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The Dumbest Conspiracy Theories Believed by Trump Supporters

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#1
Frozenwolf150

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After having tried and failed on several occasions to talk some sense into the deplorable brand of Trump supporters elsewhere online, I've decided it might be useful to compile a list of the dumbest lies, bullshit, and conspiracy theories that influenced the 2016 election.  It did not come as much of a surprise to me that so many people are this gullible or willfully ignorant, seeing as how 42% of Americans believe in creationism and about half of Americans believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories and others like it.  I'm not just singling out right wingnuts, as there are plenty of leftists who believe CTs too-- in fact, the belief in various CTs about Hillary Clinton was so strong among voters on the left that a considerable number of them voted third-party or abstained from the election entirely.

 

 

Let's start with one that was used as a major talking point by the Right, the Hillary Clinton emails.  This likely cost her more than 2% of the vote, which would have been enough to tip the scales.  By now, everyone has heard the story.  You can get the facts about it here.

 

There are several important things that are worth pointing out.  FBI director James Comey certainly has no love for Hillary Clinton, as his ill-timed announcement that may have cost Hillary the election came just a week before the polls opened.  Yet even so, he concluded on two separate occasions that there was no evidence that Hillary had committed any intentional wrongdoing.  He didn't exonerate or clear her, because those require an actual criminal charge, and Hillary was never even charged in the first place.  Comey did the equivalent of throwing the case out before it ever went to court.

 

Trump supporters claim that Clinton's violation of protocol was a criminal offense, but legal minds more experienced than they have concluded otherwise.  She did not break the law, she violated a social norm or moral folkway.  Government officials are supposed to use a government server, but there's really not much stopping them from doing otherwise.  Past officials have used private email servers, including numerous Bush administration officials.  Though I'm not defending this behavior in either case, because this led to allegations back in 2007 that 22 million emails went missing.  It's suspected that 95% of Bush's cabinet used private RNC servers.  These weren't mere personal correspondences like Clinton's either, as they pertained to the Iraq War and War on Terror among other things.

 

Another fact that often gets ignored, and one that you will never hear a peep from the Right about, is that Trump has his own share of shady email mishandling.  Over the years, Trump's businesses have destroyed hundreds of thousands of emails in direct violation of court orders.  This isn't the equivalent of what Hillary Clinton's staffers did, it's far worse, because it was intentional.  Logically, this makes Trump much more crooked than Clinton ever was, but Trump supporters have the gall to defend him by saying, "He did it as a private citizen, so it should be of no concern to anyone."  Yeah, the same guy who ran for president based on his business experience, saying he would run the country exactly like he ran his businesses.

 

You can see their blatant hypocrisy for yourself.  Several of Trump's high ranking cabinet members have private RNC email servers and when asked, a majority of Trump supporters are perfectly okay with this.  This proves that the Clinton emails were a non-issue, a distraction issue, and were just one of the many things Trump said only to get elected.  However, that hasn't stopped the deplorables from bringing up that talking point over and over again whenever they feel like re-litigating the election.

 

The irony in all this is that when Russia hacked the DNC, they didn't get into Clinton's private server and they didn't hack Clinton's emails.  Those were leaked from other sources.


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The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#2
jonathanlobl

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When belief without evidence is what matters, this is what happens.  People are trained to be stupid.


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#3
Joe Bloe

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Another fact that often gets ignored, and one that you will never hear a peep from the Right about, is that Trump has his own share of shady email mishandling.  Over the years, Trump's businesses have destroyed hundreds of thousands of emails in direct violation of court orders.

 

That piece of news really surprised me. The video at the link surprised me even more.

 

 

A blogger at Patheos has compiled another list of things involving Trump.

http://www.patheos.c...eat-everything/


  • Zeff likes this

Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see.


#4
Frozenwolf150

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This one is a conspiracy theory I had initially neglected, but it belongs on the list because it's one of the most vile and despicable ongoing conspiracy theories.

http://www.latimes.c...0203-story.html

 

Those stupid enough to believe it have done things like send, and attempt to follow through on, death threats to the victims' families.  They've shown up at Sandy Hook to harass the schoolchildren and teachers.  They've posted a deluge of bullshit online, complete with additional pornographic and anti-Semitic content.  These Sandy Hook truthers are followers of Alex Jones and Infowars.com, and were emboldened by Trump's election, since he's a staunch ally of Alex Jones.

 

In fact, just about every one of the CTs I'm planning to cover is prominently featured on Infowars.com, which is the Bible for deplorables.  This is the real harm that can result from people not thinking critically.  Conspiracy theories are not just harmless beliefs, as they cause a lot of tangible damage.

 

 

There's another talking point that isn't so much a CT but a double standard.  Trump supporters say that the violence at Trump rallies was just a few bad eggs, or even that it was justified because they falsely claim that people were paid to disrupt Trump rallies.  Just so you remember, this is what that wanna-be cowboy said after assaulting someone at a Trump rally. They disparage protests and demonstrations by the left, saying that George Soros had to bribe the participants, because they can't fathom how or why anyone would ever want to protest Trump.

 

Since the election, and the start of the anti-Trump protests, there have been two narratives coming from the deplorables.  The first is that they are the innocent victims and the left is unhinged and violent.  Here's that sycophant Sean Hannity blaming Democratic leaders for the violence that has erupted since Trump took office.  The second is that the reports of hate crimes in the aftermath of the election are all hoaxes by the left to de-legitimize Trump.

 

It's undeniable that people are angry, and that hateful rhetoric and violence have characterized both Trump's political career and the protests against it.  It was clearly caught on tape.  However, it takes a special kind of shit-for-brains to discount or outright deny the hate and violence Trump has purposely fanned, while claiming that when violent people hijack leftist protests, that's just the movement showing its true colors.  I've seen plenty of comments online wishing that Trump would be assassinated, but Trump supporters act like liberals invented this sort of speech; there have been just as many comments by conservatives saying the same exact things about Hillary Clinton, or about Barack Obama going back to 2008.

 

Two wrongs do not make a right.  That's a fallacy people are taught to avoid from childhood.  But it seems a lot of them have not grown up.  And this brings me to the next stupid belief from Trump supporters--


The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#5
Frozenwolf150

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Race and racism were central issues of the 2016 election, and the way I see it, both sides addressed the issue in the worst possible ways.  Here's a post-election oped from the NY Times.  Most Trump voters supported him, not because of the racism, but in spite of it.  However, the deplorables, the ones who supported him precisely because of the racism, have been spewing a bullshit narrative that Trump is not the real racist.  They insist that they are not racist, but are the victims of reverse-racism, and this therefore justifies their opposition of and hatred towards the minority groups that Trump has scapegoated with his rhetoric.  They will say this with a straight face, while in the next breath using racial slurs and railing about how certain groups should be jailed, deported, put to death, or otherwise deprived of their civil rights.

 

First off, it's important to understand where this attitude comes from.  It should not just be dismissed as patent stupidity or blind hatred.  People who discriminate against others often feel they have legitimate reasons to do so.  Many of the white working class voters who supported Trump believe they are the victims of reverse-racism on the part of Obama, who elevated minorities to positions of power and sided with Black Lives Matter, while ignoring the plight of white workers in the country who had lost their jobs. Many of them had voted for Obama, twice, and felt betrayed when their lives did not improve.  I've seen some argue that anyone who thinks Trump is a racist has never been the victim of true racism.  Others argue that Trump's policies targeting minorities are not racist because they're justified.  The Alt-Right itself believes that their racist bullshit isn't hate speech, but an expression of free speech, and that they're speaking truth to power.

 

Yet they forget that words have meaning, and racism still exists and is very real.  How do you determine if something is racist?  Disagreeing over issues like affirmative action, immigration, or police brutality is not racist.  Going up to someone and calling them the n-word is racist.  What's the difference?  There are several criteria I have for this.  A statement, attitude, or action is racist if:

 

1) It is factually inaccurate.  Racial stereotypes fall into this category.

2) It is intended to harass, threaten, or intimidate a person or group of people.

3) It is used to justify prejudice, violence, or policies that attack people's civil and human rights.

 

The problem for Trump supporters who insist he's not racist is that his statements fit these criteria perfectly.  His statements on Hispanics, Muslims, blacks, and other minorities are all bullshit.  When they go up against fact checking, they lose.  His rhetoric was purposely intended to terrorize these groups of people; many in this country are scared now of what's going to happen to them.  Then there's no denying that his bullshit policies targeting these groups are designed to violate their civil rights.

 

There's another gauge one can use to prove that Trump is racist, and it has to do with the Conflict Theory of sociology.  To put it simply, the people in power, such as the ruling class and oligarchy, will purposely fan the flames of racial conflict to ensure that the poor and working class are too busy fighting each other over racial divisions.  This way, they will never unite and overthrow the ruling class.  For example, for decades, there has been racial tension between Hispanics and African Americans, and the oligarchy has deliberately encouraged this, because if those two groups were to ever band together, they would make an unstoppable voting bloc.

