Here's A Hopeless Task
A Buzzflash contributor asks the 9-11 Truthers to join the "legions of the left".
Can we persuade conspiracy buffs to drop their 9/11 speculations and join forces with the legions of the left? It would certainly be advantageous to have them by our side as we struggle to defeat our common foes on the right.
This is something that I have to admit I did not understand adequately when I started blogging on 9-11. The notion that all or even most Deniers are leftists is wrong. Some are certainly of the left, and certainly they bitterly gripe about the "Lefty Gatekeepers" enough to make it clear that they think that their natural allies are on the left.
But a very large number of "Truthers" don't fit comfortably on the right/left line, which is one reason why there are virtually no Democrats or Republicans who support the 9-11 Denial Movement. Alex Jones is so far right I'd almost call him a survivalist. Dylan Avery certainly appears to be a little lefty, but Jason Bermas, his colleague, is well to the opposite side of the spectrum. These nuances can be tough to pick up in all the Bush-bashing that the Deniers engage in, but certainly if you listen to Bermas and Avery talk about Global Warming, for example, it's not hard to figure out that their political orientations are quite different.
And this is just plain laughable:
These conspiracy theorists are usually very bright, but they have an emotional weak spot. They reacted to the events of 9/11 with a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, which generated anxiety and fear in them. Their emotional priority was to scramble for safety, which they found in the world of fantasy. In self-deception, they developed a conspiracy fiction that they soon transformed into non-fiction and proclaimed to be absolute certainty. Religious fundamentalists, too, use rigid beliefs to develop certainty about the nature of the world. In both cases, the certainty doesn't have to be rational; all that matters is that the belief has a stabilizing, calming, or grounding effect, like that of nicotine or alcohol.
I think the idea that the CTers are usually "very" bright is laughable. I mean, they follow Alex Jones, who pronounces the word "naked" as "nekkid"! Jones is an old-fashioned populist in the Huey Long tradition. There are some intelligent Deniers, but polls have consistently shown that Truthiness goes down as education level goes up. If you compare the level of discourse at, say, the Looser Forum to the JREF forum, it's not hard to see the difference. Count the spelling errors, not even counting the ur for you're (or your), and you'll be appalled at any notion that CTers are bright.