“It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.” – Gen. Jack D. Ripper, explaining why he ordered B-52 bombers to attack Russia in Dr. Strangelove.
(Updates at bottom)
When I first watched Dr. Strangelove – a dark comedy where a general uses a false conspiracy as rational to launch an attack against Russia – I laughed out loud.
I’m not laughing now.
While conspiracy theories have been around for hundreds of years – remember the flat earth notion? – today’s theories have gained traction due largely to social media where disaffected individuals who feel marginalized and distrustful grab ahold of any notion that rationalizes their beliefs.
The freshman representative from Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene, epitomizes just how far someone in the federal government is willing to go to push a self-serving agenda based entirely on false theories.
As reported in The New York Times (Jan. 30), here’s a list of Greene’s greatest hits:
– A devastating wildfire in California “was started by ‘a laser’; beamed from space and controlled by a prominent Jewish banking family with connections to… Democrats.”
– Greene “…endorsed executing Democratic lawmakers including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
– Greene wrote website posts with titles like: “Democratic Party Involved with Child Sex, Satanism, and The Occult.”
– Greene publicly argued that “the 2018 midterm elections – in which the first two Muslim women were elected to the House – were part of “ ‘an Islamic invasion of our government.’ ”
– Greene is also part of Trump supporters’ “stop the steal” conspiracy.
The most egregious, however, are the “multiple videos and social media posts that several school shooting massacres – [most notably, Sandy Hook] – were ‘false flag’ events perpetrated by government officials…” in order to pass gun legislation. One month before the 2020 election, Greene publicly stated that the “only way you get your freedom back is [if] it’s earned with the price of blood.”
Greene’s most oft repeated conspiracy is the widely discredited QAnon where one or more insiders in the federal government post cryptic online messages that falsely claim Democrats are operating a satanic, child-sex rings, and point to the political and media figures involved.
After it was announced that Republican House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy “planned to have a conversation” with Greene about her “deeply disturbing,” comments, she threatened:
“If Republicans cower to the mob, and let the Democrat and the fake news media take me out, they’re opening the door to come after every single Republican until there’s none left.”
But here’s something Representative Greene doesn’t spend time talking about:
- 885,000 – that’s the total number of Covid-19 cases in Georgia.
- 133,914 – that’s the number of new cases, as of January 30.
- 13,778 – that’s the number of deaths from Covid in the state.
I hope Georgia’s voters are watching Greene as she devotes most of her time talking about patently false conspiracies instead of working to get Georgians the vaccinations they need.
At some point, Republicans have got to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves what they stand for: False conspiracies or the Constitution; standards of objective fact, or cabal-spinning U.S. representatives like Greene who endorse violence against members of Congress and spread hate and disunity?
One scene in Strangelove takes place at meeting of the U.S. high command and President Merkin Muffley where General Buck Turgidson reads a final message from General Ripper regarding his attack on Russia.
“Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back…. God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.”
“We’re still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase,” Turgidson adds.
“There’s nothing to figure out General Turgidson,” Muffley says. “This man is obviously a psychotic.”
A 2019 bulletin from the FBI warned that conspiracy theory-driven extremists are a domestic terrorism threat.
UPDATES: The Washington Post reports (Feb. 1): A Wisconsin pharmacist who destroyed more than 500 vaccine doses, believes the earth is flat, according to the FBI.
As reported by The New York Times (6:00 pm PST), commenting on Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mitch McConnell said: “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”