracy.”
But going too far is the key to a really solid, guilty-pleasure conspiracy theory. And so I would like to create a few theories myself, based on loose evidence, hearsay, a large gap in logic, and a whole lot of hidden agendas:
Theory #1: The GOP has been hijacked by space aliens.
Evidence: The Chairman of the GOP is named Reince Preibus. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that name mentioned as an intergalactic warlord Scientologists believe in. Two of their potential nominees were named Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. They already sound like the two green guys on the Simpsons. Also, Newt wanted a moon base and Mitt thinks the trees in Michigan are “the right height.” The right height for what? Coverage for an invading moon-based flying saucer army? Can you prove that’s not what he meant?!
Theory #2: Barack Obama played for the Washington Generals.
Evidence: Well, we already know from other conspiracy theorists that he’s a radical terrorist. But he’s been in the White House now for almost four years, and the economy is growing and (thus far) we’ve had no actual successful terrorist attacks on our soil. In fact, there have been a few foiled on his watch. So he’s clearly incompetent, if not totally ass-backwards at his job. Also, he lives in Washington, and he loves basketball. What more proof do you need that he must have been a former member of the team famous for their historic losing streak to the Harlem Globetrotters?
Theory #3: There was a massive cover-up when it came to the deaths of America’s enemies.
Evidence: Barack Obama has been taking credit for the deaths of Ghaddafi and bin Laden as part of his credentials on foreign policy. But we've seen a systematic removal of leaders America has hated for a long, long time now. Since the late 80s, actually. Idi Amin, Arafat, Ghaddafi, Kohmeni… all gone. And do you know why?
No, I mean, do you REALLY know why?