Conspiracy ethos

Mark Noonan

For quite a long time, conspiracy theories have been the grist of angry, ignorant people who want a quick and dirty explanation for why the world doesn’t make the sort of sense they believe it should. Faced with the lack of perfection in life, a subset of the human population finds itself easily gulled by knaves who vend all manner of conspiracy theories to explain away all the troubles in the world.

For those of us who live in the real world, what this means is that we’ve got a real problem on our hands – a minority of Americans who will go along with anything as long as an anti-Bush/GOP angle can be put on it. There is nothing a full-blown fanatic wont do in order to thwart such a conspiracy as the left is foisting on us regarding President Bush. It is said that the bombers in London last week were British citizens – they, too, probably believed that we’re in Iraq at the behest of Israel and in the service of Haliburton profits.

Most of the time, the conspiracy theories are rather innocuous. They can lead to entertaining movies and may even actually provide an idea or provoke some research that actually contributes to a better understanding of some event, even if only by contrast and comparison.

There are other times, though, that conspiracy theories can be highly destructive. One of those times is when a nation is in a period of conflict and the theories tend to inflame, rationalize, and support the enemy.

So far, all of the ‘get Bush’ conspiracy theories, including this latest about a CIA operative, have been destructive and empty. Repeated significant efforts to get to the bottom of various theories have shown that these theories are not only based on unsupported allegation but also often supported by lies and deceit. In other words, they have often crossed the line from passive speculation to created assignation. They have ceased to be rantings of a few on the edge and become rather the attack by opponents to an administration. The problem is that, in attacking the administration, they also attack their own country.

There is an appropriate means to express divergence of opinion. Creating scandal and attempting to smear with innuendo and allegation that are based on created and deceitful assertion are not in the realm of these appropriate means.

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