The prevailing anti-democratic dynamic, exemplified in the present writing, it now seems, may best be described by the two words, “compelling delusion.” Our present use of the word, “delusion,” may be described as a compelling belief in an altered reality, persistently held, despite objective evidence to the contrary. To our understanding, delusional conspiracy belief amounts to a conjoint tendency to affirm and adopt subjective, mutual interpretations of significant societal events based on questionable or no evidence. As will be observed, it is our empirically derived conclusion that the salient impetus for the propensity to acquire such pseudo- intuitive belief, is bias and reductive ignorance; albeit many participants imay candidly, be aware of the relevant truth, but like sheep follow the flock, not wanting to stand out.
Regrettably, a recent widespread tendency in the direction of unhealthy and delusional conspiracy ideation appears to be the salient societal [political] pathology du jour. Like Covid-19 it spreads easily to a suitably receptive host, yet, unlike the onset of Covid, it is demonstrably false, and not easily preventable.
Although, as stated, the bizarre phenomenon of delusional conspiracy ranks high among contemporary societal dangerous challenges, it is definitively not new. Not many generations ago, in many areas such as Salem Massachusetts, wrinkled old ladies, living alone, [especially those blessed with hairy moles, humps, or other unattractive infirmities of old age], were, reflexively, charged by their respective communities with the god-less practice of witchery, and burned at the stake. In Dark Ages Europe, Jews were falsely charged by delusional groups of conspiring gentiles, with poisoning wells, poor harvests, and for the outbreak of plagues. Enlightened scholars who scientifically chose to dissent from the Biblical declaration that the Sun travelled around the Earth, rather than the obverse,[ the heliocentric theory], were condemned to a cruel death for the delusional charge of conspiracy with Satan, and so on, ad finitem, ad nauseum. In recent history, a great many loyal Americans suffered the destruction of their careers due to false allegations of Communist conspiracy by the psychotic Senator, Joseph McCarthy.
Familiar past examples of delusional conspiracy may additionally be recalled such as: The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Presidential Assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and JFK, the mysterious death of Princess Diana, the 9/11 event, the purported toxic results of fluoridation of drinking water, clandestine government sightings of UFO’s, the danger of autism from vaccination, deep State Government manipulation, government responsible assistance distorted to a [falsely dreaded] “Socialism”, and, remarkably, the misrepresentation of Planet Earth as round or spherical planet. [manipulated GPS, etc.]
To the best of our ability to discern, the compelling reasons for succumbing to the lure of the irresistible scent of conjoint conspiracy beliefs, albeit, unsubstantiated and delusional, would appear to be fundamentally based on feelings of insecurity and vulnerability; possibly resulting from assumptions of felt detachment from the “more informed and perceptive” societal mainstream. The benefits of participation in such a conjoint conspiratorial contrivances, in addition, satisfy the neurotic need for felt personal acceptance by others, perceived to be in exclusive possession of covert knowledge, tactically hidden or fraudulently withheld from the general public. It thus offers the much needed, ego-inflating feeling of being among those, exclusively “in the know,” to the exclusion of the purportedly more naïve balance of society; and thus, effectively, is a faux displacement of the uncomfortable feelings suffered by reason of privately acknowledged ignorance.
The unexpected elevation of Donald J. Trump to a four-year term in the Oval Office, operated as an efficient catalyst and encouragement to those members of society, psychologically in the market for, or prone to delusional conspiracy. In addition to his four years of embarrassing incompetence, immorality and colossal ignorance, Trump, an unashamed practitioner of serial mendacity, initiated a war against mankind’s existential institution of Truth. He shamelessly introduced the paranoid concept of “alternate facts, attacked the integrity of the media, most especially the venerable and responsible press. He was elected, in large part, due to an unprecedented, demagogically inspired, part of the voting public, referred to by, us as the “underbelly” of the Nation [ i.e., the inadequately educated, ill-informed, bigoted, flat earth population] together with, and financed by, many sociopathic industrial air polluters who value profits over health and life, and like Trump, oppose governmental health regulation.
Donald J. Trump, recently [and mercifully] defeated in the recent election, by the contrasting capable, honest, and humanistic, Joseph Biden was undoubtedly the worst of the several despicable Presidents in American history, even taking Andrew Johnson and a few other Presidential miscreants into consideration. He was, and unfortunately for the Nation, still remains, the avatar of underbelly immorality, and an efficient and productive manufacturer and instigator of delusional conspiracy memes. His irresponsibly false declarations concerning the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the unnecessary loss of thousands of unnecessary lives. His statements supporting racial and immigrant bigotry, and colossal ignorance was celebrated by his likewise, reductively ignorant, base of supporters.
Conceivably, the Nation’s most injurious, of Trump’s delusional, false, and dangerous fictions was his use of the fascistic tactic of the “Big Lie;” viz., his outrageous, employment of the fiction that the Presidential election victory was stolen from him by means of a fraudulent vote count. As is the case regarding the etiology of the infectious disease of delusional conspiracy, the paranoid-like declaration was entirely inaccurate. In truthful fact, his errant and self-serving declaration was objectively disproved by three separate and independent election audit companies, uniformly confirming the accuracy and validity of the election count. Trump’s delusional and anti-democratic response to his Presidential loss, contrary to its factually disproven reality, was to unprecedentedly and cynically, proclaim to the public, his delusional and knowingly false claim, that the election was stolen from him. His petulantly angry mantra, quickly adopted by his needy, willing, and chanting base was, “Stop the Steal!”
Trump’s cultish base, together with certain errant, non-cultish citizens, the latter who, presumably, had the mental capacity to know better, participated in a violent insurrectionist riot, grounded upon the delusional conspiracy, constituting Trump’s completely baseless and neurotic claim. Hundreds of disreputable, armed, and dangerous deluded individuals, stormed the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., causing mayhem, five innocent deaths, personal injuries (some permanent), and substantial damages to the exterior of the Capitol Building and to portions of the grand lobby and office areas.
It can be said that Donald Trump’s incitement of the shamefully violent riot, by his tactical perpetration of his “Stop the Steal” mantra, including his bizarre, televised call to insurrection, was not only an offense to institutional democracy but also, a World witnessed threat to our Founding Father’s historical experiment in the radical creation of an American Republican Democracy. It is hoped that the obscene violent rioters and their identified chief inciter will be, prosecuted and punished for their outrageous criminal behavior and as an official statement of deterrence concerning the unacceptability of extra-legal citizen action, based upon unsubstantiated or delusional claims.
We, as in previous essays, reference the wise and prescient admonition of Thomas Jefferson, that for a democracy to succeed, it is required to have an informed, educated citizenry. This irrefutable and eternally sound advice has again been demonstrably shown as vulnerable; this time to delusional conspiracies of ignorant tribal inspiration. No responsible citizen should be complacent regarding any attack, conspiratorial or individual, on the vote nor our Nation’s foundational promise.