 

Something very similar has happened, both in this election and in the years prior.  Oligarchs like Trump have pitted the white working class against Hispanics, Muslims, and blacks; men against "feminazis," straights against gays, Christians against non-Christians.  Thus these groups are too busy fighting each other to realize that they're being manipulated.  So poor whites accuse poor Mexicans of coming to take away jobs from hardworking Americans, but if they were to pause and think for a second, they would realize-- Wait a minute, why aren't the people in charge creating more jobs and paying us more?  They would realize that Donald Trump is the one who tried to fire his workers for trying to unionize, who shipped thousands more jobs overseas to get away from regulations in this country, and who bankrupted six of his own companies and screwed over his employees and contractors so that he could get tax exemptions.

 

Racial conflict is how the oligarchy stays in power, and the last thing someone like Trump wants is for the people of different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds to realize that he is their true enemy.  Unfortunately, too many people see race relations as a zero-sum equation, in that any gains made by another group are a loss by theirs.  This is why white Trump voters see themselves as the victims of reverse-racism; they are accustomed to privilege, so they see equality as tantamount to oppression.  They believe that minority scapegoats are ruining their lives, and this narrative was purposely created to keep them from rising up against the oligarchs who are actually ruining their lives.  They insist it was Obama who divided the country, not Trump.

 

For further proof that Trump is racist, look no farther than the things his deplorables have been saying since the election.  They are parroting his divisive rhetoric every single day, in every breath.  Trump himself actually promised after the election to be the president of all Americans and not just the people who voted for him, but you'd never know from listening to his supporters.  You will not hear them say, "Don't worry, as president, Trump will see to the needs, concerns, and civil rights of all Americans."  Instead, you will most likely hear, "Haha, Trump is YOUR president now, and if you don't fall in line, he will silence you, jail you, deport you, and FUCK you!"

 

 

However, they got played for fools by an expert con artist, and don't even realize it.


Edited by Frozenwolf150, 04 February 2017 - 07:10 PM.

The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#6
Frozenwolf150

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Here are a few more that the deplorables can't get enough of.  They're fairly minor, so I won't do as much of an in-depth analysis as for the major talking points, like the Benghazi conspiracy theory.

 

"Hillary Clinton defended a child rapist and laughed about it."  Wrong.  She did not take this case voluntarily, and certainly not because she likes child rapists.  She was just starting out in her legal practice and was assigned the case by the judge, who refused to reassign her after she protested multiple times.  There isn't much you can do if the judge tells you to take a case, so Hillary just did the best job she could.  If you look at the actual context of the interviews, it's clear she hated the client's guts.  In the end, she got him out of the harshest possible sentence, although she still made sure he was punished for his crimes.

 

"Look at all the voter fraud!"  This kind of claim should come as no surprise from a whiny man-baby who can't accept the fact that the majority of Americans don't like him and didn't vote for him.  Yet both he and the deplorables keep re-litigating this, because they simply can't let it go.  There is absolutely no evidence for voter fraud on this scale, and as Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders have said, the problem in the election was not voter fraud but voter suppression.  There were actually only four discovered cases of voter fraud in the 2016 election, and ironically, 3 of the 4 were Republicans.  Their justification was that the system is rigged, therefore they have to lie and cheat to balance the scales.

 

"Hillary Clinton supported BLM so she's anti police and white people!"  Not exactly.  That's not how the Black Lives Matter movement saw it.  This is somewhat more complicated, both because the claim has two parts, and because any protest movement is made up of many different individuals who have different ideals and different ways they wish to pursue their goals.  Some of the leaders of BLM endorsed Hillary, while others wanted nothing to do with her because of her support of the 1994 crime bill that resulted in a lot of black youths being jailed.  Of course, the second part of the claim is pure bullshit; even if someone supports BLM that does not mean they hate police officers or white people.  The vast majority of the movement wants better community relations with police, does not want to see the police harmed, and does not hate white people.  That last point is worth emphasizing, because people of all colors have participated in BLM, and the core message is not implying that other lives don't matter.  Of course it's a tautology that all lives matter, so there's no need for a bunch of conservative idiots to turn that into their own slogan.  The movement is saying that black lives matter just as much as everyone else's, because they are frequently discounted, neglected, or thrown away by acts of violence.

 

"The Clintons had 50 people murdered!"  This is so stupid, I don't even know where to begin.  As the Snopes article points out, when you become a public figure, you make a lot of personal connections, more so than the average citizen.  This increases the likelihood that you will lose people you know.  Count up all the friends and relatives you've lost over the years, and now multiply that by the number of friends and connections a person holding public office would have.  In the eyes of any conspiracy theorist, simply knowing those people makes you directly responsible for their deaths, because who believes the results of official reports and investigations anyway?  Similar things were said about George W. Bush and other past presidents.  This is yet another example of how, to a deplorable, merely being accused of a crime automatically makes you guilty of the crime.  Although they aren't so eager to apply that same standard to Trump himself.


