I am not one easily given to conspiracy theories. I usually assume that any major injustice or monumental political shift is due to an accumulation of human stupidity, rather than the genius machinations of a secret cabal. After all, as Karl Rove has taught us, most of the people who are rumoured to be political ‘geniuses’ are usually just lucky and have good PR. It’s usually safer to assume that the snake has no head, given how spectacularly bad human beings are at keeping secrets.
I do make two pet exceptions though. The first is for H1N1, which I think was seen as an opportunity to test our public health readiness infrastructure. We knew pretty early on that the disease wasn’t particularly fatal, but it was a good chance for us to see what would happen when a serious flu (like H5N1, for example) breaks out, in a natural experiment. This isn’t a nefarious conspiracy – I don’t think government labs ‘cooked up’ a fake disease or any nonsense like that – but I think they held back on telling the public that there really wasn’t anything to worry about.
The second conspiracy theory that’s been cooking in the back of my mind is that conservatives are secretly brilliant. That they’ve been playing at being buffoons as part of a trans-generational practical joke on liberals, who are just too slow/outraged to get the joke. How else do you explain the fact that Michelle Bachmann is sitting on the House Intelligence Committee? That kind of irony doesn’t just happen by accident – that’s satire on a grand scale.
The problem is that liberals still haven’t clued in after all these years, and they’re having to get more and more obvious in the hopes that we will catch on. For a recent example, we can turn to (where else?) Fox ‘News’:
“But even worse is the way some textbooks are pushing the liberal agenda,” the Fox News host explained, pointing to an algebra worksheet that Scholastic says gives students “[i]nsight into the distributive property as it applies to multiplication.” “Distribute the wealth!” Bolling exclaimed, reading the worksheet. “Distribute the wealth with the lovely rich girl with a big ole bag of money, handing some money out.”
“Everybody has anecdotal evidence of this,” co-host Greg Gutfeld agreed. “I think the only way leftism can survive is through indoctrination because its number one adversary is reality. So you got to get them young and it’s perfect for kids. Paul Krugman’s logic is child’s play: Share your stuff… A lot of this comes from the teachers. They get their news from The Huffington Post and their antiperspirant from a health food store. This is the way they live.”
Bolling advised parents to read their children’s history books because his son’s textbook addressed the Iraq war “and they were very, very liberally biased, saying George Bush went in there because he heard there were weapons of mass destruction and they were never found. It was a very liberal bias to the history books.”
The distributive property is communism! Anecdotal evidence (which, as everyone knows, is the best kind) tells us that liberalism requires indoctrination of children, because it has a problem squaring with reality! Facts that are within the living memory of 90% of the world’s population and are confirmed by countless sources (including George W. Bush’s own government) constitutes LIBERAL BIAS!
No, I refuse to believe that this isn’t satire. And it’s brilliant satire, to be sure. I just feel stupid that it took me this long to catch on. I had been labouring under the obviously false impression that adult human beings were capable of actually sincerely believing this kind of easily-disprovable, straining-at-the-seams ignorant, overwhelmingly-evidently-counterfactual propaganda. But no… that’s not possible. No way.
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