Tea’s Weird Week: Firehose of Falsehood: An Autopsy of Trump’s Conspiracy Theory Presidency (and Why it Will Haunt Us Moving Forward)
It’s fitting that Trump’s presidency is ending on election fraud conspiracies as his 2016 ambitions and every step of his presidency has been one big conspiracy conglomerate, a massive machine of misinformation, salacious rumors, and heavily biased, actual fake news sources. Here’s a tour of some of Trump’s greatest conspiracy hits, why conspiracy has been so beneficial to him, and how the orange stain will linger on long after he’s gone.
Birtherism: In my book American Madness, I wrote a chapter about Trump called “The InfoWars President,” which starts with Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, where he’s being mocked by Obama for his promotion of “Birtherism.” That conspiracy suggests Obama’s birth certificate is fake and that he was actually born in Kenya, thus making him ineligible to be U.S. president. Trump promoted the conspiracy relentlessly, but at the Correspondents Dinner everyone in the room was laughing at him. Trump’s former advisor, conspiracy guru Roger Stone, thinks that night is important in Trump’s plan to run for president.
InfoWars appearance: After launching his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump appears on the most notorious conspiracy-mongering show of all– The Alex Jones Show on InfoWars, at the suggestion of Roger Stone. Trump knew he could build a fringe alliance that would help bolster his base.
Tilting at Windmills: I think Trump probably believes some of the conspiracies he shares are true at gut level, but others he realizes are just a good form of attack. A great example of this is Trump’s seemingly bizarre campaign against wind turbines, or “windmills” as he calls them. The reality behind this is that Scotland built a windfarm near one of Trump’s golf courses, which he will forever be pissed off about because it “ruined the view.” So now he yammers on about wind turbines killing birds and causing cancer because he hates them for ruining his golf course.
Conspiracy Language: Trump quickly began to normalize language like “fake news” (any media that doesn’t shine him) and “witch hunt” (any allegation he’s committed a crime) as a way to deflect. He sometimes also uses language direct from conspiracy theorists, for example, the evil but hard to define “Deep State” that secretly rules the world.
Joe Scarborough Murder Theory: A specific example of Trump using conspiracies to attack his enemies (which is anyone who disagrees with him) is his madness in dealing with Joe Scarborough, former Florida House Rep and host of Morning Joe on MSNBC. Trump responded to criticisms from Scarborough by digging up an old conspiracy that suggests he killed an intern. You can read more in my column here: “Trump’s Joe Scarborough Conspiracy Obsession.”
Social Media Summit: Trump’s “Social Media Summit” in July 2019 was who’s who of Internet trolls, conspiracy peddlers, and the far-right blogosphere. Throughout his presidency he’s platformed these people by re-Tweeting sources like Breitbart News, TheBlaze, and other far right sites to his tens of millions of followers.
QAnon: One of the most alarming stories of 2020 is the rise of QAnon, a conspiracy cult movement that believes that Trump is a Messiah figure who will vanquish an evil cabal of satanic pedophile Democrats that get high on adrenochrome harvested from people. Is this crazy? Yes. Do we have one QAnon believer now elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (and one who seems at least to be open to QAnon beliefs)? Also yes. (See also: “The Election Day Hangover That Won’t Quit“). Trump’s ego, of course, would never shut the idea of a cult dedicated to him down, so he’s tried to waffle on QAnon, saying he “didn’t know who they were” but also heard “they fight pedophilia very hard.”
There are several cases where QAnon believers have turned to violence. Two armed QAnon believers were arrested when they were discovered trying to deliver a Hummer full of fake ballots to a ballot-counting site in Philadelphia. QAnon will cheat and get arrested for Trump and maybe even die for him.
Obamagate: In January, I attended a Trump rally here in Milwaukee. I guess I wanted a look at the belly of the beast. One thing that puzzled me for a moment was Trump talking about Hillary Clinton and basking in the crowd chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!” Had I time-traveled back to 2016? But then I realized that this was the major policy of the Trump Show– “Crooked Hillary” and the conspiracy that Obama had wiretapped and spied on the Trump campaign. Without his Bond villains, Trump has nothing to fall back on.
Demon Sperm Lady: ‘Nuff said on this one, but you can read more here: “Demon Sperm, Reptilians, and Alien DNA…Meet Trump’s Latest COVID Expert.”
Antifa: As civil unrest and rioting flooded the streets after the murder of George Floyd, Trump found a boogieman he could conjure up when he wanted to attack Democrat led cities and states and scare his constiuency– Antifa. Radical left Antifa warriors, dressed like ninjas, were everywhere– driving caravans of buses into small town America, filling up domestic flights dressed in black bloc gear, recruiting senior citizens to jam police scanners, and burning and looting across the country.
Election Fraud: And of course, what will be the last major Trump conspiracy– mass voter fraud. This is how he goes out– tweeting and babbling (along with his team) a firehose of falsehood, trying to override the truth. Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) put out a statement that read, in part, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
Which means, of course, Trump fired him.
Beyond January 20: More American Madness
Over 73 million people voted for Trump. A growing population out there believe that Democrats and other “radical left” figures are satanic pedophiles who get high off adrenochrome that they harvest from living people. And now these same people believe the election was “rigged” and stolen from their beloved leader.
These people are being riled up by bad actors like Alex Jones, who has led rallies in Phoenix, Austin, DC (at the “Million MAGA March”), and most recently, Atlanta, where he cruises around in his InfoWars armored vehicle, screaming through a bullhorn about how there will be a revolution like 1776.
Stewart Rhodes, leader of the militia Oath Keepers told media at the Million MAGA March that his group won’t “recognize Biden as legitimate” and “anything he signs into law we won’t recognize as legitimate. We’ll be very much like the founding fathers. We’ll end up nullifying and resisting.”
