To retain voter loyalty to the party, Republicans have allowed the conspiracy theory beliefs held by many in their base to become normalized as merely, “different opinions or ideas”. Promoting delusional, psychotic, paranoid beliefs as mere examples of freedom of thought or First Amendment Rights is irresponsible, dangerous, and corrupt. It is also possible that the Republicans who support or don’t oppose these beliefs also suffer from mental illness which puts their ability to competently execute their duty to preserve and protect the Constitution into question.
Donald Trump has held conspiracy theory beliefs for many years. Like many who suffer from delusions, Trump’s false beliefs have served to help manage his anxiety based on insecurities and to promote self-interested narratives: Examples include:
- Barack Obama “birtherism” theory
- Vaccines cause autism
- Central Park Five Still Guilty Despite Being Exonerated
- The body count of people killed by Clintons
- COVID-19 was invented by his enemies
- Wind turbines cause cancer
- White genocide and the Great Replacement” Theory
- Stop the Steal/ Belief the election was rigged
- Rampant false voter impersonation
- Osama bin Laden is not dead
- Obamacare: disproven belief of unauthorized surveillance occurred of Michael Flynn
- There’s a “deep state” operating in the U.S.
- Climate change denial
- Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself
- Hurricane Maria death toll less than reported
- Connected Raphael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of President John Kennedy
Psychology Today published an article on September 14, 2020, titled “The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories”. The author, Brielle A. Marino Psy.d concludes ” the types of conspiratorial beliefs likened to psychosis occur in individuals with staunch, unwavering beliefs in one or more conspiracy theories, and whose beliefs tend to disrupt daily functioning and quality of life.” Marino further explains the more concerning delusions conspiracy theorists have are paranoid, grandiose, or persecutory. She adds, “they are unwavering in the face of contrasting evidence, have poor reality testing and lack rational, logical thinking skills.” The key to potentially reducing conspiratorial thinking is to develop the ability to think analytically and logically. These cognitive processes increase insight which is vital in the reduction of rigid delusions.
Having a president and elected officials who believe in non- evidenced-based, oddball narratives threatens the country’s national security. Conspiracy theorists tend to be highly emotional and excitable and these extreme feeling states increase more erratic thought patterns and aggressive, impulsive behaviors. Former Governor John Kasich refers to Trump as ” an aging, fading star, becoming more irrelevant every day.” As Trump realizes this and his weakened power and inconsequential influence on the current status of the government, he may either re-introduce an old delusion or invent a new one to help him cope with his shame and anxiety.
What is most important now is the growing movement to deconstruct the culture of normalizing conspiracy theories and those who act on them as truths. The ” stop the steal” delusion has cost people their lives and freedoms and threaten the survival of the Founding Fathers’ version of the American democracy.
That millions of Americans believe Trump’s vision of the country’s future is better than the brilliant vision of our founders is proof of the dangerous power of a cult leader. Trump’s vision of America is a world of only rich, white, Christian people led mainly by men worshipping power and money over morality and humanity. Democrats now have the power to return America to being connected to its allies, standing for equality, united, civil, and free of corruption in government.
Available on Amazon books: “America Survived Trump” A Chronolgy of the Struggle, by Rebecca Sperber M.S.