Flashback: One Year Ago, Trump Was A Conspiracy Theory Fountain
Hey, remember Alternet? Yeah, Liberals, they’re still in business, they’re just a little more moth-eaten. Anyway, this post from May of 2016 lists a whopping 58 conspiracy theories touted by candidate Donald Trump. Can you imagine, the man who today complains there’s a witch hunt against him:
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
…once slung them around like spitballs? Gee, it’s almost as if he were unaware of what he says from one day to the next.
This gives us an opportunity to reflect: How do we tell a false conspiracy theory from a real conspiracy? Because real-life conspiracies happen all the time. Watergate and Iran-Contra are two famous examples. So when we see a conspiracy theory, we can’t ever be sure if it’s true or not, but we can assign a pretty accurate probability to it:
* First, how does the theory work with Occam’s Razor? The simplest explanation is usually the most correct. In Russiagate, the behavior of the principles is so damning, what with the constant firings and Twitter rants alone, that any other explanation is flabberghasting.
* Second, does it require superhuman feats of power? Nothing about Russiagate seems to be that far out of reach; in fact, the perpetrators are so stupid that it’s funny how badly they screwed up such a simple plot. If somebody secretly paid you money to direct policy a certain way, don’t you think you could keep it quiet?
* Third, does it require secrecy on a huge scale? This is the one sticking point with Russiagate. At times, it does seem like either a frightening number of individuals cooperated and kept their mouths shut, but at other times the perps never bother to hide anything. The reality is that the Trump team never hid anything that well to start with, but the entire election for two years was a daily megaphone screaming “HILLARY’S EMAILS!” to the point where aliens could have invaded Earth and we never would have known because the top story was Hillary’s emails. This wasn’t part of the conspiracy, merely a handy accident for the perps.
That’s the major talking points, but the list goes on at Scientific American anyway. In retrospect, some of the stories we’re seeing come up about Russiagate are leading to dead ends, but the positive leads outweigh them a hundred fold. The problem with uncovering a real-life conspiracy is that you never know how much you don’t know.