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The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#7
Joe Bloe

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That's another one that really surprised me when I read your post. I knew there had been accusations but had no idea they were talking about FIFTY murders.


Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see.


#8
Zeff

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That's another one that really surprised me when I read your post. I knew there had been accusations but had no idea they were talking about FIFTY murders.

I was aware but I wouldn't call it an accusation or allegation as that implies it is supported by serious evidence. Conspiracy theories and lies require no significant evidence.



#9
Frozenwolf150

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The media is biased against Trump!  For starters this is a simple logical fallacy known as the genetic fallacy, where you judge something as good or bad based on where it came from, and not the merits or validity of the actual argument.  It avoids the argument by invoking an existing negative perception, such as the distrust people have of the mainstream media, rather than attempting to demonstrate why the argument is true or false.

 

Secondly, there is no evidence of political bias in the media.  There's a pretty even split among media employees in terms of how they identify politically.  Even among pundits and reporters whose political affiliation is known, things aren't always cut and try, because people are complicated.  For example, conservative conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck has donated to liberal causes in the past, and has employed people who identify as moderate and liberal.

 

Third, this ignores the real bias going on in media, which is profit.  They will do or say anything to get higher ratings and make more money, including compromise their journalistic integrity.  They cover the stories that are the most shocking, controversial, or easiest to sensationalize.  This is why school shootings get excessive amounts of coverage, even though school shootings as well as all other violent crimes have been on a downward trend since the 1980s.  This is also why the news outlets lavished attention on Trump, because they found him entertaining and good for ratings.

 

Which brings me to my fourth point, the media is actually biased in favor of Trump.  Sure, they might run a lot of negative stories about him, but none of these stories actually hurt his standing, because negative attention is still attention.  Any toddler who acts out for attention knows this.  Over the course of the campaign, the media gave Trump over $3 billion in free publicity, which is equal to (what he claims is) his net worth.  No SuperPAC can buy that kind of advertising.  All he had to do was say something outrageous, and everyone focused their attention on him 24/7.  Hardly any time was devoted to what the other candidates said about actual policy.  The 2016 election was all about who could get the most camera time, and was very thin on issues.

 

It's also worth pointing out that, of the three major cable news networks, Fox News got higher ratings than CNN and MSNBC combined this past year.  This meant that more people were watching their conservative opinion pieces than were watching the liberal opinions of the other networks.  So how exactly are liberal opinions the dominant influence in America?

 

I already mentioned how 45% of Americans believe in creationism, and more than 50% believe in some form of conspiracy theory.  Conspiracy theories, like the ones I've discussed in this thread, were a major driving force in determining the outcome of the 2016 election.  There is no abundance of critical thinking among American voters, and certainly no widespread liberal influence.


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The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#10
Frozenwolf150

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I had brought up Benghazi, so I might as well cover it here.

 

There have been numerous variations on this conspiracy theory.  Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, and her State Department was responsible for the safety and security of US embassies abroad.  So when terrorists attacked the embassy in Libya killing four Americans stationed there, the right was quick to blame her, and blame her relentlessly.  They have said that Hillary knew about the imminent attacks and intentionally failed to act, that the State Department purposely ignored repeated requests for increased security, and some go as far as to directly label Hillary Clinton a murderer or "the butcher of Benghazi" implying that she intentionally orchestrated and participated in the killings.

 

This particular CT has reached a magnitude comparable to 9/11 trutherism, and remains a favorite talking point of both the far-right, and ignorant people on the left who are looking for any ammunition against Hillary Clinton.  As I've said, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms to level against her (she's a corporate Democrat, she's taken tons of money from Wall St. and other special interests, she tactlessly covers up things that she should be honest about, she's a government functionalist, she's tone deaf towards the working class, and she lies 25% of the time) but making up bullshit is not among them.

 

While it's true that the Benghazi embassy could have had heavier security, the same goes for every US embassy around the world.  The US State Dept. receives millions of requests for increased security on a regular basis.  This does not mean that they all go through the Secy of State, or that she necessarily even saw those requests, and there's no evidence that Hillary intentionally disregarded them.  This claim is rather like how 9/11 truthers point out that bomb-sniffing dogs and security personnel were removed from the WTC immediately prior to the attacks.  In actuality, this was security levels returning to normal; security had been heightened in response to previous bomb threats.  Since there's no way to predict with 100% accuracy if or when a particular embassy might be attacked, it's pretty stupid to blame the Secy of State for this.

