The Danger of Conspiracy Theories

Introduction

An opinion article by Frida Ghitis summarizes the impending danger of “extremist ideologies” after the House voted for Majorie Taylor Greene to be removed from committee assignments. Greene’s reputation contributes to the harmful conspiracy theories and statements she condones with the support of QAnon, a group that spreads false allegations. Their history of believing these lies and broadcasting them on social media platforms is known to be connected with Donald Trump’s own baseless rhetoric. His accusations of election fraud, ultimately leading to a premeditated attack on the Capitol in January, continues to fuel the fire about the danger of false rhetoric. The public displays by Trump, QAnon, and Greene makes it evident that their “poisonous ideology” threatens the country.

Research Results

In November 2020, when the election results were announced, Trump was quick to pursue that there was election fraud. He continued to provide false evidence by trying to manipulate the results. For example, he claimed that dead people were voting and that there were thousands of lost votes for him stored away and not counted. There were multiple sources that contradicted him. The Associated Press fact checked that “Biden won by the same Electoral College margin that Trump achieved in 2016.” CBS News debunked his claims in an article and reported that the election was the “most secure in American history.” Trump’s allegation continues to be built up by his supporters and Republican officials who believe that there was obstruction with the outcome of the election. This misinformation is being spread widely, which was harmful and dangerous for people to take seriously. On January 6, Trump had spouted forceful rhetoric that gave his supporters the motivation to attack the Capitol in order to override the election results. This insurrection was based off of conspiracy theories prompted by Trump himself. His claim had put many politicians and officers in danger, giving more power to the QAnon movement.

QAnon, which was created in 2017, is an unreliable source that provokes violence and falsehoods. By researching their beliefs, it is clear that they share absurd theories with no evidence. One of their theories is that popular Democratic politicians are apart of a cannibalistic child-sex trafficking ring. They also believe that politicians secretly control the government to manipulate the citizens. Thousands of people support these theories, giving QAnon a platform to unfold government actions that are not real. Their supporters then want to investigate further on the allegations, like attacking the Capitol in order to somehow uncover the real election results. QAnon has a history of being a threat to factual information and the trust of democracy. The people who support it, like Majorie Taylor Greene, only boost more power to the effect of conspiracy theories.

Greene’s support of QAnon seemed to have started in 2017, when she had interacted with the group’s lies on Facebook. She then went down the rabbit hole of false information, leading her to endorse detrimental conspiracies and use anti-Semitic statements. She believes that the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings were staged and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on September 11. In March 2019, she even went as far as confronting a survivor of the Parkland shooting, belittling him with baseless claims that she truly believed. On the day of the House vote, she defended herself and stated that “I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true.” Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell had spoke up about Greene’s thinking, saying that “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged…is not living in reality.” Greene has used her platform in Congress to project her false beliefs into politics, damaging what America should stand for.

Conclusion

Conspiracy theories influence what people believe. They can be dangerous, especially when violent organizations and politicians use it to their advantage. The false rhetoric creates a division in what people want for the country and how they want to do it. McConnell even stated that “loony lies and conspiracy theories are a cancer for the Republican Party and our country.” People should be careful in what they research and collect information from reliable sources that uncover the truth in a professional way. In recent events, it is evident through research that false claims can damage the truth and will only grow if it is not stopped.

Works Cited

Cohen, Li. “6 conspiracy theories about the 2020 election-debunked.” CBS News. CBS. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/presidential-election-2020-conspiracy-theories-debunked/. 15 Jan 2021.

Ghitis, Frida. “The fight over Majorie Taylor Greene poses a threat to the entire country.” CNN Opinion. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/opinions/house-republicans-marjorie-taylor-greene-ghitis/index.html. 4 Feb 2021.

Steck, Em and Andrew Kaczynski. “Majorie Taylor Greene’s history of dangerous conspiracy theories and comments.” CNN Politics. KFile. https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/politics/kfile-marjorie-taylor-greene-history-of-conspiracies/index.html. 4 Feb 2021.

Woodward, Calvin. “AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s false claims, fuel on a day of chaos.” AP News. Associated Press. https://apnews.com/article/ap-fact-check-donald-trump-a98d72c0ccde16fa900e6053a4599cab. 6 Jan 2021.