The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Obama Era Gave Credibility to Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists

The New York Times, NPR, and CNN slam Donald Trump for trafficking in conspiracy theories.

Trump has this coming; there’s no evidence that vaccines lead to autism, that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was smothered to death with a pillow, or that Ted Cruz’s father helped Lee Harvey Oswald kill JFK.

But let’s also observe that it’s been a really good stretch of years for conspiracy theories proving true. It turns out the National Security Agency was collecting Americans’ metadata. It turns out the IRS actually is targeting Americans based upon their political views. It turns out that Obama advisor Ben Rhodes and the Washington press corps are working together, “actively misleading” the American people about the reality of the Iran deal.

Think about all of the once wildly-implausible ideas that turned out to be true under this administration.

“The Obama administration is sending guns to drug cartels in Mexico!” Actually, that one turned out to be true.

“The Obama administration would trade five Taliban guys for a deserter!” Actually, that one turned out to be true.

In 2011, Media Matters scoffed at Glenn Beck’s “conspiracy theory” that uprising in Egypt was leading to a coming “Muslim caliphate” that would “control the Mideast and parts of Europe.” Of course, that was before anyone had heard of the Islamic State. 

Why are so many Americans so credulous when it comes to claims of sinister wrongdoing by authority figures? Maybe it’s because they keep learning that reality is a little too close to those seemingly-outlandish conspiracy theories.

Most Popular

Immigration

Angela Rye Knows You’re Racist

The political philosopher Michael Oakeshott said that the “rationalist” is hopelessly lost in ideology, captivated by the world of self-contained coherence he has woven from strands of human experience. He concocts a narrative about narratives, a story about stories, and adheres to the “large outline which ... Read More
Immigration

What the Viral Border-Patrol Video Leaves Out

In an attempt to justify Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s absurd comparison of American detention facilities to Holocaust-era concentration camps, many figures within the media have shared a viral video clip of a legal hearing in which a Department of Justice attorney debates a panel of judges as to what constitutes ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Pro-Abortion Nonsense from John Irving

The novelist has put up a lot of easy targets in his New York Times op-ed. I am going to take aim at six of his points, starting with his strongest one. First: Irving asserts that abortion was legal in our country from Puritan times until the 1840s, at least before “quickening.” That’s an overstatement. ... Read More