But for the record, I must state I agree with RL, particularly his last comment below which I am responding to here. Yes, there ARE billion dollar industries engaged in this effort.
“Do you think the people crafting the conspiracy theories actually believe them? No, they lovingly craft them to have the influence they want. To push the faithful just a bit further into unthinking zealotry…”
What we are seeing in this country is an unbroken thread which stretches from Joe McCarthy right into the present, and which will be with us far into the future. It has roots in the earliest days of our Republic, but it organized itself into a specific faction shortly after the end of the Second World War. I was born in 1947, I’m old enough to have seen it unfold right from the beginning and it has been the background music to my entire adult life. It may exploit some authentic (but not necessarily legitimate) sentiments of a significant part of the population, but it is NOT a spontaneous grass-roots movement arising from the heartland and the people. It is a deliberately crafted conspiracy which has been assembled to accumulate wealth and power by enlisting the very victims of the conspirators as allies, using an appeal to bigotry, ignorance, fear and hatred. “Conservatism” did not arise naturally, it was devised for a specific, malicious purpose: to overthrow the results of the New Deal and take the benefits of our economy away from those who work in it and give it back to those who control it.
So spare me the post-Trump do-gooder lets-forgive-and-forget Liberal Kumbaya crap. America came very close to succumbing to a fascist coup d’etat under Trump. And his partisans are still very much with us, conspiring away. Hell, half the electorate voted for and is still with him and their political, financial and intellectual leadership remains intact. This struggle is by no means over, and its outcome is by no means certain.
I am not making this up. You know other countries have seen this going on in America. Our allies and friends are aghast, baffled and terrified at what is happening here. And our adversaries have noticed too, mobilizing to take advantage of our divisions and exploiting them for their own purposes.
RL is right. We may find his rhetorical methods somewhat over the top and extreme, and sometimes even downright cringeworthy, but he is spot on and I want to go on record as being in full agreement and support with him.