Friday, January 18, 2013
The Truther Outrage
by Pa Rock
Conspiracy theories have abounded in America almost since the dawn of the nation. Sometimes they come about because of the obvious machinations of some of our more diabolical leaders – Richard Nixon leaps to mind – and other times they are the result of people seeking a more interesting or dramatic reason behind a significant event. Once people buy into a conspiracy theory, they build up defenses to ward off any factual challenges to what they have come to accept as fact. In some ways it becomes so ingrained that it almost feels like the adoption of a religion.
Coming of age in the Watergate era, I have more than a modest mistrust of what the government routinely grinds out as fact or news. For instance, I feel that there is more to the assassination of President Kennedy than we have been told in the fifty years since the crime of the century in Dallas. But, even with my skepticism of the JFK assassination story, I generally feel that our government is honest. Yes, George Bush and his people lied about Saddam Hussein’s supposed nuclear weapon’s program, but not even Dick Cheney was evil enough to bring about an attack on the World Trade Center just so he could have his Middle East war for oil routes.
And therein lies the rub. Conspiracy theories used to be based in enough fact that they could conceivably be possible, but today they have gotten so unhinged from reality as to be just plain crazy – and mean. I have a friend who believes fervently that our government brought down the Twin Towers. He has sifted through all of the evidence, incorporated that which contributes to his views into his belief system, and rejected all that doesn’t fit what he wants to believe. My friend and his fellow travelers have been labeled by a cynical media and society as “Truthers,” people who choose to believe their complicated fantasy over what the rest of the world watched and accepted over live television.
The truth, as The X-Files tells us, is out there.
As annoying as “Truthers” might be in an otherwise sane world, they have been, until recently, relatively harmless. But now there is a new conspiracy theory floating the mists of cyberspace that is so outrageous and preposterous as to not only defy belief, but also to beg the notion that the existence of this “theory” is far more likely to be a conspiracy itself.
I am speaking, of course, of the Sandy Hook Truthers, a collection of sick pukes who believe (or say they believe) that their government either arranged or fabricated the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut so that the federal government (and especially its black, Kenyan, Muslim leader) would have an excuse to rush in and seize the guns of barely law-abiding paranoid delusionals.
The gun industry and its well-paid stooges have been beating the drum of gun sales for four years by warning that “Obama is coming to get your guns.” When nothing significant happened during his first term, the tune changed to one saying that he was definitely coming to get the guns now - since he no longer has to stand for re-election.
And then came Sandy Hook and the absolute horror that descended on America. The gun lobby has pulled out all of the stops in their intimidation of the American political system and declared an all-out war on any sensible gun legislation. But there was still the problem of that pesky massacre of a score of innocent first graders in Connecticut.
So enter the Sandy Hook Truthers, with more than a little encouragement from those who make a living selling guns and ammunition. Some of these shameless souls have been busy posting films on the Internet that “prove” that there was no massacre and the kids are actually still alive. (How would that feel to one of the parents who was called to the mortuary to identify their child’s bloodied body?) Another group accepts that murders as actually having happened, but proposes that the government “programmed” the mentally ill shooter into committing the heinous crime. The reason: So Obama could come and get your guns.
The people promoting this garbage are awful beyond words. True, many are undoubtedly too mentally limited to realize just how harmful and hurtful their words are, but more than a few of those fanning the fires of this disease know their premise is one hundred percent false – however, they have a financial and political investment in spreading it. “Shameless” doesn’t begin to cover the evil of their intentional deception.
Novelist Sinclair Lewis once famously said, “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” I beg to update the famous author: “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross in one hand and an automatic weapon with a hundred-round clip in the other.”
The gun madness must end! We all have a “right” to live in safety.