Trump and his allies have been particularly on fire this week spreading baseless conspiracy theories.
They might be turning up the heat because after three and a half years of his presidency, his critics are harder to outrage and his base is harder to excite.
Or it’s possible that Trump’s failures in responding to the coronavirus pandemic have left us all so exhausted that we can’t be bothered to forcefully react to genuinely shocking behavior from the president.
Some of Trump’s most prominent critics have countered his rhetoric by spreading unhinged conspiracy theories of their own, which is … unhelpful.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Trump, members of his inner circle, and some of his most prominent media allies have been pushing outrageous and easily debunkable and conspiracy theories this week.
If that sentence feels evergreen, it’s because it is.
Trump’s rise to political prominence was buoyed almost a decade ago by his “just asking questions” speculation that President Obama was actually born in Kenya and thus, not a legitimate president.
But in the past week, the president has obsessively railed against the fake “Obamagate” conspiracy, mused aloud on Twitter that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough might be a murderer, and said, “The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” adding, “The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation.”
Meanwhile, his son Eric said that the economy-destroying lockdowns are a conspiracy to ruin his father’s electoral chances in November, after which he says all the concerns about a pandemic that has killed 80,000 Americans and counting “will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear.”
Not to be outdone, Trump’s other son Don Jr. shared a meme on Instagram calling former Vice President Joe Biden a pedophile.
It’s old hat to note that this kind of behavior from a president and his surrogates (who happen to be his children) was once unfathomable, but there was something about the mouth-frothing lies and slanders of this week that stood out.
As Politico media columnist Jack Shafer put it, “both his supporters and critics have grown numb to his previous rhetorical excesses and need for him to cross new boundaries, violate new taboos, and break fresh panes of glass in order remain engaged.”
It’s possible that the relentless noise produced by Trumpworld has finally broken the brains of the American people. But it’s equally likely that with the world in disarray, our lives upended and futures uncertain, that we just can’t be moved to care about Trump’s unhinged fulminations.
This feels normal now, and that’s a big problem
I asked Anna Merlan, a senior staff writer for Vice and the author of “Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power,” whether there was something exceptionally unhinged about Trump and Co.’s conspiratorial flailing this week.
Merlan said that Trump and his allies tend …read more
Source:: Business Insider