We told you the story: a few days after the Boston bombings, Republican New Hampshire Representative Stella Tremblay went to Glenn Beck’s Facebook page to write she believed the attack was orchestrated by the US government.
“The Boston Marathon was a Black Ops ‘terrorist’ attack. One suspect killed, the other one will be too before they even have a chance to speak. Drones and now ‘terrorist’ attacks by our own Government. Sad day, but a ‘wake up’ to all of us.”
Like too many, Tremblay was echoing conspiracy lovers like Beck and InfoWars’ Alex Jones.
These guys mix dark alternate history with a 1984 future, offering their visitors the “secret truth.”
Tremblay is part of a disturbing trend of conservative state legislators and even congressmen entertaining conspiracy theories that would be creepy and out-of-place coming from an average citizen.
It’s a sign of civic rot when we start hearing this stuff by elected officials.
Of course, craziness is a bipartisan issue, with Republicans frequently pointing to former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as a Democratic example.
But it’s the right that seems particularly prone to paranoia.
For example – Missouri state legislators voted to cut funding for the state’s divers license bureau because it had been tasked in 2003 with also overseeing concealed-carry permits.
The wife of state Representative Kenneth Wilson said the bureau “was part of a plot to impose United Nations policies in this country. I have been doing some study on U.N. Agenda 21. With this information going to the federal government, I feel that I will be a target. With Agenda 21, I will be someone who will be put on a watch list.”
She added that Agenda 21 is being pushed through in part because of a mass brainwashing known as the Delphi Technique.
Some of this stuff is based on being stupid, and some on being uneducated about the world around them.
In North Carolina, conservative state law-makers decided to push forward a clearly unconstitutional bill to allow the state “to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
When one of the sponsoring law makers, Michele Presnell was asked if she would be comfortable with a Muslim prayer to Allah before a public meeting, she said, “No, I do not condone terrorism.”
The fact that conspiracy theories are bubbling up to local party leaders and even the halls of Congress should be a warning sign for the GOP.
There’s an old saying: you reap what you sow, and this steady diet of jump-on-any-story journalism has seeded these conspiracy theories in the minds of party activists.
It’s getting to the point it’s starting to shape policy debates.
The funny and embarrassing incidents look to us as evidence of a larger problem that needs to be confronted: when you do not condemn the use of hate and fear to serve as a recruiting tool against your political opponents, the ability to reason together is undermined and self-government is compromised.
Hard to believe this stuff and it’s harder to believe normal people put these folks in office.