Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Embracing the crazy

You can tell a lot about a president just by seeing what kinds of crazy conspiracy theories get attached to them.

George H.W. Bush was lucky to preside over the end of communism. When he used the term "new world order" to describe what was happening, he became known as a tool of the Trilateral Commission, the Illuminati, and the international banking conspiracy.

With Bill Clinton, it was "Arkancide"--supposedly the Big Dog was responsible for a large number of deaths among supporters and opponents--and the Branch Davidians at Waco.

George W. Bush was accused of blowing up the World Trade Center, and of allowing Saudi royals to leave the country in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

For Barack Obama's first term, the conspiracy was based around the idea that he was actually born in Kenya, and that his Hawaii birth certificate was a fake.

The new conspiracy?  That the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, were staged by the government to provide a justification for new gun control.

The one thing that all of these things have in common is that they aren't true.  Not one of them.  The last one is particularly crazy.  But that doesn't stop otherwise well intentioned people from believing in them.  When I hear of these theories, I think of the level of secrecy needed to pull them off...and I remember the old Benjamin Franklin quote:

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

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