I’ve written about conspiracy theories on this site before, mainly with a view toward sussing out the difference between genuine conspiracy and fantastical nonsense (Climate change denial, Kurt Cobain was murdered, chemtrails). Well, we have to come back to this thanks to Donald Trump, who believes (or claims, anyway) that the recent spate of sexual assault allegations against him is the result of a massive plot against him by Hillary Clinton, a Mexican cable billionaire, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Democratic Party, the Republican Establishment, and the Green Bay Packers. (I threw in that last one, though Trump may have expanded the conspiracy to them because Aaron Rodgers is dating Olivia Munn, who was on The Daily Show, which is owned by…you get the idea.)
But okay, suppose you believe that such a wide ranging conspiracy is plausible. It’s likely I can’t help you, but I will point out that there are other things you’d have to believe.
- That this conspiracy, large and powerful though it is, is remarkably slow acting. Miss Washington 2013’s allegations against Trump were first aired on Facebook in June of this year. Jill Harth’s allegations against Trump were first made in 1997. And Ivanka Trump accused her ex-husband of marital rape during their divorce in the early 1990s (this first came out in a book released in 1993). Nobody waited until the last minute to release them. Stories of Donald Trump’s assaults on women have been out there for decades, some of them since before Hillary Clinton was first lady and the idea of her as the first woman president wasn’t even a gleam in her eye. So your conspirator’s plan was clearly multi-generational in nature.
- That Donald Trump isn’t in on the conspiracy, but nevertheless cooperates with it by doing things that make him look guilty as hell. Unless Hillary Clinton’s friends in the CIA keep shooting exotic drugs into Trump to make him do her will, nobody forced Trump to say on Howard Stern that it was all right to call his daughter “a piece of ass” or, in a separate incident on The View, that if Ivanka weren’t his daughter he’d be dating her. Nobody held a gun to Trump’s head to make him say to a ten-year-old girl that in ten years he’d be dating her. And Billy Bush didn’t hypnotize Trump into saying he couldn’t help kissing beautiful women and that he could get away with grabbing their pussies because he’s famous. (And, honestly, if Billy Bush could do that, wouldn’t he spill it to Cousin Jeb while his presidential campaign was still a going concern?) Remember, these allegations blew up not because they weren’t already out there (they were), it’s because Donald Trump bragged on a live mic that he did the things women have been accusing him of. But you probably think Trump was set up. Sure. And maybe Andrew Jarecki framed Robert Durst.
- That The New York Times and the The Washington Post, which spent oodles of time covering Hillary Clinton’s email peccadillos and fanned lots of silly speculation about her pneumonia bout and her campaign’s release of information concerning it, are somehow in Hillary Clinton’s thrall. Her relationship with the D.C. press is famously frosty, and has been for decades, but I’m sure you think that’s just cover for the fact that the newspapers are Renfield to her Dracula, and that when she gets together for drinks, it’s with the Cigarette Smoking Man. (That’s also why the Cubs are favorites for the World Series. They’re her favorite team. Major League Baseball’s in on it too.)
- That Rich+Mexican=Co-Conspirator.
The reality, and I know you Trump supporters have a tough time with reality, is that your candidate is a terrible human being who brought all of this on himself. He didn’t need a vast global conspiracy to bring him down. He just needed his ignorance, his ego, and his sense of entitlement. He’s incapable of admitting that to himself, let alone you, but the faster you realize it, the better off you’ll be.
Or you can stick with this conspiracy theory, in which case, what Drew Magary said.