A little over a year ago, former governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura was a guest on the Opie & Anthony radio program. Ventura was pushing his new career as a conspiracy theorists, starting a new show on tru-TV called “Conspiracy Theory.” In a nutshell, Ventura believes the government was behind 9/11. O&A’s co-host Jim Norton challenged Ventura and the exchange got very heated leading to Ventura leaving the booth in anger.
It was sad to hear as I was a fan of Ventura, having lived in Minnesota during the first part of his term as governor. He had a chance to really change the political process, at least in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it became clear after the first few years of his term that Ventura didn’t have the smarts or the thick skin needed for politics. He was upset with the media for asking his wife personal questions. What did he think was going to happen? He got back into the circus of the WWE, appearing at their events in the Twin Cities and even taking a gig as color commentator for the ill-fated XFL. After leaving office, he lapsed into his new conspiracy theory lifestyle. On the O&A interview, his line of argument was textbook, no facts to back up his claims and when challenged he would give voice to the tried and true arguments of the conspiracy theorists: “Oh, you believe what the government tells you?” or “I’m just asking questions.” A line Glenn Beck is often criticized for using.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially when I read stories about global warming. The followers of Al Gore are split into two camps: those that honestly believe we are destroying the earth and have very little time left, and those that know it’s a lie but are using it to gain political power. Let’s deal with the former. I often wonder what it is in the human psyche for some people that they just have to believe that we are doomed. Whether it’s global warming or the Mayan Calendar or Judgement Day or anything Nostradamus has ever said, some people just have to believe in some sort of apocalypse.
It’s easy to say to yourself don’t worry about it, it’s just a bunch of kooks who can’t hurt anyone. Well, is that true? Go back to the two global warming camps I spoke of: the believers and the manipulators. The believers are unknowingly giving power to the manipulators. Given enough power they could potentially destroy the world economy with “Cap and Trade” being a mere warm-up act.
Then you have someone like Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist. Krugman is a strange mix of the true believer and the manipulator. His columns are an exercise in wish fulfillment, with about 10% factual information and the other 90% his desires stated as fact. If he believes it, then it must be true. His mantra for all of 2009 was that the federal government, that’s spent trillions of dollars, hasn’t spent enough.
Krugman then outdid himself yesterday, when he gave his two cents on the shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona that saw Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head by a mentally-deranged 22-year old man. Almost the minute the shooting happened, the pundits on the Left worked to pin the shooting on the Tea Party, Sarah Palin and Talk Radio. Again, it was a cabal of two thought-processes: those that knew it was a lie but wanted political advantage, and those that truly wanted to it to be true for it reinforced their world-view, a view that has roots in the JFK assassination. James Piereson has an excellent book on this topic called Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism. His main argument being that the conspiracy theories that arose out of the assassination have made liberalism what it is today: an ideology that believes America is the greatest obstacle to peace and freedom in the world. It also goes to a problem experienced by a vast majority of people. It is very hard to get your head around the fact that one man with a gun can change the world. Lee Harvey Oswald changed the world. Sirhan Sirhan changed the world. James Earl Ray changed the world, and yes, you could even argue Mark David Chapman changed the world. And what do they have in common? They all acted alone. It’s a hard fact to embrace and many people simply can’t or won’t. Oswald, Ray, et al had to have been part of something bigger. They couldn’t just be crazy or racist or whatever.
Sorry, but yes, one crazy man with a gun can change the world.
Yesterday, a Congresswoman was shot in the head. Many saw an opportunity to score political points, others just wanted to believe Sarah Palin was to blame. As I said earlier, it would be easy just to dismiss these nut-balls, but sadly, they have power and they have allies. CNN, MSNBC, the NY Times are more than happy to parrot every anti-Tea Party conspiracy that a guy with a blog or Twitter account can conjure up. That’s the danger, that’s what makes me fearful. I hope that with the political shift of last November that the public is awakening to the institutional malpractice of the MSM. If not, we are in trouble.
Of course, some will read this and say I’m a conspiracy theorist for believing what I believe. This, however, proves an important point. Who has the facts on their side?