Conspiracy theories thrive in chaotic times. Otherwise rational people can become emotional and buy into rumors they might normally dismiss as crazy. The bigger the event, the more stories of hidden agendas and secret plots tend to circulate, especially in our age of social media. You may have friends, for example, who insist the September 11 terror attacks were a massive scheme by government provocateurs to give the U.S. an excuse to invade the Middle East. There are thousands of variations of this same notion surrounding nearly every event in our recent history, including the riots currently destroying many American cities.
There is no question the riots have been seized upon by Democrats and their street-fighting agitator militant wing Antifa as an opportunity to inflict the same physical damage on America that they spent the past three months doing to our economy. But is it a conspiracy, or simply opportunism?
The philosophical principle of 'Occam's Razor' is a good way to stay grounded in rational thought in the face of conspiracy theories that inevitably arise around big events. Occam's Razor holds that the simplest explanation for any given event is likely the correct one. The more steps involved in a theory attempting to explain something, the less likely that theory is to be correct. This also holds true for the number of people it would require to carry out a plan or the complexity of an operation. As anyone who has ever led people in accomplishing a task can attest, the more people or more steps to the plan, the more opportunities exist for the effort to break down and fail. It is not absolute, of course, but a general guiding principle to use as a starting point.
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Stories from the riots that people have seized on to claim the unrest is the result of a conspiracy includes accounts of stacks of bricks or other items useful to rioters inexplicably placed near the scenes of conflict, local advertisements soliciting paid rioters and theories of billionaire George Soros funding massive logistics operations. Former New York City Police Chief Bernard Kerik tweeted his suspicions of centralized organization considering the nationwide nature of the riots. These points, even if true, do not necessarily point to a pre-planned conspiracy.
But there are many other circumstances surrounding the riots that lend themselves to the theory that this nationwide destruction is simple political opportunism.
First and foremost, Democrats' response to the entire Trump presidency has been one long series of feigned outrage and irresponsible hyperbole.
The Trump administration was hit with accusations of sinister scandal by Democrats and their media allies even before he was inaugurated. Absurd claims of Russian collusion or that Donald Trump was a Russian spy were being thrown at him from the beginning in an attempt to gin up confusion, outrage and calls for investigations and impeachment. As the president tried to fill Cabinet positions, attempts to put his own selections in place of Obama holdovers were characterized as "obstruction of justice," resulting in increased faux outrage and even more calls for investigations. When that political storm failed to dislodge his base of support, the Stormy Daniels narrative became the outrage du jour for the left. Upon the collapse of that storyline into a resounding legal victory for the president, Democrats shifted to indignation over leaked accusations President Trump used an offensive term for Third World countries in a private meeting regarding immigration policy. Next, liberals used images of detained illegal immigrants to promote their children-in-cages and "concentration camp" narrative in an attempt to gin up public opposition to administration policies. The caged children photos, if you recall, were found to be from Obama-era detention facilities that caused no concern from Democrats at the time they were actually taken. The left was deflated again. The outrageous claims and shameful treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats failed impeachment hearings and the economic shutdown surrounding the Chinese coronavirus panic came in rapid succession, one after another. All failed to increase Democrats' electoral chances or negatively impact President Trump's approval ratings.
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The left's never-ending sequence of controversies tend to show Democrats and major media are simply flailing about, grasping for any opportunity to get Trump supporters to buy into their outrage and diminish his support in some meaningful way. It is opportunism. The series of "outrages" at President Trump are obviously insincere because they are forgotten as soon as liberals realize their histrionics are having no political impact, so they move on the next phony outrage.
Each of their spectacles had either no effect, or occasionally backfired, causing the president's approval ratings to increase. The present riots are the biggest Democratic miscalculation yet, as they find themselves in the position of supporting massive physical damage to American small businesses. They themselves have positioned President Trump as representing the opposite of the chaos, death and destruction we see in American cities.
The terrible death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was not a trigger for civil unrest, but an excuse. It was a political opportunity. Otherwise sympathetic people have noticed several black Americans have been killed in the riots so far. If the protests and riots were actually about grief over Mr. Floyd's death, we would expect to see soul-searching by Democrats over the deaths resulting from these demonstrations. The absence of grief, or even any significant news coverage from major media about them, reveals their agenda.
The left is using the occasion of the appalling death of a man in a thoroughly Democrat-controlled city in a long-time liberal Democratic state, as a hostage situation. An opportunity. The implied messaging from the left and major media is to elect Democrats to end the violence. It is vile. Democrats must be held accountable for the destruction from this irresponsible escalation of political attacks from rhetorical to physical.