As if I don’t have enough to worry about these days! I’ve found something new and exciting (at least for me) to keep me up at night. It’s a device the right-wing followers use to explain away anything that counters their views. It’s called ‘a false flag operation’ and it’s basically paranoia — on steroids. The most recent examples in the right-wing press are:
- Recent attacks on Jewish facilities and cemeteries have been perpetrated by Jews and liberals to make Trump and his supporters look bad.
- The CIA hacked the Democratic National Committee during the election, but has the technology to make it look as if the Russians did it. They did it to — you guessed it — make Trump and his supporters look bad.
- Then there’s the oldie but goodie about the Newtown school massacre. It never happened. Actors were hired to make it look real. It was faked to make Second Amendment gun advocates look bad.
There are so many more it boggles the mind. What happened to “When you hear hooves, assume horses, not zebras”?
What kind of people are willing, nay eager, to believe a convoluted conspiracy theory rather than an obvious truth? Do you have to be paranoid? Or one of the people who never goes near critical thought because it will mess with your delusions? To buy into any of these cabals and lies, you have to believe everyone is out to get you … and deeply wicked. Nefarious. Evil. Buying into this stuff is more than just untrue. It’s unhinged.
I believe what I believe, but I critically evaluate the information I get for and against my beliefs. I would get no comfort from a flimsy, outlandish theory that I could not verify just because it bolstered my world view. I would analyze it and reject it as false or unsubstantiated. Then, I’d move on.
So we’re back to what makes me reject these ridiculous theories and cabals while others embrace them.
I believe in facts. I believe in science. Forensics. I know there are ways to prove what’s real and what’s not. Maybe other people have a looser definition of ‘truth’ than I do. Require less evidence. Maybe they are the kind of people who will believe anything they see on the internet. Many others don’t care whether or not something is true after they choose to believe it.
Others choose to believe and never mind truth or evidence.
Have you ever watched “America’s Got Talent” or any talent show? There are people out there who genuinely think they are great singers, dancers, or whatever. And they are, in fact, horrible. So awful they get booed by a huge audience and eviscerated by a panel of judges. Yet most of these performers leave the stage believing that everyone is wrong about them. Nobody ‘gets’ their true talent.
Maybe that is the answer to my question. People have a great capacity for self-deception, particularly when there’s a deep-seated need to perpetuate that deception — for whatever reason.
My reality says that people don’t want facts to back up their beliefs because their beliefs are faith-based. Faith is not built on proof and evidence. It’s built on how they ‘feel.’ That’s how they are able to understand the world around them. There’s no choice for them. They must believe they are right because faith and feelings are their version of proof and evidence.
And so they believe and live happily ever after. Or, maybe not.