Conspiracy theorists have a seat at the table, and have for the last four years. These people are not grounded in facts, but in the total opposite: conjecture. They’ve structured their thought process such that any and all outcomes fit into their narrative. The 2016 election was certainly lousy with wild, unsubstantiated accusations against Hilary Clinton, and the 2020 election was no different. Once again, President Trump showed us that he lends not only an ear to the conspiracy theorists, but also his support.
President Trump tried shamelessly to paint President-elect Joe Biden and his family as a crime family, and the President’s supporters ate it up. Those claims didn’t quite take hold as strongly as President Trump’s anti-Clinton rhetoric in 2016, but it’s terrifying to see the President of the United States openly given credence to conspiracy theories with no evidence but the urging of internet creeps and paranoid “patriots.”
Despite the anti-Biden rhetoric’s inability to gain traction, the President and his cohort had other plans in motion. For months, President Trump said that the only way he’ll lose the election is if there’s cheating, that mail ballots breed fraud. He did this so convincingly that despite no evidence of voter fraud, President Trump’s base was ready to believe that the only accurate results would be Trump’s reelection.
It was a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. There was no outcome that wouldn’t feed into their foundationless theories. To them, there was no scenario in which the country detests the President enough to remove him from office. It’s like the loud drunk at the bar who’s surprised when he’s asked to leave – “no one can possibly dislike President Trump, he’s the second coming.” In the eyes of the President’s supporters, there were two clear outcomes. The first scenario would be that President Trump wins reelection, thus proving that everyone does indeed love the President, and elections are fair. The second outcome would be one where Biden won, which is clearly impossible, and so the results must be rigged. Either they win because they’re supposed to or they lose because of fraud, there’s no room for a legitimate loss in that thinking. Thus, the self-fulfilling prophecy: either way, they’ve confirmed their suspicions that everyone is out to get President Trump, that Joe Biden is corrupt, and that President Trump is the rightful leader of the nation.
Their thinking is missing something: logic. It isn’t just their election theorizing that lacks logic, but all of their conspiracy theories are removed from reality in so far as it helps to prove their case. There is no counter evidence that conspiracy theorists will accept because all counter evidence amounts to lying in their minds. There’s no room for error on their part because they won’t listen to criticism. And when they do hear any form of criticism, it too is filed under “lies.” They’ve built a wall around their way of thinking, a wall that no one can penetrate – but at least they got their wall.
One of the most interesting facets of the conspiracy theory mindset is that they think themselves not only to be intelligent, but the most intelligent. They purport that those of us who don’t buy into their theories are the “sheep,” and they’re the enlightened ones who know the truth.
It must be nice to have no possible way of being wrong.
This has been a bit of a tangent, but I felt it necessary to write this because in the coming months leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President respectively, things are going to get ugly. In fact, I would go as far as to say that all the talk of a civil war breaking out in America has been premature up until this moment. Now is the time when the most unstable of Trump supporters feel wronged, cheated; they feel as though their narrow and fictitious view of democracy has been pulled out from under them, that America as they know it is going away, that white people will lose their prominence. So, for the next few months, keep your head on a swivel, because President Trump and his cronies will do anything to avoid admitting defeat, and now they’ve got nothing to lose.
So, enjoy this victory, I know I am. But, keep your eyes open.