How do we wind up with almost an entire political party embracing conspiracy theories that used to be ignored or simply dismissed as rantings from the lunatic fringe? Is it really possible that at least two incoming GOP Members of Congress have voiced support for Qanon? Are we really now living in a world where such nutty, anti-Semitic, and racist internet mouthings can be taken seriously by anyone at all?
Qanon may be the most extreme example of alt-right conspiracy activity, but the idea that there’s this unseen but largely government-connected group that is planning to take over the country and destroy everything we hold near and dear isn’t particularly new. In fact, such narratives have been floating around since at least the 1960’s, if not before.
Where and how did these ideas first appear? Among individuals and groups who opposed the civil rights and voting rights laws. This opposition first became a national issue when President Eisenhower deployed the National Guard to Little Rock after Governor Faubus refused to let Black students attend Central High School in 1957. The defense of segregation became even more intense in the early 1960’s, forcing President Kennedy to send federal marshals to protect Freedom Riders from violent assaults in 1961.
These events and others set a pattern in motion which continues to the present day. And the pattern is that the national government ‘imposes’ laws and regulations on local communities to enforce liberal solutions to problems that local communities should be allowed to settle without outside interference of any kind.
And what do most of these problems and solutions involve? They involve issues of race. On occasion they also involve issues of gender both for women and gays. But whatever the issue, it’s always those goddamn liberals whose agenda runs counter to what good, God-fearing people both desire and believe.
There’s only one little problem with this argument, however. And the problem involves the fact that since 1920, when the two national parties began to shape themselves around liberal versus conservative ideals, the White House has been occupied by a GOP President for slightly longer than it has been the home of a President from the Democratic side. – 52 red, 48 blue.
So how do you explain the successful assault on our basic traditions and values if the government has so often been in the ‘right’ hands? You explain it by promoting the idea that it really doesn’t matter who wins an election; what really matters is who runs the government where it really counts – voila! – the Deep State.
This nonsense first took off, aided by social media, following the terrible killing of those young children in the elementary school at Sandy Hook. Why was the Sandy Hook massacre a totally staged and totally phony event? Because the liberals wanted to disarm America and take away all ‘our’ guns. And which Presidential candidate then gave Alex Jones – progenitor of the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory – a pat on the back for helping his campaign? The same candidate now President who invented the idea of a ‘rigged’ election completely on his own.
So once again those goddamn liberals hidden deep inside the recesses of the Federal Government are attempting to impose their agenda on you, me and all the other decent, hard-working Americans who voted to re-elect Donald Trump.
Remember Dick Armey and Freedom Works which fought Obama’s Affordable Care Act because it would have imposed socialism from sea to shining sea? Remember the Tea Party’s appearance in 2009 in response to Federal bailouts of the auto industry which were really just another effort to impose the Socialist agenda by the Deep State? Remember Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin?
This craziness goes all the way back to when we passed a civil rights law a full century after a Constitutional Amendment gave African-Americans full civil rights. The good news is that as soon as Joe is sworn into office as Number 46, the conspiracy theory boys will no longer have access to the bully pulpit and they’ll go back to underneath their rocks – which is where they belong.
And they can take #45 along with them as well.