One of the three key reasons I left the Republican Party over twelve years ago is its tendency to make things up. Aided and abetted by radio talk show hosts and the Fox prime time line-up, whose primary mission is misinformation not news, the party became more distasteful to me. I have noted before the outgoing president did not create this untruthful bent, but he has certainly shown how to leverage it more.
Now, with social media allowing less fettered information to proliferate, conspiracy theories have found an accepting home. This is not just my opinion. In an article in Business Insider by T. Porter called “GOP Senator Ben Sasse warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the Republican Party,” he rakes the now-Trump Party over the coals. Here are a few paragraphs, with a link below.
“Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned in an op-ed in The Atlantic that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the GOP.
‘We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution and perpetuating our best American institutions and traditions, or we can be a party of conspiracy theories, cable-news fantasies, and the ruin that comes with them,’ writes Sasse of the GOP.
Adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe, groundlessly, that a cabal of Satan worshipping child abusers control the world. Followers of the movement were on the front line of the Capitol riots, in which a police officer and a rioter who had shared QAnon slogans on social media were killed.
Swaths of the GOP have embraced the movement, and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has openly backed the movement. Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the GOP in a blistering op-ed for The Atlantic.“
We must confirm our sources (and check other sources) when we espouse information, especially the more sensational. We must ask more why questions of people who are articulating things that are too sensational to be true. We must summon a few seconds of courage to say, “I don’t agree with that” or “I don’t see how that could be true.”
Truth has become a victim in the last four years. Among many poor legacies to choose from, one that will linger on is Trump’s escalation of the term “fake news.” The biggest purveyor of fake news in America convinces unsuspecting followers that others are lying. And, that may be the worst conspiracy of all.