All the President’s Phantoms

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

President Donald Trump has an impressive track record as a conspiracy theorist. He claimed, without evidence, that “millions” of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. He offered dark speculations about the deaths of Vince Foster and Antonin Scalia. He intimated that Ted Cruz’s father was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, citing the National Enquirer as his source. He sees sinister forces directing the flight of Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants. He has praised talk-show host Alex Jones, a man whose elaborate demonology incorporates everyone from the Bavarian Illuminati to Justin Bieber. Trump’s rise to power even began with a conspiracy theory: the accusation that Barack Obama hid the true circumstances of his birth.

We generally expect conspiracy theories to take hold