Why I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and don’t disbelieve them either.
A recent buzzphrase is “conspiracy theory.” If an idea, fact, historical event, opinion, etc., is called a conspiracy theory it is the kiss of death for it being taken seriously. There are many brows furrowed among those who have them when the judgment, “conspiracy theory” is pronounced over an opinion or idea. Most of these judgments are made in a secret trial, however, and it is never completely clear how things are sorted out—what is a conspiracy theory (false) and what is an almost unbelievable fact that turns out to be true.
It also depends upon who wields the label: if the CBC, government spokes-head, or other too-big-to-be-wrong entity declares something is a conspiracy theory, then that’s the end of it. “Shut up!” they explained.
But what happens when a conspiracy theory turns out to be actually true? Let’s say I was very perceptive and in December 2019 I predicted the goings-on in almost every nation on earth in March 2020 (and on to infinity). Would I not be declared a conspiracy theorist? Yet I would be shown to be correct. Of course, March 2020 is the event that has launched a thousand conspiracy theories, and some seem more true than ever, no matter who it is that says otherwise.
When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, it was a matter of hours before the Russian Collusion story began to unfold. As we know, it was likely the most investigated non-event in modern history, and it was debunked. There are those who still believe it, but they really should look at the possibility of Chinese interference in the 2020 election. Even if China didn’t affect the outcome, their happiness at Biden’s win should not be shared by anyone.
So, were those who wanted to unseat Trump (Democrats) falling for a conspiracy theory? Or were the rest of us arrogant to call the whole thing a conspiracy theory? It was certainly ONLY a conspiracy theory until it was shown to be a very real conspiracy, only, not the one advertised!
There was a conspiracy, and that was to overturn the results of a mostly fair election. Those who said, “Hey, this is not true, there was no Russian collusion,” were marked as deniers. As the truth leaked out (such as Congressman Adam Schiff’s non-bombshell inside information), if you claimed there was a true conspiracy, you were labeled a “conspiracy theorist.” Lose-loser-lost.
So, some remarks:
1) Not all conspiracy theories are false, nor are they true. Being unproven does not make them false or true.
2) Conspiracy theories are not false because of their source, nor are they true for the same reason. The Washington Post and New York Times can carry fake news and wild nonsense like the best in yellow journalism.
3) Being called a conspiracy theorist is similar to being called a “racist.” If you are a racist, that is your problem. If you are not, it is the problem of your accuser and they must answer for it on the day of judgment. There is no conspiracy theory union to which you may belong. Be skeptical.
4) Unless you want to be repeatedly embarrassed, don’t use the label so easily against those who have ideas you find unpleasant, or ideas that might cause you to rise to action.
5) Stop with the vague warnings against conspiracy theories, because you do not likely have enough information to use that label.
6) Remember, most politicians and journalists can be sent to hell based upon the 9th commandment alone.
Going forward, I’m going to use the phrase, “unverified opinion” or “unverified event.”
“Unverified Opinionator,” used by an opponent, just makes them sound silly.