ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Enough With the Conspiracy Theories

Updated on July 24, 2018

Either Back it Up or Shut Up

What is the greater tragedy: an innocent person being convicted of a crime or a guilty person who is never punished? I suspect that Americans, if they are honest, will give different answers to this question, and we would all like to live in a world where neither tragedy ever takes place. Officially, however, our legal system is based on the premise of "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." The Bill of Rights clearly does more to protect the innocent from wrongful conviction than improve the odds of punishing the guilty. It is likely, therefore, that there are more criminals getting away with things than innocent people getting tossed in prison.

This raises another question. Does the "innocent until proven guilty" principle apply to people involved in politics? In theory, most Americans would answer yes, but a large percentage of them clearly don't mean it. It is remarkable how many people in this society will believe virtually any negative things that they read about political officials who do not share their political ideology or party. While there may be a relatively small number of people out there producing "news" that is deliberately misleading or just completely made up, there are millions who believe and help to spread the garbage. With all the conspiracy theories flying around the internet on a daily basis, it's like the "boy who cried wolf," on crack, a million times over.

All of this "crying wolf" does more than feed into the ideological and partisan divide that seems to get worse by the year. It also makes it far more difficult to uncover real conspiracies when they arise. The truth gets drowned out by the garbage, and a significant percentage of the population has been conditioned to believe that any criticism of their side is a bunch of crap. While Donald Trump is far more aggressive and blatant than past presidents in accusing all of his critics of producing "fake news," he is hardly the first president or politician to criticize his or her accusers as liars. And on many occasions, whether Democrat or Republican, politicians are perfectly justified in calling certain stories fake news.

Yes, I know that there are lots of real conspiracies out there, but I find it very difficult to determine how much fact or fiction there may be in these claims. Given how all of this conspiracy claiming only gets more out of hand over time, I am basically done with them. I have no interest in reading anything that comes from so-called news sources with very strong ideological slants. Because it is unavoidable, I will still read commentary from people who have their inevitable biases, but I refuse to turn to them as primary sources of facts. And as hard as it may be to do, I will try to view politicians as "innocent until proven guilty" of outright illegal behavior. They deserve the same legal treatment as everyone else. The legal system is not perfect by any means, but it beats judging people by the court of misinformed, biased, and easily manipulated public opinion.

I am not saying that we should stop criticizing politicians for their (documented) actions and words. For a bunch of reasons, I think that Donald Trump sucks as a president whether he has ever been engaged in any illegal behavior or not. But I will be accepting the conclusions of the Mueller investigation (and any other investigations or court proceedings that may or may not follow) regardless of the conclusions. If we are to continue living in a society that claims to be based on rule of law, then we must accept where the evidence leads whether we like it or not.

Let's all continue to argue vigorously online and - heaven forbid - sometimes in person about politics. Let's continue to make fun of politicians when they say or do stupid things. But if you are not going to make an honest effort to get your facts straight, it is probably best to shut the hell up (and stay home on election day). And if you are a reporter or law enforcement agent who suspects that a politician may be engaged in illegal behavior, then please, for the rest of us, pursue your conspiracy theory. We need honest and courageous people to hold these politicians accountable. Just do us all the favor of not sharing your conspiracy theory until you can back it up with some real evidence. Because if you share your theory, and it proves to be wrong, then you will just add to the chorus of people crying wolf.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      2 years ago

      Paul

      What exactly is Mueller investigating at this time?

      Whatever it is doesn't involve Trump, or even Russia!

      What is the basis of even having the Trump Russian collusion investigation?

      Many people shouldn't include a supposedly impartial DOJ, and FBI should it?

      I don't get the point of your hub as you appear to want to be fair, yet you talk of conspiracy theories but you don't reference or describe any of them.

      Maybe if you could mention the conspiracy theory that sparked this hub, it may make your point.

      Thanks

    • Freeway Flyer profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Swendson 

      2 years ago

      I haven't drawn any conclusions about the Mueller investigation, and my opinion about Trump has little to do with the investigation since I don't know how it is going to end. Explaining why I dislike Trump goes beyond the scope of this hub. My point is that many people accept without much thought accusations made against people who they disagree with politically. I don't like Trump, but I am not assuming that he is guilty of collusion.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      3 years ago

      Paul

      you say

      "I am not saying that we should stop criticizing politicians for their (documented) actions and words. For a bunch of reasons, I think that Donald Trump sucks as a president whether he has ever been engaged in any illegal behavior or not. But I will be accepting the conclusions of the Mueller investigation (and any other investigations or court

      b:

      You make two conclusions here.

      Trump sucks as president, and that leads into your second conclusion the Mueller investigation.

      What if the Mueller investigation itself was a conspiracy? You admitted that you can't tell about conspiracies, so how do you know Mueller isn't part of a conspiracy.

      Well you can go back to the beginning and see if the facts are true.

      The investigation starts out without having a predicate crime to investigate. Russia Trump collusion is not a crime.

      The whole investigation was prompted by the democrats claiming Russia Trump collusion, yet there is still no proof after 5 investigations congressional ones and Mueller.

      Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller because Sessions recused himself because he was involved in the Trump campaign. But Rosenstein didn't recuse himself and he is a character that is part of what is being investigated. That being his signing off on the 4th FISA warrant on Carter Page.

      My point is that you excluded these facts that would be conflated into a theory based on a conspiracy.

      Conspiracy Theories were a word tactic created by the US government to deal with the UFO obsession. These two words were used as an offensive tactic to discredit and even ridicule people that had concerns that the government was holding back information they needed to know.

      With the congressional hearings on the DOJ and the FBI unearthing some damning evidence on the questionable actions taken by these agencies, can you still support your conclusions.

      And can you share your number 1 reason why you conclude that Donald Trump as a president "Sucks". That word is vague, ambiguous, and without facts or references. Maybe you could put a face on it:)

      proceedings that may or may not follow) regardless of the conclusions. If we are to continue living in a society that claims to be based on rule of law, then we must accept where the evidence leads whether we like it or not."

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)