From alien invasions to dark conjecture about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and 9/11, conspiracy theories have always abounded in this country. But I can’t remember a time when more ugly, hurtful, provably false theories have been spread than the present.
After comedian Roseanne Barr was fired last week for a racist tweet about former President Barack Obama adviser and close friend Valerie Jarrett, few took notice of the equally ugly tweet earlier that same day. It claimed billionaire and activist George Soros was a Nazi collaborator in World War II who turned in fellow Jews to be killed. Although Soros was a child who hid from Nazis during the war, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted the slanderous claim.
On the conspiracy website InfoWars.com, Alex Jones has claimed Soros “stole hundreds of millions of dollars from Hungarian Jews.”
But the ugly lie pales compared with what Jones did after the shooting massacre of children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He claimed the 2012 killings were an elaborate hoax, and the dead children and their parents were actors.
Since then, mourning families have been harassed and received death threats from those demanding “proof” that their children died. The families are suing, saying Jones “perpetuated a monstrous, unspeakable lie; that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged.”
Deliberately spreading such mistruths is beyond vile. Unfortunately, one of the biggest conspiracy theorists in the nation now occupies the White House.
Aside from praising website weasel Jones for his “amazing” reputation, for years Trump spread the conspiracy that Obama’s birth certificate was fake and that he was really a Kenyan. Trump also suggested that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was killed, and that the father of Sen. Ted Cruz was involved in the Kennedy assassination.
Meanwhile, it came as no surprise when Barr’s show was canceled by Walt Disney Corp.’s ABC network. Be assured that virtually every major private U.S. company would fire an employee who spread bigotry and lies that damage its corporate reputation. Luckily for Trump, he doesn’t have to answer to a corporate board of directors.
Who is his employer, anyway? Yipes, it’s us.
See you in November.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.