It’s unclear whether Donald Trump really believes any of the conspiracy theories he pushes, or if he just uses them to attack things he doesn’t like, but he pushes so many that it’s clear he 1) really is so gullible and conspiratorial or 2) is just that keen to play on conspiratorial thoughts in others. Either explanation should raise a big red flag for a presidential candidate in Yosemite Sam’s house, let alone across the United States.
I had the title and intro written for this even before The Donald’s most recent outburst and conspiratorial nonsense (suggesting that Obama somehow personally didn’t stop the Orlando nightclub shooting because he’s sympathetic to radical ISIS terrorism and that Obama is protecting Hillary Clinton from going to jail — not to mention that one of his top political allies and a longtime friend is claiming that a Michigan-born Clinton aide could be a “terrorist agent” or “Saudi spy”).
Nope, the article stemmed from some other recent conspiracy theories pitched by Trump (I don’t even remember which ones), which led me to thinking about his conspiracy theories regarding global warming and wind power. Look at this whopper if you haven’t run across it yet:
Yes, 4 years ago, Donald Trump claimed that global warming was invented by the Chinese. Yep, thousands of non-Chinese climate scientists and other scientists who have independently evaluated the science behind global warming have somehow been duped by the Chinese — it’s all just a hoax. Yes, never mind that global warming has been a documented concern of climate scientists since the 1950s (or earlier) and the basics of greenhouse gases trapping heat and warming up the earth is basically undisputable physics (with the term “greenhouse effect” used back in 1901, and the science behind it being developed as early as 1824).
It’s absurd that anyone could think that the Chinese invented the concept of global warming in order to weaken US manufacturing — completely and utterly absurd. And the crazy thing is, this quote from Donald Trump has been mentioned numerous times, including this year, and Trump hasn’t retracted the statement.
Regarding wind turbines, Donald has fought wind farms near his golf courses and developments on a number of occasions — in Scotland and California, for example. It’s unclear if his only issue with them is that he thinks they’re ugly, or if it’s tied to some other matter — perhaps that he just hates to see society progressing? (Change can be tough for some people.) In the following tweets, though, you can see that Trump has used the same tactics against wind farms as he used to wipe out his competitors in the GOP presidential primary:
Trump is quite talented at throwing insults and spreading fear, and he has targeted wind power time and time again with these tactics. This hasn’t worked with courts, but it seems to be quite effective when it comes to roping in US voters.
Back to the theme of this article, an embarrassing (and, one would hope, eye-opening) part of Trump’s anti-wind talk (er … tweeting) again loops back to the promotion of wacky ideas that certainly don’t befit a president. In 2013, in his “who needs to look at the details” haste and his hate for wind power, Trump retweeted an infographic that was created to make fun of people who believe in “wind turbine syndrome.” He apparently didn’t realize he was making fun of himself with the tweet.
If his belief in wind turbine syndrome (or feigned belief in it) was an exception, it would be embarrassing enough, but the problem is that it’s essentially the norm with Trump.
But here’s the thing: The public is woefully uninformed. 31% of Republicans recently polled by Gallup didn’t even know that the GOP currently has majority control of Congress. Note that the global warming conspiracy theory above has nearly 30,000 retweets! A large portion of the population does believe conspiracy theories like Donald peddles on a consistent basis. Approximately 20% of the population thinks President Obama is Muslim. Approximately 25% of the population can’t identify from which country the USA gained independence (hint: pay attention to the language you’re reading). Approximately 26% of the population doesn’t know that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
Could the United States elect a flame-throwing conspiracy theorist who thinks (or tweets that he thinks) “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” and who promotes the nonsense of “wind turbine syndrome?” Unfortunately, it’s a genuine possibility. So, 1) get out and vote, and 2) help to inform other members of society, and encourage them to make smart decisions in life and in politics.