The conservative mindset is in decline. Stories of cabals and secret plots provide comfort as its power wanes.
The obsession that conservatives have with conspiracies continues to baffle me. They also seem to get off on the fantasy of something Big and Bad happening in the near future, just around the corner — usually it’s either the End Times or America turning to a post-apocalypse wasteland. I have a relative who is utterly convinced that Obamacare is going to lead to the collapse of the U.S. economy. She expects that we’re all going to end up holed up in our houses with shotguns, hoarding our food and defending our territory against roaming bands of half-starved crazies. All that from making healthcare available to those who previously couldn’t afford it, too! Pretty impressive.
I just don’t understand the disconnect from reality that leads these conspiracy nuts to believe the half-baked, batshit-crazy stuff that they do. I see why it’s entertaining, and I’ve done my fair share of reading about conspiracies over the years, but I see it only as entertainment. What makes someone believe that Lady Gaga is an agent of the Illuminati? Or that Obama staged the Sandy Hook shootings as a way to press for more gun control? What sad, scared little lives these people must lead, thinking that they’re living in a “Matrix”-style universe where nothing is as it seems and invisible hands are always pulling invisible strings in order to oppress them.
There is a form of mental illness which makes people believe that close family members have been replaced by duplicates or clones. Your daughter may look, walk, and talk like the daughter you raised, but it’s not really her — it’s an exact duplicate which was created in order to mess with you! This is an actual condition caused by a chemical imbalance, and it can be treated with the right medication. Could the desperate belief in wackadoo conspiracy theories also be considered a form of mental illness? I’m starting to think so.