As someone who enjoys the occasional conspiracy theory for entertainment—though I do not deny corporate-government conspiracies exist—I can say that such fringe-dwelling minds will believe and say almost anything. And so it is with the fring-dwelling conservative fears of a race riot if Obama should lose in November. If one is going to stoke fears, one must do so in grandly absurd fashion.
InfoWars’ Paul Joseph Watson is right in the thick of it. This should be expected from the warped imagination of Alex Jones, a man who is, at bottom, a conspiracy theory profiteer. Don’t believe for a second that Jones actually believes the bullshit he and his contributors publish. They are shrewd, cynical and out for cash. So grandiose are their revelations that they should be working as Hollywood screenwriters or in science fiction publishing. But their current con is probably more lucrative.
As Watson writes, “The new threats continue to dominate Twitter and the vast majority make no reference to the media’s coverage of the issue over the last week, illustrating the fact that they are a legitimate expression of how many Obama voters plan to respond if Romney comes out on top.”
The reality is that post-election race riot tweets are not dominating Twitter. An InfoWars article written by Michael Snyder made a few fringe riot tweets into a story (see for yourself). It was then picked up by The Drudge Report apparently.
What little discussion exists at all now seems to center around the opinions of Thomas Sowell, an economist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, who once stated that President Obama, like Hitler, exploits “useful idiots” who know little about politics. Mr. Sowell seems not to have realized, even after decades of academia, that almost every politician exploits “useful idiots.” It’s part of America’s democratic-republic game. Indeed, one might say that Sowell is something of a useful idiot himself in conservative circles. But that didn’t stop Sowell from addressing the possibility of race riots in an interview recorded August 8, 2012.
Watson claims that InfoWars investigated the Twitter accounts to prove that they are genuine, subsequently concluding that the legit Twitter accounts are evidence enough of vast impending race riots should Obama lose. These jackasses aren’t very well-acquainted with the basic rules of logic; but no matter, it’s fit to print.
A quick survey of the Twitter accounts reveals that a lot of the users who tweeted about race riots are just idiots or jokers. In other words, like most Twitter users, they are people wasting time. To borrow Sowell’s language for a moment, it would seem that in this case they are the conservative fringe’s useful idiots. The means by which conservatives can continue building up the fear of the “other”—the black “other” that will meltdown if Obama loses.
It is all theater of the absurd and should easily be dismissed. This article in fact gives the conspiracy theory a sort of power by addressing it in the first place. But one must call a spade a spade.
As Rudyard Kipling stated: “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.”