Mainstream media has spread a number of far-fetched conspiracy theories about Republicans in recent weeks.
And liberals say the right is paranoid …
THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES
DID TRUMP SUPPORTERS PERFORM A “SIEG HEIL”?
Prominent liberals have compared gestures made at recent rallies held by former President Trump and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano to Nazi salutes.
Photos of the events show Mastriano and Trump supporters raising their hands in the air, a signal critics likened to the Nazis’ “Sieg Heil” salute.
- “Last night at a rally held by the former President, and today at a political rally held by a candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, supporters were urged to hold up their right hands in a unified salute that should shock the conscience of every American for its remarkable similarity to the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute used by the Nazis,” New York State Senator Anna Kaplan, a Jewish Democrat, said in a statement earlier this month.
- “I call on these campaigns to immediately end the use of this shocking salute in their rallies,” Kaplan added.
- “I remember as a young student, you know, trying to figure out, how people get basically drawn in by Hitler. How did that happen? I’d watch newsreels and I’d see this guy standing up there ranting and raving, and people shouting and raising their arms. I thought, ‘What’s happened to these people?’” Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Friday at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin.
“You saw the rally in Ohio the other night, Trump is there ranting and raving for more than an hour, and you have these rows of young men with their arms raised. I thought, ‘What is going on?’” Clinton added, referencing a Sept. 17 rally in Youngstown, Ohio for GOP senate candidate J.D. Vance.
TRUMP’S SECRET GOLF COURSE PLOT
Trump’s Sept. 12 visit to Trump National Golf Club in Virginia sparked wild theorizing after he was seen sans golf clubs on the course.
Critics suggested Trump was conducting a secret meeting, possibly in response to the Justice Department’s expansion of its probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- But liberal commentator Keith Olbermann poured cold water on the breathless speculation, noting the men were golf course executives, not politicians or lawyers.
- “He used to do this crap at his building when I lived there. He points at stuff he wants fixed. It makes him feel big,” Olbermann tweeted.
THAT’S NOT THE “REAL” MELANIA
Throughout his presidency, Trump was dogged by kooky allegations that the woman who appeared at his side in public was a body double for former first lady Melania Trump.
The theory became widespread enough that the Washington Post published a fact-check, analyzing several photos of the supposed body double and concluding there was no impostor Melania.
- But the theory lives on.
Liberals are just as susceptible to conspiracy theories as conservatives, according to a new study assessing belief in 63 conspiracy theories in 20 countries around the world, and using surveys conducted from 2012-2021.
- The surveys polled thousands of respondents about their belief in conspiracy theories involving subjects including election fraud, political extremism, the economy, health policy, and crime, as well as more general statements like “much of our lives are being controlled by plots hatched in secret places.”
- “Conspiracy theorizing is not confined to one political group or another,” the researchers concluded.