07 May 2020

A Pandemic of Conspiracy Theories: Why Trump's Followers Feel Like They're Stars in the Truman Show

Ideology lowers IQ about as much as a blow to the head. ISIS, the Nazi Party, the Medieval Church, Stalinist apparatchik, Trump supporters .... every group has people of varying intelligence. But their intelligence is subordinate to the larger group and that means intelligence is channeled into loyalty, not understanding.
There is a stunning number of conspiracy theories running a muck among Trump supporters. All are variants on "MIT, WHO, Gates Foundation, CDC, New York Times, CNN, BBC, the EU, China, (etc., etc.,) are in collusion to control you or profit from you and here is what is really going on ..." First, just from a logistic perspective, getting all of the folks in all of these organizations (these are really, really smart people who really, really pride themselves on original thinking) to agree to fake a global pandemic is inane. In this country alone we can't muster agreement to rebuild crumbling bridges. Second, the conspiracy theories all have the same purpose: undermine the authority of anyone who makes Trump look like the fool he is.
Occam's razor can be explained this way: if you hear hoofbeats, assume it is horses and not unicorns. Go for the simplest explanation. Could it be that experts throughout the world - even the doctors in your local hospital - are conspiring to fake a global pandemic in order to put a microchip in your body so they can track your location? (A conspiracy theory propagated by folks on smart phones with microchips that never leave their person.) Is that possible? I actually think that it's practically impossible given a million things that all have to be aligned to make this true, but let's say, sure, It could be a unicorn.
What's a simpler explanation? Trump has bumbled handling this pandemic from the start and unless he can find a way to discount every expert who might be able to shed light on that fact, he has to take responsibility. He's already done a great job of inoculating his followers from facts by insisting that they stop trusting the mainstream media or twitter or libtard friends and trust only his interpretations. Trump loyalty - as with any true love - demands a level of abstinence from all others, particularly those investigative journalists and so-called experts.
Is the whole world conspiring to make up a pandemic? Are you caught in the Truman show? Or is Trump just a con man? Occam's razor suggests that it's one con man fumbling with a global pandemic rather than a global conspiracy intent on killing millions just to make this one con man look bad.
Are the people who believe these conspiracy theories stupid? Not necessarily. Some of them just want desperately for there to be unicorns. For them this is all a loyalty test. Their revelation won't come from increasing their intelligence. It will come from them simply deciding that its better to be led by simple truths than simpletons.

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