Trump’s people now believe they at war, and these people are angry, delusional, and heavily armed. Remember that just recently we learned about a plot by a militia/ domestic terrorism group (the Wolverine Watchmen) that was working on potential plots to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and possibly Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Trump’s Street War will continue on after he’s dragged out of the White House yelling “Rigged!”on January 20.
Please Clap (or vote as the case may be) Dept.: I’m nominated for the Shepherd Express 2020 “best of” contest in the “Milwaukee Author” category. The category was introduced in 2011 and since then historian John Gurda (The Making of Milwaukee) has won it 8 out of 9 years. Can Gurda be overthrown? I’ll get out there with a bullhorn like Alex Jones if I have to. Vote here: shepherdexpress.com/best-of-milwaukee/2020#/
You can buy my new book American Madness here: https://bookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Or wherever books are sold!
And you can find my book Wisconsin Legends & Lore here: https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467143448
In January I attempted an ambitious project called #TrumpConspiracyCounter, which would document every Trump promotion of a conspiracy theory or theorist. I settled into a routine a couple times a week of Google searches and sifting through Trump’s non-stop tweets. However, when the pandemic struck, I found myself feeling a bit like Lucy and Ethel in the I Love Lucy episode where they’re trying to keep up with a chocolate factory conveyor on high speed, shoving candy in their pockets and mouths.
Overwhelmed, I left the conspiracy counter at #236 at the end of April, but had learned a lot about who Trump was promoting and getting information from. I still follow and write about his conspiracy promotion (“Trump’s Joe Scarborough Conspiracy Obsession,” for example).
One of Trump’s most frequently retweeted “news” sites, I observed, was Breitbart News, who have often promoted conspiracies and hate. This week a Breitbart video of a “White Coat Summit” on the stairs of the Supreme Court of a group calling themselves America’s Frontline Doctors went viral, getting roughly 13 million views before social media platforms began to pull it.
The summit was organized by the Tea Party Patriots, and the video featured a group calling themselves America’s Frontline Doctors who spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump retweeted it to his millions of followers and later described it as “very impressive.” In the speech, one of the group’s doctors, Dr. Stella Immanuel, states that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID and that there isn’t a need to wear masks. Immanuel is a registered physician in Houston, where she runs a practice next door to her church, Fire Power Ministries.
Don’t always trust someone wearing a lab coat. You can buy them from American Science & Surplus for $23.65.
Among Dr. Immanuel’s beliefs:
- “Alien DNA” is being used in today’s medical field.
- Dr. Immanuel teaches in her seminars that miscarriages and medical issues like infertility, impotence, and cysts, are a result of “astral sex” from “spirit husbands (or incubus)” or “spirit wives (or succubus),” which are sex demons that seduce you with their powers and bang you in a “sleep world.” Immanuel says that cysts and fibroid tumors are a result of demon sperm, which can also impregnate you to create li’l demons.
- Reptilians or “lizard people” (a group of sinister extra-terrestrials) have infiltrated our government disguised as humans. Please see a chapter of my new book American Madness titled “Reptoid Royalty.”
- Dr. Immanuel says that vaccines are a secret plot to microchip people, a classic anti-vaxxer line.
- Also, the government is developing a vaccine to prevent people from “becoming religious.”
- She believes Dr. Fauci and CNN (the whole organization?) are secretly taking hydroxychloroquine and she has challenged them to deliver urine samples to her to analyze if they dispute her claim.
Wowwwwww-wee. Gizmodo reports that the rest of America’s Frontline Doctors include a bitcoin hustler, Tea Party members, and someone who went on a rant about George Soros conspiracies on FOX.
These COVID conspiracies, pushed by groups like QAnon and spread through media like this video and the conspiracy doc Plandemic (which was seen 8 million times in May before being pulled from YouTube and social media sites) show how dangerous conspiracy theory can be. They give people the falsely comforting idea that COVID isn’t a real threat and therefore, they shouldn’t bother socially distancing or wearing a mask.
When the press pushed Trump on Immanuel’s beliefs at the end of a press conference on Tuesday, Trump did as Trump does– he deflected the question, shut down the conference, and booked it the fuck outta there. Trump’s propaganda machine– Rush Limbaugh and FOX’s Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham picked up the defense and were soon hard at work at the sticky situation of trying to spin demon jizz to their viewers–but the stain remains.
This story shows the Trump media ecosystem in full orchestra– trash sites like Breitbart News and InfoWars launch some crazy fake story, QAnon and “patriot” groups help spread it, Trump retweets it himself, then it gets kicked up to the hucksters at FOX who promote it and call legit journalists and fact-checkers who dispute it as “fake news.”
As for Immanuel, she’s not happy that social media is removing the video. In fact, she says God is going to crash Facebook because of it in this tweet (I left original word errors intact):
Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing til you do. You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name.
Absolutely incredible. Disinformation is killing America.
SEE ALSO: Don’t forget that these type of people aren’t just shooting viral videos, some of them are running for office in the 2020 election: “Trump Inspired QAnon Followers, Proud Boys, Gun Nuts, Racists, all Have 2020 Campaigns”
Please Clap Dept.: I got advance copies of my book American Madness (out Aug. 25, Feral House)! Among the things in this column discussed more in depth in the book: Trump, Reptilians, Anti-vaxxers, extra-terrestrials, InfoWars, and QAnon. You can pre-order: Lion’s Tooth: CLICK HERE Bookshop.org: CLICK HERE Amazon:CLICK HERE
You can enter a Goodreads Giveaway for a FREE COPY here!: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/309615-american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-th
Diorama from Feral House on Vimeo.