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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Year Of The Conspiracy Theorist

In Part IV of my "best of the year/decade" series, we take a look at how the conservative movement embraced conspiracy theory as fact and made not only a laughing-stock of themselves, but somehow managed to take away the mantle of "lunatic-fringe" from the likes of Alex Jones.

1 - Orly Taitz

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Since she burst onto the scene, I've often asked myself how someone so completely unglued from the fabric of reality is not only allowed to practice law but has the mental capacity to do so. It is, for that same reason, the many of the members of the tea-bagger movement are seen as just as crazy and ill-informed as she is, considering they cite her claims as fact.

But it isn't just Taitz or the tea-baggers that continually espouse this assertion that Obama was not born in the US. Rush Limbaugh, one of the leaders of the conservative movement, gives voice to this inane prattling:

2 - Obama is the Anti-Christ

Conspiracy theories that involve the Bible and politicians are not new in the least. I can still remember people insisting that Reagan was the Anti-Christ because of the numerical value of his name.

Many cite the fact that this has some relative truth to it simply because it comes from the Bible. However, there are many passages within the Bible that are so vague, so lacking in context, that they could mean anything. After all, the entire book of Revelations was allegedly written by a man marooned on an island and was hallucinating.

3 - Obama is a Muslim

This has got to be one of the most crystal-clear examples of how racism and xenophobia were part of the campaign against Barack Obama and not just used as conspiracy theory. Also, it is the video above - actually the 13 second sarcastic response to the allegation - that birthers and religious paranoid delusional reference as a "confession" that Obama is in fact a Muslim.

4 - Beck's Communist Art Project

Of all the conspiracy theories that Beck puts forward on literally a nightly basis, this one has got to be one that has got to be one of his best. And by that, I mean his craziest. Well, the FEMA concentration camps were a good one, but he back-peddled on that one while he was trying to pass it off as fact - he just didn't have the courage at the time to listen to the voices in his head like with the art one.

Keith Olbermann had a nice response to this, I thought:

5 - Census workers are coming for you

This bit of conservative paranoia was brought to us from someone whom is almost as crazy as Orly Taitz and somehow managed to get elected to Congress.

In this one, we get a two-fer. Beck and Bachmann, in the initial throws of the "warn on ACORN", claim that they have control over the 2010 Census and that within the form there is information that will be used against you - perhaps placing you into one of Beck's FEMA camps.


Conspiracy theory within the Republican party and it's voters has become the new fact, just as the fringe-conservative has become the traditional conservative. Not in my lifetime has a group of people been so willing to insist that their very freedoms, their liberties, and life own lives are in danger. And while some will cite the theories behind Sept. 11th and many actions that George W. Bush took during his two terms as President, those were never embraced as fact the way that conservatives are reacting now to Barack Obama.

Yes, the "Truther" movement was most certainly anti-Bush, it was - and continues to be - roundly rejected by liberals/progressives within the Democratic party. Aside from that, there were really no conspiratorial movements on the Democratic side, or at least none that were given such a monumental platform as those espoused by the modern conservative movement.

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