When Donald Trump was elected, I had visions of resurrecting this blog to discuss his policies and proposals. Unfortunately, the pace of these things outran my ability to do more than echo what was being said by others, and I won’t do that.
In my search for larger issues, Megan Kelly, formerly of Fox News and now with NBC, has come to my rescue by bringing the subject of conspiracy theories to mainstream in an interview with Alex Jones this Sunday.
Conspiracy theories are as old as the republic and are enshrined in the Constitution where the Founding Fathers established three independent branches of government, each to be a check on the potential madness or tyranny of the others.
Let’s recall some of American conspiracies biggest hits.
The South was convinced of a conspiracy by the Northern States to make their section of the country a subservient colony to Northern industrial interests. The North saw a Southern conspiracy to expand and perpetuate slavery as a deliberate, depraved evil. There was some truth in both views and we fought a war to settle the issue—except that it didn’t quite.
The pursuit and investigation of Abraham Lincoln’s assassins were deliberately perverted by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and others. There was also a conspiracy to punish the South and prevent its recovery from the war which led to the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.
In the early days of the Great War, there were factions in the U. S. conspiring to stay out of the conflict, or conspiring to join Germany (German-Americans were the largest immigrant group), or conspiring to join the United Kingdom and her allies. As we know today, President Woodrow Wilson led the last movement to suppress the other two and Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, conspired to have an American ocean liner sunk by German submarines.
Conspiracies by the big banks and Wall Street to profit through the oppression of workers and the artificial inflation of stock prices led to the Great Depression.
Many have long believed President Franklin Roosevelt had foreknowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and chose to let it happen in order silence the voices of neutrality and enter the war on the side of the U. K.
The last three contributed to the belief in a great Jewish/financial conspiracy and its ally, an Anglo-American conspiracy.
Then there were the great racial conspiracies. After the Civil War and the passage of the 14th Amendment, state, local, and federal laws and agencies conspired to prevent non-white Americans from achieving parity with European-Americans. Whites developed their own counter-conspiracy theories about a non-white, non-Christian cabal trying to destroy them.
After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Warren Commission covered up the real story—or so many theorists believe.
When I was drafted into the Army toward the end of President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, I was told of a Christian, white-supremacist network operating within the Army by another soldier who claimed to be a member. About a decade ago, there were press reports concerning an Evangelical network in the military seeking to advance their brand of Christianity by any means necessary.
I attended a press conference by a moderate Muslim cleric complaining of a conspiracy by Wahhabi Muslims to radicalize American Muslims and that U. S. officials lacked the knowledge to see the difference between the branches of Islam.
And now, we have the internet. Anyone with a computer and a vivid imagination can invent whatever lie he thinks will win him attention. Alex Jones is a leader in this anything-goes movement. There are now conspiracies by theorists who promote the crazed fantasies of each other.
The answer to these theorists is simple: where’s the proof?
Perhaps the cruelest of the theories is that the Sandy Hook killings were staged and the “dead” children were actors. So, where are these kids today? If they were actors, where else have they acted? There’s no proof, only hurtful allegations intended to win notoriety through shock.
No Holocaust? Explain the records kept by the German government. Explain the mass burial of human remains.
9-11 was an “inside job.” By whom and why? Did the Democrats want to sidetrack the incoming Republican administration? If so, they made George W. Bush a hero of the moment. Maybe it was the Republicans in Congress who fought against stronger airport security before the attack—but they’ve fought against increased security for everyone. [But, watch how fast they allocate additional funds to protect themselves]. And why don’t the theorists think Osama bin-Laden had the intelligence and organization to hijack and crash three airplanes?
Lastly, what about the Deep State government within the government? Give me a break. I worked 30 years for the federal government including more than a decade in Washington. I believe in incompetence, ignorance, careerism, and cover-ups of mistakes. But, there are too many good Americans working in government who believe in their oath to defend and uphold the Constitution for any large or long-term conspiracies to exist. Bad practices and policies are exposed on a regular basis by government workers regardless of consequences to themselves. Patriots don't live in the woods, they work for the public good.
Real conspiracies can be proven. Only liars claim the absence of evidence is proof.