Conspiracy theories have always been with us, but I suspect they proliferate far more in the information age. Whenever we start accumulating too many facts that contradict some commonly accepted narrative or another, people will begin coming up with alternative explanations. Sometimes those alternatives are reasonable; often they’re not. But the worse the official narratives are, the more available information is, and the easier it is to find a platform to advertise an alternative theory, the more conspiracy theories a society is going to have. Naturally, contemporary America is a perfect storm.
As I’ve written before, the honest response to 99% of conspiracy theories is really “I don’t know.” After all, most people have never genuinely considered theories outside of their familiar paradigm. The time and inclination simply aren’t there. Those who have considered will usually find that no matter how faulty the official narrative is, they don’t have enough evidence to prove any specific alternative. Nevertheless, on any given theory, you’ll always have a small handful of people who are absolutely certain they’ve pierced the veil of secrecy to discover the real truth, and a large mob of people who vehemently dismiss the whole thing as ridiculous despite their ignorance.
And so, dishonest though it might be, vehement dismissal is the usual response to conspiracy theories. It’s easy; it’s comfortable; and no one will hold you accountable for doing so. That’s why, when someone challenges a narrative you’re attached to, labeling the challenge a “conspiracy theory” has proven an effective tactic in shoving the whole matter under the rug.
That’s certainly been the case with the allegations of massive voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. When they report on it at all, the establishment media has falsely assured us that there is no evidence or falsely claimed that it has been debunked. Leftist officials, of course, parrot those same claims. Most of President Trump’s legal actions have been dismissed rather than lost–as in courts have refused to hear the case rather than weighed the evidence and explicitly judged against it. And countless private citizens have glossed over the whole matter as unthinkable.
The President’s account of election night might be a “conspiracy theory” in that it challenges a widely accepted narrative held by many established institutions without official proof and alleges large-scale coordinated wrongdoing. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that “the elections were fairly and safely conducted” meets exactly the same criteria.
Love him or hate him, the most important person making these allegations is the sitting President of the United States. This allegation isn’t coming from some nobody on the internet, but from the highest office in the land. In addition, seventeen different states were part of Texas’ dismissed lawsuit to force the battleground states to follow proper legal procedures. One hundred and twenty six U.S. Representatives signed a document in support of that suit. Five states have created slates of alternative electors in order to provide further opportunity for legal challenges. Skepticism of the election’s legitimacy is both mainstream and official.
The evidence is likewise continuing to mount and reach higher levels of credibility. Hearsay about ejected observers and under-the-table counting has become hundreds of signed affidavits. Those affidavits have become supported by videos that anyone can watch. Statistical analysis of electronic fraud has become a forensic examination of voting machines ordered and released by a Michigan court that anyone can (and should) read. And that forensic evidence is absolutely damning. Every last Dominion voting machine in the country needs to be immediately seized and examined in the same way.
You can complain that carrying out fraud on this scale would have required far too many people to be plausible. But producing evidence of fraud on this scale has also now involved countless people, both high and low–officials, functionaries, and bystanders alike. If the election was fraudulent, there was a massive conspiracy to steal it. If the election was fair, there is a massive conspiracy to undermine it. This is no longer a choice about whether or not you’re one of those crazy conspiracy theorists. This is a choice about which conspiracy you believe in.
If you have any opinion on the election other than “I don’t know”, you have become a conspiracy theorist without even trying. And if your opinion really is “I don’t know”, then you need to consider the implication: You don’t know whether your upcoming federal government is legitimate.
Wouldn’t you like to find out? Wouldn’t you like to see evidence publicly submitted and transparently examined? Wouldn’t you like to see our courts and legislatures do their jobs and actually hear the cases rather than dismiss them on issues of standing? Wouldn’t you like to see the ballots fully audited rather than just recounted? Wouldn’t you like to see all the voting machines examined rather than wiped so that no one will ever know what really happened? Wouldn’t you like to see all the evidence come to light rather than be hidden away?
Well that’s not what journalists are doing. That’s not what Democrats are doing. That’s not what our courts are doing. That’s not what governors and election officials in disputed states are doing. That’s not what Big Tech is doing. That’s what President Trump is doing. The President and his team are trying to promulgate and submit evidence. They’re the ones serving the people who don’t know. The others are very obviously trying to bury it.
I wasn’t at a disputed precinct on election night. I wasn’t observing any vote counts. I didn’t examine any voting machines. Like most Americans, I have to rely on what others report, and so it comes down to the question of which reports are trustworthy and believable. In a situation like that, I will always trust the side that’s dragging the matter out into the open rather than the one actively trying to keep us all in the dark.
Accordingly, I believe the conspiracy theory about the election being stolen rather than the conspiracy theory about it being carried out in a fair and lawful manner. I’m open to counter-evidence and persuasion based on investigation, but I’m not open to empty labels and dismissals.
That leaves me with this conclusion: If all these smoking guns aren’t properly accounted for rather than merely dismissed, then American democracy is truly dead. Elections that cannot be double-checked cannot be trusted. Elections that cannot be trusted are not truly free. And if, as some believe, President Trump does end up crossing the Rubicon in order to punish democracy’s murderers, then so be it. It would not be him who ended the Republic. It would be the officials at every level who failed to do their jobs.