It was warm Sunday, 65 degrees and everybody and their brother was at the Home Depot. My wife wanted to go so I knew my fifteen minute, dash-in and dash-out would turn into an hour of “shopping” and “chatting”. I put the two things I needed in the cart and found a spot to “light” (a southern term, look it up) while I waited for her to find the perfect pot for her plant.
I saw a neighbor of mine, a self-proclaimed and very proud Christian, conservative and Republican (in that order) which is say we aren’t friends. He stopped and we exchanged pleasantries and then I said, “It looks like your boy Trump has fallen into the deep end of the pool again”. He wanted to know what I was talking about. I checked to make sure my wife wasn’t within earshot. She wouldn’t appreciate me riling this guy up at the Home Depot.
So I phrased my words carefully, “The stupid shit he tweeted about President Obama wiretapping him.” Okay, so maybe I didn’t phrase it as gently as I could have but his response provided me with some very unique insight into the mind of a Trumpette. “Don’t you think he would have access to the order from Obama now? Doesn’t it sound like the kind of crap Obama would try to do to help Hillary win?” So my next two questions were simple ones, “So you believe him? Without him offering a shred of evidence?” His response sent chills down my spine, “He is the President of the United States, he has the evidence.”
I have checked Fox News this morning and even they are having a tough time spinning this crazy Trump conspiracy. Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway is trying to throw the FBI Director James Comey under the bus; “If Mr. Comey has something he’d like to say I’m sure we’re all willing to hear it”. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman said “Everybody acts like President Trump is the one that came up with this idea and just threw it out there. There are multiple news outlets that have reported this.” And my favorite, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the reports were “very troubling” and concerned “potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election.”
Now keep in mind, all of these “spokespeople” prefaced their remarks by saying that they haven’t actually “talked” to the President. So in other words they really don’t know the what, the how or the when of his claims. Funny, neither does he.
So let’s review some of Donald Trump’s most blatant and unproven conspiracy theories;
- Birtherism– President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Though Trump later gave up on this theory but the alt-right hasn’t.
- Obama started ISIS– Well this one makes sense, he wasn’t born in America, and he has a Muslim sounding name. The alt-right has really sunk their teeth into this one.
- Trump would have won the popular vote if it weren’t for voter fraud– Again no evidence or proof was ever produced but his surrogates took this tantalizing morsel and ran with it. Remember Stephen Miller’s claim that voters were bussed from Massachusetts to illegally vote in New Hampshire?
- His Electoral College win was the biggest since 1984– Sorry no, he got beat by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton (two times) and Barack Obama (twice).
- The media has a lower approval rating than Congress- Most sane, unbiased polls conclude this one is not even close. The media win hands down over politicians on trustworthiness.
- There was major terrorist attack on Feb. 17 in Sweden– This was news to the Swedes as was the massacre to residents of Bowling Green, Kentucky.
This is but a small sampling of “claims” our President has spouted that his loyal followers take as truths. Where do these ideas all come from? That one is harder to pin down but I have a guess. “We don’t believe there is a functional conservative party in this country and we certainly don’t think the Republican Party is that. It’s going to be an insurgent, center-right populist movement that is virulently anti-establishment, and it’s going to continue to hammer this city, both the progressive left and the institutional Republican Party.” – Steve Bannon.
What concerns me most is that his rabid fan base simply swallows everything he says or tweets without question. It really isn’t that hard for any of us to do the homework, to check the facts. But he has set that up for failure and mistrust as well, pounding home to his Basket of Deplorables the mantra “Fake News”, “Fake News”.
“The rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.”- Joseph Goebbels