If Obama loses, so do conspiracy theories

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If Mitt Romney miraculously prevails at the polls and becomes the 45th president of the United States, it will mean the immediate death of several beloved right-wing memes and the birth of a couple of new ones.

Moments after that false prophet Nate Silver is burned in effigy outside the gates of The New York Times for predicting the odds of President Barack Obama's re-election at 84 percent, the victorious Republicans will begin describing the narrowest of electoral victories as an enormous mandate unprecedented in modern American history.

To make way for such an enormous lie, they'll have to clear the underbrush of the old lies that got them to the dance in the first place. Jettisoning this witch's brew of paranoid conspiracy theories and nonsense will be relatively easy for the president-elect now that he has proved that all beliefs are as fungible as smoke in the end.

Among the first memes to be unceremoniously cast aside will be the terror attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Last week, Rush Limbaugh bellowed that the Obama administration was engaged in a cover-up of the facts that, in his humble opinion, "dwarfs Watergate, weapons of mass destruction, whatever."

Mr. Limbaugh laid it on thick last week by equating it with journalistic malpractice: "What we're watching here today is the equivalent of Woodward and Bernstein helping Nixon cover up Watergate," he said. "The mainstream media is Woodward and Bernstein. Watergate is Benghazi, except this time, Woodward and Bernstein are helping Nixon cover it up."

If anyone thinks Mr. Romney cares about the foreign policy priorities of people who believe this kind of bilge, watch how quickly Benghazi fever loses steam with Mr. Obama out of office.

Mr. Romney wants less transparency in foreign policy, not more. Just as the Obama administration failed to hold anyone in the Bush administration responsible for the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, Mr. Romney will look the other way on Benghazi, no matter how much Rush screams.

The issue of voter fraud by minorities, students, single women and other assorted Democrats will disappear. That doesn't mean voter suppression efforts will end, but the issue will lose its marquee value as a rallying cry for disaffected Republicans.

After all, Mr. Romney will have been elected despite the continued existence of the New Black Panther Party, the Voting Rights Act and the 19th Amendment.

Suddenly, where Mr. Obama was "really" born won't matter to anyone except the most crazed conspiracy theorist with the initials "DT."

The once lucrative anti-Obama book industry will also collapse without an ebony Antichrist in the White House to fuel racial resentment and paranoia.

When Mr. Obama's university and law school grades are eventually leaked, the Right will proffer a collective yawn if he earns anything higher than gentleman C's.

Mr. Obama's "plan" to settle white people in internment camps, revoke the Second Amendment and confiscate every firearm before putting the South under United Nations control will finally sound far-fetched to all but the most devoted Michael Savage fans.

The meme that the president engineered Hurricane Sandy using electromagnetic waves and cloud seeding to stop his opponent's electoral "momentum" won't make it to the end of the month if Mr. Romney wins. Since there will be zero evidence that he can control the weather when the Romneyoids take over, right-wingers will blame this theory on liberals trying to make them look crazy.

But nature abhors a vacuum, so expect Mr. Romney's honeymoon with the conservative wing of his own party to be short.

I predict the following conspiracy theories will emerge within days of Mr. Romney's victory:

• Christian fundamentalists will be appalled once they hear about an era of theocratic rule in America by the Mormons predicted by the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, in the so-called White Horse Prophecy. Buyers' remorse will set in once they figure out that Mr. Romney is just the latest iteration of the Antichrist.

• Mr. Romney's father, George Romney, was born in Mexico but still ran for president despite being "unqualified." Expect the Birther movement to give Mr. Romney the stink eye.

• Because Mr. Romney won't have his predecessor immediately arrested and jailed, expect the most devastating meme of all: Mitt Romney is secretly a Democrat.

tonynorman

Tony Norman: tnorman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1631. Twitter: @TonyNormanPG.


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