It wasn’t until 2016 when I realized how something like the Nazi party could come into power in Germany only 85 years ago.
I remember when Alex Jones first came on the scene. He became famous by propagating anti government paranoia back when the 9-11 truther movement originated, when they claimed George Bush and company orchestrated the attack on ourselves. The fervor from this anti propaganda morphed on to whatever political or world occurrence that happened next. It morphed into a delusional freak show of an unending web of lies and self centered illusions to continue the mental schema of paranoia, being a victim, and essentially attempting to gain power over a situation they deemed powerless on. The fantasy of having this knowledge of what “really” happened, and as such this power over these global elites, made them feel, well, more powerful.
The conspiracy theories that Jones propagated then morphed into fodder for some and many in the right wing. Infowars and prison planet were getting more and more hits. People felt empowered to “finally know the truth”, and as such grasp onto power over people that made them feel powerless.
Trump is a man that has validated the likes of Alex Jones. Trump got creamed in the 2008 mortgage banking and property crisis, which seems to have had a great effect on his perception of reality. It seemed that he felt powerless and latching on to these conspiracy theories in turn made him feel like he had his pre-2008 power back. It’s the nature of why conspiracy theories can become not only self redeeming, but addictive.
The propagation of sentiment that the media has some globalist agenda that essentially shrouds the citizens of the world from the essential truths, such as reptilians running the planet, or some secret illuminati agenda that secretly rules the world commenced on-wards.
I saw all this happening and gaining ground and most if not all reasonable intelligent people just dismissed these weird theories and ignored them. Don’t engage the trolls, they thought. What happened to this stream of thought traveling by word of mouth from person to person, share to share, became a regular attack on Barrack Obama after Bush left office.
It gained ground, people who hated the elite, the globalists, the Illuminati or whatever they wanted to be the enemy, seemed to continue this mindset to people who were suspect to this because we had a black man from Kenya as president, a communist, or someone who is going to take our guns. Obama’s opposition got squashed, but the delirium remained. People ignored the rabid underground right wing as they went on perceiving “news” from their small bubble on social media, and this sentiment morphed with the typical republican voter by extension of their friends and family.
The clicks of links on things and fake news that were outrageous and absurd gained more and more revenue, so more and more outrage and nonsense was disseminated to the right wing voter. The left, meanwhile, was having a geek revival. The revenge of the nerds. Geek became chic, science and intelligence were hip, and the average yokel who couldn’t think on that level became disenfranchised even more with the continual globalization and lack of recognition. Conspiracy theories have them power over all this. Trump too needed that power it seems and he goes on to lead a campaign rooted in the delusions of the popularity of Alex Jones types and the forgotten man. The conservative changed and went bizarrely right and anti elite in a manner that the disenfranchised could be redeemed by. If they believe it, it became their reality. The fervor leads to a conspiracy truth challenged delusional narcissist as President, backed by cult like members that I could only compare to the same type of people under the spell of Nazi propaganda in the 1930’s.
These people who considered themselves patriots, became party loyalists. Nationalists, they claim they are, maybe identifying as white nationalists even. More importantly though was their echo chamber and bubble of a weird emerging group of disenfranchised conspiracy theorist right wingers. The anti intellectual, disenfranchised by their own lack of comprehending complex political issues. It’s easier to believe a propagandistic picture with 5 words telling everyone how evil Obama is. People with the wealth of human knowledge at their fingertips, chose to explore their own preconceived notions instead. Confirmation bias is the scourge of the internet era.
Now we have people throwing away our standards of national democracy in favor of this bizarre party. I don’t appreciate people hijacking patriotism and skewering it into some Alt-Right spell blinding conspiracy riddled madness that ultimately came from the same bizarre train of thoughts like Sandi hook not happening or 9-11 was an inside job.
I sat by watching people spread this nonsense for way too long, dismissing them as isolated loons. It turns out I shouldn’t have done that. We all knew better and we all could have tried at least to prevent some those we know to get entrapped by the propaganda. I let it ride because I didn’t know how extensive it was, to cause someone like Trump come to power. I thought we were better than that as a nation. I thought most voters would be reasonable enough in this country. It is now apparent that they aren’t. I’m a patriot, I want what’s best for this nation. I want what’s best for you.
“There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth you were not mad.” I see foaming at the mouth wingnuts spreading Goebbel-esque propaganda on a regular basis.
You can’t out-think people who have truth and logical reasons on their side. It’s not about party affiliation, it’s about reasonable human beings vs delusional, and delusional people can’t sustain against logic and reason, unless they wish to fight physically. Until then, the chances are dim, “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time”.
I haven’t met many people from the conservative side that could discern fiction anymore. My mother, a conservative, wouldn’t recognize this party any more, and she passed away only a few years ago. It is a shame, a sham and a total failure of rational thought.