Conspiracy Thinking Criticism

Inspired by a recent resurgence of the mail-in voting fraud idea

People chiming in to take his conspiracy claim seriously at this point are probably not sincere, and are certainly serving to lend legitimacy to person very much making dictatorial gestures. And they can just fuck right off with that!

Conspiracy thinking in general isn’t bad. A lot of important journalism, for example, is uncovering actual conspiracies. However, there is something fundamentally different about flat earth type conspiracy theorists, and this tends to apply to many ideas this POTUS touts, including this mail-in voting thing.

Concerns with vote by mail follow very typical conspiracy theory paths. Where I have looked into them they are very easily debunked, but the problem isn’t with the theories themselves, it is with the people who hold on to them like a dog with a bone. Like flat earthers they deny the veracity of any facts they can’t somehow see with their own eyes or reproduce themselves with simple reductionist demonstrations. In doing so throw they out whole mountains of evidence along with all the reasoning built on that evidence.

This brand of conspiracy theorist throws out mountains of evidence and reasoning, and then, promptly proceeds to place the burden for rebuilding it all onto those who disagree with them instead of accepting this responsibility themselves. In a sick twist, the unwillingness of people to play into their game is held as proof the conspiracy is correct. Often this logical flail is followed up with a dose of gaslighting. Anyone not gulping up their Kool-Aid of crazy reasoning is not believing the “facts”. We are the ones being duped; who need to “wake up!”

In short, conspiracy thinking generally falls into two camps. The good kind connects new dots by adding to existing evidence and reasoning. The bad kind casts fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) by discarding evidence, asking questions in bad faith, and gaslighting detractors


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