Donald Trump Floats A Conspiracy Theory That Explains Away All Those Allegations
As the Donald Trump campaign continues to come up against a series of, um, roadblocks, Trump himself has begun falling back onto one of his favorite tropes in years past: the world of conspiracy theories. Now, even Trump's response to the groping allegations involves a conspiracy, because how could it not?
In response to the spate of groping allegations that several women have come out with against him, Trump is now claiming that those accusing him of sexual assault are actually part of a global conspiracy meant to bring him down. This global conspiracy, according to Trump, has the Clintons at its center, and they apparently have the news media and a number of multinational corporations caught up in their orbit.
The women who made the allegations and the news organizations that reported them, Trump said, were "horrible, horrible liars," and "the Clintons are criminals" — although he didn't offer any evidence to back up his side of the story. The people currently in power, he argued, are actively trying to disenfranchise the working class. Since the Trump campaign represents a serious threat to the current power structure, the big companies and banks are conspiring with the Clintons to run a smear campaign attempting to keep Trump out of power.
As absolutely absurd as his claims are, they actually strike some very dangerous notes. One thing he said was that Hillary Clinton has secret meetings with international banks that threaten American sovereignty, a statement disturbingly reminiscent of the sort of rhetoric that the Nazis used in the 1930s to rile up anti-Semitic sentiment. Comparisons like that have lost much of their power over the years as too many people compare one thing or another to Hitler, but if you replace "the Clintons" with "the Jews" in Trump's latest speech, the words are terrifyingly similar to actual speeches of Hitler's.
Trump may claim to be a new man after traveling the country and hearing so many people's stories (or something), but that doesn't mean he's strayed far from the realm that launched him into politics. His first steps out of business and into politics, after all, came when Trump vocally started supporting the birther movement. This gained him the support of the right-wing, conspiracy-obsessed fringe, which has now become a significant part of his campaign as a whole.
This connection became quite public in August, when Trump appointed former Breitbart News Executive Stephen Bannon as his new campaign chief executive. Breitbart news has long been a home for the sorts of conspiracy theories that Trump traffics in, so it's no surprise that he would want a man like Bannon at the head of his campaign. This speech, at least, bears definite signs of Bannon's influence.
As Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama make speeches denouncing Trump's most recent statements and trying to broadcast a message of inclusiveness to all of the groups that Trump has attacked — women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled people, and others — Trump has only dug deeper into a world of claims devoid of evidence and full of malice. The question of which line of attack reaches more people, of course, will only be resolved on Nov. 8.