First I want to say I am conservative, Republican and God-fearing, but I believe that conspiracy theorists do a disservice to the Conservative movement.
Conservatism should foremost be mostly non-reactionary. In the last decade, though, I have watched it devolve into a knee-jerk reactionary movement more akin to children not getting their way. That is not to say that quick reaction is unnecessary. In some instances it is paramount, but even then should be well reasoned and pragmatic.
I see posts on Facebook, other social media and websites devoted to the belief that the United States is going to hell in a hand basket. From Obama is a communist, Islamic, non-citizen (points 1 and 2 are mutually exclusive theoretically) to FEMA concentration camps and death lists. A major proponent of these theories is Barbara Hartwell (disclaimer: from what I find on the Internet). A perusal of her website seems to show a well spoken person with inside knowledge of some sinister things. But posts and copied emails by her (less polished) show a rambling disorganized mind that bounces all over. I will admit to not having read any books, papers etc. that she has written, but I have met several people like this in my 46 years and in almost every instance the person was a nutcase to the extreme.
Most of these theories are presented as secondhand information from a “source” that is nameless and unverifiable but nevertheless we all would know and admire if we only knew who they were, at least so we are told. Interviews on the subject tend to move from the original topic to more bizarre and unverifiable topics if allowed to proceed long enough. Other times there is verifiable information that has been so distorted from the original that it supports the crazy theory that someone is espousing. Mainly though these theorists speak from their gut, going with what will sell regardless of outlandishness or verifiable evidence to contrary.
The internet provides a bully pulpit for those who crave attention. Bizarre theories, distorted facts, and bombastic rhetoric are the bread and butter of these “purveyors of truth.” But this does not negate the fact that as long as it tickles our ears or falls in line with our beliefs or paranoias (depending on the person), we will lap it up and ask for even more bizarre things. Ephesians 4:14 says it best: “We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
This concludes today’s rant