One of the most perplexing, political conspiracy theories of our time is, of course, the theory that the U.S. government was behind the tragedies that occurred on September 11, 2001. A host of claims have been made, yet, three theories stand out as being the most common among conspiracy theorists: 1) Controlled demolitions used to bring down the WTC towers; 2) cruise missile used to attack the Pentagon; and, 3) the shooting down of Flight 93.
Unfortunately, the war in Iraq combined with the numerous failures of the current administration serve as useful fodder for grand conspiracies of this magnitude. The long history of distrust against government has proven to be a useful defense mechanism, as most Americans have always encouraged a healthy degree of skepticism when being presented with information from an authority figure. Therefore, from the perspective of the brave American protecting his liberties and rights, the “truth” movement seems refreshing–almost invigorating.
Yet, the line between rational and irrational thought becomes thinner and less prevalent during dark times. Conspiracy theories gain momentum not from convincing scientific evidence presented in their arguments, but rather from mass hysteria and paranoia.”
My favorite conspiracy theory has always been that conspiracy theories are really a conspiracy hiding the real conspiracy. Which is funny if you think about it but anymore I’m not that amused. The idea that the ‘government’ engineered 911 is just as debilitating to effective change as the idea there is a terrorist around every corner. Both are based on fear, not just of an external threat but your own lack of control over the situation.
A healthy distrust of the government has been a hallmark of American patriotism since this country was founded. When we question the actions and decisions of our leaders we exercise our rights and duty as citizens. When our elected officials disregard us to follow a political ideology then the voters (that’s you and me) must reassert our control and encourage said elected officials to continue serving the people.
That’s the way it works – concerned citizens involved in their government. When you start believing in conspiracies that are designed to kill and enslave folks you are taken out of the loop and become ineffective in the political process. Which is exactly what they want. And thus is born a new conspiracy theory.