Trump Impeachment? Prepare Yourselves For An Avalanche Of Alt-Right Conspiracy Theories
A Trump Impeachment Seems To Become More Plausible Each And Every Day
To start out an article with the phrase “Donald Trump’s Presidency has been an abject failure” almost guarantees that this piece is only going to be read by people who aren’t too keen on him to begin with. Of course, given his abysmal and frankly laughable approval ratings, I won’t lose any sleep over those who’ve most likely already stopped reading before the end of the second sentence.
Each day, Trump’s presidency becomes a bit more intolerable to the vast majority of Americans, and the prospects of a Trump impeachment seem to grow that much more plausible. Polls show that more Americans want Trump impeached than not, and there have been calls from both sides of the aisle to see it happen. We’ve almost reached that magical point where a Trump impeachment surpasses eventuality and becomes a matter of scheduling.
But while most Americans would greet the impeachment of Donald Trump with open arms, Trump still does have fervent supporters, however few and far between they’re starting to become. And it’s those supporters who will introduce to America a flurry of ridiculous conspiracy theories that raise all of the wrong questions about Trump’s awful “presidency.”
Nothing Will Draw Out The Tin Foil Hats Faster Than A Trump Impeachment
I’ve become more and more fascinated by right-wing conspiracy theories over the past several years. Benghazi, Operation Jade Helm, Agenda 21, HAARP, the “assassination” of Seth Rich, death panels, FEMA death camps, Pizzagate, the birther movement… these stories may seem ridiculous to most of us, but the alt-right gobbles them up nevertheless.
I’m captivated by every little detail of these stories. Each of them is almost comically easy to disprove, and believing them requires a special brand of faith typically reserved for overzealous religious fanatics. The sheer level of cognitive dissonance it requires to believe wholeheartedly that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, for instance, despite so much concrete evidence to the contrary, is truly staggering when you really stop to think about it.
Cognitive dissonance isn’t just a base function of right-wing culture. It’s an expectation from your ultra-conservative peers. In these circles, you’re expected to take it all on absolute faith; of course Obama and Hillary Clinton concocted a massive conspiracy to cover up “the truth” about Benghazi. Of course Obama is ordering the military to seize land in Operation Jade Helm. Of course FEMA is building concentration camps to reprogram conservatives and execute those who refuse to swear fealty to Obama. Everyone else around me believes it, so clearly it must be true, right?
The alt-right information bubble that creates these conspiracy theories is a well-oiled machine. Any random person can float a perfectly nonsensical idea pulled out of thin air, and so long as it sounds plausible to people who passionately hate the left — people who refer to liberalism as “a disease” or a “mental disorder” — their make-believe story gets repeated over and over until it’s wholly true for them. Couple that with an utter disdain for the news media, who openly calls them on their bullshit and thus gets labeled as “fake news,” and an unwillingness to fact-check things for themselves or take in an opposing view point because they’re too immature and irrational to handle an intellectual debate, and voila! They’ve created the perfect breeding ground for the wildest conspiracy theories imaginable.
It’s from this low-information chamber of recycled brain farts where Trump’s impeachment seems to be absolutely impossible. To them, Trump is the greatest American hero to walk this Earth since Ronald Reagan… maybe even since Jesus Christ himself. Wait… Jesus was an American, right? I mean, who else could’ve written the Constitution all those thousands of years ago?
Ask a Trump supporter, and they’ll tell you all the negative polls are bogus, invented by “The fake news people” to hide the truth: that their Glorious Dear Leader is beloved by almost every American, and only the depraved, diseased left-wing is rooting for a Trump impeachment. They see Trump’s presidency as the dawning of a new golden age for America, and they’ll be damned if anyone will try to take that glory from them by pointing out that the vast majority of Americans are disgusted by Trump’s behavior.
When The Trump Impeachment Happens, The Conspiracy Theories Will Be Out Of This World… Literally!
So what will happen if a Trump impeachment does happen? That blind, unwavering faith in The Donald will broil his supporters to their flash points, and from the toxic fumes and xenophobic ash of that fire, conspiracy theories will rise up like the world’s saddest Phoenix, its wings flopping more than they’re flapping while it lets out an embarrassingly weak caw comically reminiscent of a pubescent teen shouting out some team spirit at a pep rally.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Huma Abedin, Stephen Colbert, George Clooney, Rachel Maddow, The Democratic Party, The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, the ghosts of FDR and JFK, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, Muslims, Mexicans, Gays, Target shoppers, aliens from outer-space… every person, every organization, every inanimate object conservatives love to loathe will have at least a few conspiracy theories tied to them as his red-capped supporters struggle to come to grips with the Trump impeachment.
Did Barack Obama secretly plot to end Trump’s presidency in the final days of his second term by planting evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russian spies? Did Hillary Clinton create a secret pact with Vladimir Putin during her time as Secretary of State to hack herself just to make Trump look culpable? Did space aliens secretly invade the United States in November and drive to polling places in buses to vote for Hillary Clinton? I mean, they aren’t even from this planet! How fucking DARE THEY!
In the mind of a conservative, all of these stories seem entirely plausible, and they’d be even more believable in the wake of a Trump impeachment. The concept that their view of Donald Trump is a minority opinion is more alien to them than those bus-driving invaders from outer space in that last paragraph (suck it, fourth wall!). And if there’s one thing Trump supporters seem to really dislike, it’s minorities.
I don’t have a time machine. If I did, Hitler would’ve been eaten by a dinosaur and Bernie Sanders would be sitting in the Oval Office right now ranting at some unfortunate staffer about how much money the one-percent gobbles up. I certainly can’t fast-forward through the time-space continuum and watch the Trump impeachment unfold; I’ll have to sit around waiting like everyone else.
But when that day comes — and I’m extraordinarily confident that it will — we can all rest assured that some of the most hilarious right-wing conspiracy theories of all time are going to be born in the impeachment’s wake. And as a connoisseur of right-wing conspiracy theories and crackpot beliefs in general, I’m personally really excited to see how all of that plays out. Or at least, I will be until Trey Gowdy begins his 947.393rd witch hunt, that is. But that sweet-spot period where the conspiracy theories are just flat-out ridiculous? Mmm… delicious!
Featured image courtesy of Jack Lawrence/ Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)
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Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots