In the last century, we have seen many media-driven conspiracies similar to what we are now seeing regarding President Donald Trump and the supposed assistance his campaign received from the Kremlin in order to win the White House. Unfortunately for Democrats in the press and on Capitol Hill, in only one of these scenarios did the people driving the conspiracy theory prevail — and there is no reason to believe that that exception is going to become the rule anytime soon.
Everyone ought to take a few deep breaths and avoid hyperventilating on the latest tittering gossip that passes for journalism. We ought to avoid it for the sake of avoiding getting caught up in the same snare that Wolf Blitzer and his ilk have ensnared themselves and their followers. We also ought to show some patience and temperance in order to avoid black-pilling ourselves unnecessarily. As recent events have shown, the Trump Train is still rolling along and — surprise, surprise — is cranking out some policy victories in the form of a SCOTUS-approved travel ban on some Muslim nations, $1.6 billion in Congressional funding for The Wall, and the White House’s unrelenting attacks on the lying press on behalf of the American people.
As a last aside, since at least the 1990s it has become fashionable to cultivate one conspiracy theory/allegation of scandal after another in order to put pressure on one’s opposition and hopefully prevail in the subsequent elections. That may be in sync with the impressionable minds of the masses in the short and long term, but that knife cuts both ways. Democrats/communists have used this as well as Republicans/conservatives. Below are a few examples of scandals or conspiracies alleged by both sides. Please note how, with the exception of Watergate, none of them actually resulted in electoral victories, successful impeachments, or changes in important policies.
But let’s start by looking at Watergate, the one exception to the rule that mudflinging accomplishes little. Unfortunately, since Watergate took place in the lifetimes of most senior journalists and political operatives, it haunts them at the same time that it drives them to find the next Nixon-Watergate connection. The crucial distinction between the current Russia collusion theory and Watergate is that there were witnesses, partakers in an actual break-in, and those who covered up that illegal activity. In short, there was a simple criminal case to be made for the people who broke into the Democratic Party headquarters in 1972. That’s why some people went to jail. There were also others higher up, in the White House, who knew about the act and covered it up. That’s why they went to jail.
With respect to the Russia collusion theory, all of those things are lacking. No witnesses, no crime, no coverup. Nine months of the entire global media investigating this and…nothing. That is the rule to which Watergate was the exception.
The flap over former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a recent example of a failed smear campaign/conspiracy theory against the Left. Whether or not Obama was actually born in the United States is still a matter of dispute. He produced a birth certificate that he alleged put all doubts to rest. But, like with the George W. Bush National Guard conspiracy explained later, the birth certificate contained things that seemed, at least to some, historically inconsistent. However, the Republican/anti-Obama base — including our current president — rode this horse for all she was worth for several years. Eventually during the 2016 campaign Trump relented and admitted his belief that Obama was a natural-born citizen, but that doesn’t explain away lingering questions.
The important thing for our purposes now is not whether or not Obama was a natural-born citizen. The important thing is whether or not the question made a difference in any policy debates, elections, or impeachments. And the answer is a definitive NO. Obama was never seriously in danger of impeachment, let alone conviction. Obama and the Democrats lost some elections during his time in office, but none of those elections turned on the question of whether or not Obama was a natural-born citizen. Neither did the question affect major policy debates, such as over Obamacare, gay marriage, or the astronomical growth of the federal debt. It didn’t even affect the somewhat-related issue of mass immigration. Essentially it boiled down to ineffectual name-calling, but voters didn’t accomplish anything by spouting the theory except letting off steam. They didn’t spend their money or cast their votes differently because of it.
Prior to Obama’s administration, Leftists themselves tried and failed to bludgeon a Republican president. In 2004 the supposedly infallible Dan Rather, heir to journalism demigod Walter Cronkite (who himself helped kill the national resolve during the war in Vietnam by misreporting results of the Tet Offensive), had proof in his hands that President George W. Bush had gotten off easy during his Texas Air National Guard service. When questioned about the reliability of his evidence, Rather literally bet his entire career on it. Unfortunately for Rather, the 2004 equivalent of /pol/ was Johnny-on-the-spot to point out that one obscure term used in the alleged evidence did not exist at the time the supposed document was typed. Poof! Up in flames went the anti-Bush attack. Rather’s career was over. He and CBS wouldn’t admit it, and are trying to this day to convince the masses that Rather was right. But this attack on Bush less than 60 days before the 2004 election failed. Bush beat Sen. John Kerry in 2004 with a larger margin than he beat Vice President Al Gore in 2000. The Democrats again experienced the fact that Watergate was the unicorn exception, not the rule.
As was the case with Obama’s birth certificate and W. Bush’s allegedly lax military service, the Russia story will go nowhere except with those willing to believe anything negative about the people and policies they already hate. It’s confirmation bias in action. It’s why liberals tune into MSNBC and find nothing to object to about its coverage, and why cuckservatives tune into Fox News and whistle a similarly happy tune.
The world is an ideological battlefield, no doubt. But facts, evidence, process, and truth matters whether you’re a journalist, a pastor, a homemaker, or a student.