Conspiracy Theories are Killing Us, America

THE DEADLY EFFECT OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES

The deadly effect of conspiracy theories is seen not only in the unnecessarily high death toll from Covid-19 and the rise of anti-Asian and anti-Semitic hate crimes over a year that saw more scapegoating than responsible action in response to the pandemic; we are only two months into 2021 and we’ve already witnessed the impact of conspiracy theories in two major national crises.

THE CONSPIRACY-FUELED BLAME GAME IN TEXAS

The failure of the power grid in Texas is tragic, but to be clear, it was avoidable. As the Texas Tribune reported, “Texas regulators and lawmakers knew about the grid’s vulnerabilities for years, but time and again they furthered the interests of large electricity providers.”

CONSPIRACY THEORIES: DEEP ROOTS IN THE AMERICAN PSYCHE

The most dangerous conspiracy theories are the ones that have deep roots in the American psyche. These are the conspiracy theories that blame socialism and Jews for our suffering.

THE TEMPLATE FOR NORMALIZING THE BIG LIE

The kind of Holocaust denial I witnessed at that white nationalist conference in Ellensburg nearly 25 years ago set the stage for the normalization of today’s equally outrageous conspiracy theories.

ACCOUNTABILITY: SACRIFICED ON THE ALTAR OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES

The deadly cost of infrastructure failures, pandemic mismanagement, and ideological bias in law enforcement makes it plain: Conspiracy theories enable bad public policy. The allowance we make for entertaining conspiracy theories in public policy debates detracts from the real issues impacting us all, such as deregulation and greed.

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Western States Center

Western States Center

Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy.