“Conspiracy theorist” is a term that we should be hearing a lot more frequently now that the Russia collusion witch hunt has ended with the complete vindication of President Trump and his 2016 campaign.
Whenever someone whose politics lean right gets a little hyperbolic, says something that he or she can’t quite back up, or jokes about any of a multitude of forbidden topics, the media are quick to label him or her a “conspiracy theorist.”
Make a joke about internet nonsense like “Pizzagate” or “Q Anon?” You’re a conspiracy theorist.
Use the political science term “deep state” to refer to the professional class of civil servants, intelligence operatives, and law enforcement officials who remain in power regardless of election results? You’re a conspiracy theorist.
Dare to speak candidly about the outrageous conduct in the Obama Justice Department that got the Russiagate ball rolling? You’re a conspiracy theorist.
For conservatives, that label never goes away. Once the media have decided you’re a conspiracy theorist, you could become an Olympic champion and the headline would still be, “Conspiracy Theorist Wins Gold.”
But what if you spend more than two years telling bald-faced lies to millions of people about their President conspiring with Russian hackers to steal an election and undermine democracy? Does that make you a conspiracy theorist?
Unfortunately, it does not. We conservatives don’t have the level of cultural power and media dominance to play the same game that the left does.
In a just world, we’d be talking about Conspiracy Theorist Adam Schiff, Conspiracy Theorist Jerry Nadler, Conspiracy Theorist Jake Tapper, and Conspiracy Theorist Rachel Maddow. In the real world, though, these people are lionized as brave “#resistance” leaders, intrepid investigators, and “staunch defenders of facts” for shamelessly spreading false innuendo and rumors.
The liberal feedback loop can’t change the facts, though. Russiagate is the biggest, most extreme, most widely believed, and undoubtedly the most dangerous conspiracy theory of our lifetimes.
Thousands of educated professionals — the very ones the American people rely on to protect them from nonsense like this — not only bought into the hoax, but spread and amplified the false narrative until huge segments of the population took it as Gospel truth.
In a rational society, there would now come a great reckoning. With the great Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory disproved, those responsible for it should, at the very least, be made to apologize.
But we know they won’t.
The reason liberal journalists felt so comfortable pushing Russiagate is that they know the left’s cultural hegemony and dominance in the news media means they’ll never suffer consequences even when they’re probably wrong.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report has put the final nail in the coffin of Russiagate for all but the most deluded conspiracy theorists on the left.
If we’re going to avoid a repetition of this travesty, Americans need to call out the Russiagate conspiracy theorists in the news media and the Democratic Party for what they are, and ensure that they aren’t allowed to get away with their brazen dishonesty ever again in this nation that was founded and is governed by the rule of law.
Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) is the founder of the global investment firm SkyBridge Capital and served in the Trump administration as White House communications director.