A Brief Rant About the Prevalence of Conspiracy Theory in America
I've been seeing more and more conspiracy theory and alarmism circulating around the Internet. It's reaching the point that it's like EVERYONE (except you and me of course) is involved in some dark plan to overthrow the government, spread disease, destroy religious freedoms or take away our guns. People, please use your heads for something besides a hat rack, OK? Let's take a look at some of the more dominant conspiracy theories:
FEMA Concentration CampsFolks are finding all manner of reasons to believe Americans will someday be herded into Auschwitz-style concentration camps. And of course, it's FEMA that'll be in charge of this along with the Dept. of Homeland Security. This whole notion has been thoroughly debunked many times by both amateurs and professionals. Keep in mind that such a thing would require a massive effort by our military. Now, does anyone really believe that our sons and daughters will throw their moms and dads in a concentration camp? The rank and file military would mutiny against such a thing almost overnight. It ain't gonna happen.
One group of alarmists even claimed to have photographic evidence of the chemical tanks used in these nefarious operations. Turns out the tanks were just ballast tanks used in test flights of new aircraft designs. No strange chemical concoctions for mind control. Just plain old fresh water. The trails you see behind a passing jet are nothing but condensed water vapor. In other words, a long skinny cloud.
You can see the chemtrail conspiracy debunked by clicking here.
AIDS and Ebola Conspiracy TheoriesThe popular notion is that each of these devastating diseases was actually conceived and created by the US government. AIDS, according to nut-sack Louis Farrakhan, is being concentrated in Africa to kill off blacks. It's all part of a larger plan to eradicate black people, or some such thing. Similarly silly theories exist about the weaponization of Ebola. So yeah, of course the global elites (or maybe the KKK?) are going to release deadly pathogens into the world just because we supposedly need population control, or maybe they just don't like black people. Keep in mind that diseases don't care who they infect, so those supposed elites would be putting themselves in danger as well. Fat chance, that. Memo to Louis Farrakhan: Shut up!
New World Order
(From Wikipedia) As a conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian world government.I've heard about many political leaders and otherwise-powerful people being involved in the NWO. The Rockefellers, the Bushes, the Kennedys, etc. Oh yes, and somehow the Illuminati are also involved as well. We're all gonna be slaves to the Illuminati. You betcha. Jeez...
The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government?which will replace sovereign nation-states?and an all-encompassing propaganda that makes the establishment of the New World Order the culmination of history's progress and an ideology. Significant occurrences in politics and finance are speculated to be orchestrated by an unduly influential cabal that operates through many front organizations. Numerous historical and current events are seen as steps in an ongoing plot to achieve world domination through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.
Before the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right, and secondarily that part of fundamentalist Christianity concerned with the end-time emergence of the Antichrist. Skeptics such as Michael Barkun and Chip Berlet observed that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about a New World Order had not only been embraced by many seekers of stigmatized knowledge but had seeped into popular culture, thereby inaugurating a period during the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the United States where people were actively preparing for apocalyptic millenarian scenarios. Those political scientists were concerned that mass hysteria could have what they judged to be devastating effects on American political life, ranging from widespread political alienation to escalating lone-wolf terrorism.
This one is too silly to spend much time on. Seems that many (not all) Christians are up in arms because gay marriage "devalues" conventional marriage. Yep, those gays are going to destroy the sacred covenant of marriage. Further, these Bible-thumpers will, with a straight face, tell you that God (theirs) invented marriage. Perhaps they're not aware of the fact that marriage predates Christianity by centuries in many parts of the world. Marriage is simply one of many traditions co-opted by Christianity, which they then claimed as their own. Marriage in the U.S. is a civil contract and the ceremony can be performed by a judge or a ship's captain while at sea. It is therefore not a sacred compact with God. Our Constitution mandates equal protection under the law. It is therefore unconstitutional to deny gays the same rights to marriage as the rest of us. It really is just that simple. So no, your traditional marriage isn't devalued by gay marriage. If Jack marries Phil instead of Jill, your life doesn't change. Leave it alone.
Your Daily Outrage
Social media like Facebook (perhaps especially Facebook) is clogged with boatloads of bullshit about countless, mostly liberal, conspiracies to change various parts of our society. Our currency is a popular target for such nonsense. In fact it was the recent regurgitation of a widely-circulated email from 2007 regarding dollar coins that caused me to write this little tirade. Seems that there's always something about some "evil" corporation like Monsanto, the government, or some ideologically-twisted group trying to screw with something we Americans hold dear.
The vast majority of these tales are patently false. So before you embarrass yourself by posting about an Osama bin Laden postage stamp or a US coin without "In God We Trust" inscribed on the face, please do some research and find out if it's true. You owe it to yourself and anyone else who might see your post.
Maybe the worst part of all this is that I see otherwise-intelligent people gobbling up this nonsense like it was the Gospel. I've seen both Bill Clinton and Paul McCartney accused of being the Antichrist. I watched, in stupefied amazement while George W. Bush was accused by Code Pink and others of being the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. I've seen sincere people who actually think the AIDS virus is some sort of Divine punishment for homosexuals. It would seem that the bigger the bullshit story, the more likely some people are to believe it.
But why? Is there some internal need for humans to feel like victims? Is it just plain old-fashioned cynicism? Perhaps there is a conspiracy: It's those chemtrails. They're using top-secret chemicals in the chemtrails to make us believe all this nonsense so we don't notice what they are really up to.
Life is complicated enough on its own without tilting at windmills. Get a life, people.
Copyright 2014, 2017 By Alan Burkhart