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Conspiracy theories are thriving under Trump – and it ‘is an existential threat’ to America: columnist

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The government controls the weather, they caused 9/11, there was no Holocaust, mass shootings are false flag attacks from the government — these are all conspiracy theories peddled by conspiracy theorists cited in a new examination in The Atlantic’s “Shadowland” project.

“My assumption about people like [Alex] Jones was that they were nihilistic grifters, exploiting innocent people seeking to satiate the deep human need for coherence,” wrote Jeffrey Goldberg. “Jones told me he was busy; I could have 30 minutes. Four hours later he was still talking—we were having dinner at a Mexican restaurant by then—and I was looking for an exit.”

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“We’re living under tyranny,” Jones told Goldberg. “The bankers, the New World Order, they’re using the War Powers Act to grab our guns. This isn’t a republic. Come on, if you say the bankers are forcing fluoride on us, if you call 9/11 an inside job, they’ll destroy your life, that’s how evil they are.”

Unlike the conspiracies Goldberg had heard over the years in the Middle East or the Russian conspiracy-mongering, he noted people like Jones were generally a source of amused mockery than serious consideration. Then came President Donald Trump.

“Your reputation is amazing,” Trump told Jones as he launched his campaign in 2015. “I will not let you down.”

Goldberg noted that Trump has stayed true to his promise.

“Trump does not defend our democracy from the ruinous consequences of conspiracy thinking,” he wrote. “Instead, he embraces such thinking. A conspiracy theory—birtherism—was his pathway to power, and, in office, he warns of the threat of the ‘deep state’ with the ferocity of a QAnon disciple.”

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He’s not just proposing injecting disinfectant, he’s prescribing drugs he knows nothing about, and promoting sending people back to work whether it’s safe or not.

“This improbable question—how did a person with a weakness for conspiratorial thinking achieve the presidency?—might be among the most consequential of the coming election, which is not merely a political contest, but a referendum on enlightenment values and on reality itself,” wrote Goldberg. “Nonsense is nonsense, except when it kills. And conspiracy thinking, especially when advanced by the president of the United States, is an existential threat.”

Read the full report from Goldberg at The Atlantic.

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Trump has been a ‘catastrophic failure’ and GOP lawmakers know it: columnist

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In a Memorial Day column for the Washington Post, Paul Waldman writes that it is time for Republicans to quit pretending Donald Trump is fit to be president and that his latest unacceptable behavior should be the tipping point for any honest lawmaker.

Under a headline that pointedly asks, "Can we stop pretending Trump is fit to be president?" the liberal columnist began, "At various times over the past three and a half years, many of us have asked what would happen if President Trump truly went over the edge or if his behavior became so frightening that his unfitness for the most powerful position on Earth could no longer be denied."

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NC governor’s office ‘relying on science and data’ — not Trump — to set rules on RNC convention

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's (D) office on Monday responded to President Donald Trump's threat to move the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte if the state does not allow full attendance in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump suggested that the convention would be moved unless the party is allowed to "fully occupy" Charlotte's Spectrum Center, which holds nearly 20,000 people.

"Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena," Trump said. "In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space."

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Right-wing militia spokeswoman defends lynching of Kentucky governor in effigy: Protesting ‘is not the answer any longer’

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A group of right-wing protesters held a demonstration in front of the house of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's mansion this Sunday, at one point hanging an effigy of the governor on a tree in what looked to be a mock lynching. According to CNN, the protest was advertised on Facebook as a Patriot Day Rally to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The backlash against the group's actions was swift, with even Mitch McConnell slamming the move as "unacceptable."

"There is no place for hate in Kentucky," he tweeted.

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