 

For more

RationalWiki also has an article about the CTs

 

As for whether Hillary Clinton intentionally misled the public, this is subjective, depending on which political side you're on and how much you want to read into her statements.  Check the top link for a rundown of her statements and how they were interpreted.  Again, this is very much like when people tried to analyze George W. Bush's reaction upon hearing about the 9/11 attacks.  If you assume he was doing his best and didn't know about it until he was told, then it's clear he was just as shocked and scared as every other American.  His taking the US into war was simply an inexperienced and terrified leader who was forced to take his job seriously and show the American people that he'll do whatever it takes to fight to defend their security.  If however you assume he knew about the attacks beforehand and intentionally failed to act, then obviously he was acting shocked to cover up his satisfaction that all was going according to plan.  His taking the US into war was a calculated effort to make his business partners rich, and the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated to give him the perfect justification to place the US on a military footing, and thus win re-election.

 

Likewise with Hillary Clinton: If you assume she was doing her best and was caught off guard by the attacks, then her statements and reactions were what you'd expect to see from someone who is deeply concerned about the lives that were lost.  She was trying to find out what exactly had happened, to make sense of the little information available as it trickled in, while fending off unfair accusations from the right.  If however you assume she intentionally orchestrated and tried to cover up the attacks, then her statements were calculated, not candor.  She was trying to cover her ass, and Obama's, so that Obama could win re-election; and her attitude showed she was dismissive and cavalier about the lives that were lost.

 

As with most conspiracy theories, this is a case where the CT itself has caused its share of harm.  It's been a waste of resources, taxpayer dollars, time, and attention that could have been better spent on issues that actually matter.  From the article:

" This single Benghazi committee has been “investigating” the attack for longer than Congress conducted inquiries into Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Iran-Contra, Watergate and intelligence failures in Iraq.

Worse still, Congress convened 22 hearings about the 9/11 attack that killed almost 3,000 citizens working in the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan; this week, Congress will be holding its 21st hearing about an attack that killed four people working in Libya, with many more sessions left to come. Do Republicans actually think that terrorists killing four agents of the government who willingly assumed the risks of residing in one of the most dangerous places in the world is more important than terrorists murdering 3,000 unsuspecting civilians who were working at their offices in New York City?"


Edited by Frozenwolf150, 10 February 2017 - 09:09 AM.

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The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#11
Cousin Ricky

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The closest I can assign responsibility to Bush was that he got a security briefing that the terrorists were up to something, and he didn't take it seriously. Basically, Bush's fault wasn't that he knew about 9/11, but that he should have known that some sort of attack was imminent.

 

I saw the look on Bush's face when he was informed about the attack. He's not a good enough actor to fake that.


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#12
Frozenwolf150

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As I said in another topic, conspiracy theories aren't exclusive to any one political affiliation.  Those of you who remember the Ethical Atheist boards will know what I'm talking about, as the 9/11 Truthers on there identified as ultra-liberal.  As time went by though, I noticed that the majority of Truthers were some strange brand of libertarian, and now in 2017 Alex Jones is an ultra-conservative nutjob who loves the taste of Donald Trump's ass.  Ironically, Jones has become the one thing he always claimed he hated: a shill for an authoritarian regime.

 

A new poll came out revealing that belief in CTs is not only still very high, it also infects people on both the left and the right.  Sure, the specific theories might differ on the surface, but the anaphylactic reaction they have to facts and rational thought is exactly the same.

 

 

Quite frankly, anything higher than 0% is too high.


The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#13
Cousin Ricky

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As I said in another topic, conspiracy theories aren't exclusive to any one political affiliation.  Those of you who remember the Ethical Atheist boards will know what I'm talking about, as the 9/11 Truthers on there identified as ultra-liberal.  As time went by though, I noticed that the majority of Truthers were some strange brand of libertarian, and now in 2017 Alex Jones is an ultra-conservative nutjob who loves the taste of Donald Trump's ass.  Ironically, Jones has become the one thing he always claimed he hated: a shill for an authoritarian regime.

 

A new poll came out revealing that belief in CTs is not only still very high, it also infects people on both the left and the right.  Sure, the specific theories might differ on the surface, but the anaphylactic reaction they have to facts and rational thought is exactly the same.

 

This is strong evidence that the people on both the left and right are Homo sapiens.

 

This species has accomplished some amazing things, but it still needs work.


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.



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