During one of his election tours in 2015, in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, (1) the US President whose term expired Donald Trump said that on September 11, 2001 he was in New Jersey, where many Arabs live, he saw thousands of people cheering with joy. By the fall of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, then proceeding from this claim, saying that he would like to place restrictions on mosques in the United States, because “what happened before will not happen again.”
Although Trump himself had retracted (2) this claim, and no one had confirmed it, either personally or informally, he – like the rest of his allegations – went like wildfire anyway. In fact, this is not the first time that Trump has adopted conspiracy theories without evidence, but he was direct and clear about that while he needed to attack his opponents, during the nominations for the 2016 US elections, for example, he had claimed that the father of US Senator Ted Cruz, one of the candidates, Participated in the killing of US President John F. Kennedy.
Before the recent elections, Trump shared a tweet promoting a conspiracy theory (3) stating that Biden, his rival in the presidential elections, deliberately killed a group of military officers participating in the assassination of bin Laden to cover up the fact that he did not die and the mission failed in 2011. During Obama’s tenure, he said that (4) he deliberately helped ISIS to thrive and penetrate, and although both of those theories may be correct, Trump did so without just one evidence of their validity.
Of course, this becomes clearer during the emerging Corona crisis, as while the president fails to manage the crisis if he is in more than one place directly promoting conspiracy theories, the matter has reached the point of sharing one of the videos of Doctor Stella Emmanuel, which says that hydroxychloroquine is the only correct treatment for ” Covid-19 ″, which is also an effective means of prevention, and added in the same video that it has managed to treat hundreds of patients with this drug, and that – which is the point that we want to pay attention to – does not know precisely who prevents this drug from people, and what is its interests, with direct doubts about Scientific research on this domain.
Emmanuel (5) is one of the believers in the conspiracy theory, and it extends to her perceptions that having a miscarriage or polycystic ovaries are direct symptoms of the presence of the sperm of the fetus who had sex with these women who have suffered from these medical problems. She also believes in a conspiracy theory that indicates that creatures A reptile alien that runs the US government, and things like Harry Potter and Pokemon are Masonic tools to control children and teach them the basics of magic.
The same thing was repeated a few days ago, as Trump called on his followers to rally in front of Congress during the Biden victory announcement session chaired by the United States of America, because there is another conspiracy, because the elections (6) have been “stolen” from the Americans, and that the Democrats will “sabotage” the country, which has evolved into A disastrous scene of the storming of the Congress building, with the death of 5 people.
But Trump may not care about that, as he has no problem promoting conspiracy theories as long as they serve his goals, such as winning the elections, avoiding popular accusations of failing to manage crises, or even evading accountability after leaving the presidency, so Trump may use a card. Igniting chaos “if the judiciary pursues him for any reason after leaving the White House.
In his book “Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture,” Mark Finster, a professor at the University of Florida School of Law in 2008, pointed out that conspiracy theorists are not only a group of people with unsatisfactory levels of psychosis, as some deliberately promote conspiracy theories because they serve him politically strongly. And he rallies his supporters in the face of his opponents without the need to resort to logic and rationality, especially when it insults them and deliberately tarnishes their image.
In fact, political support for the conspiracy theory was not limited to Trump, and during the “Covid-19” crisis, huge quantities of “Internet bots” were exposed that deliberately spread fake news and conspiracy theories through social media, and some have pointed the finger at the Russian administration that She is often accused of this type of activity.
And Ilya Yablukov (7), a researcher from the University of Leeds in Britain, had based on Mark Fenster’s definition of conspiracy theory as a populist theory of power, indicating – through a systematic analysis of “Russia Today” channel material – that the Russian authorities might work to confirm the conspiracy idea of The public, because it is the most capable of persuading people to delegitimize US foreign policies and add them to Russian foreign policies. The matter is not only that if you were weak in the face of another political party, nothing will save you except to convince your followers that there is some conspiracy, but also says that the conspiratorial component is an essential part of the contemporary political process.
But the most important question in all this chaos is why do people do this? Why do conspiracy theories affect them to the point that their minds suddenly withdraw from their brains, so they act with all anger, aggression, and irrationality when a man like Trump asks them to do so? The answer to this question will undoubtedly take us out of the doors of politics a little, so that we can proceed to psychology.
We can consider what Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross, cognitive psychology professors from Stanford University in their book The Wisest One in the Room, call “naive realism,” which is the tendency of man to believe that he is He sees the world objectively and correctly, and that any “normal” person is supposed to see the world the same way.
With our conviction that we are right, we will put “those” who do not agree with our political, economic and ideological views in a special list we call “them”, that group that is “different from us”, biased, ignorant, irrational, and does not listen to the right (we saw), while We are rational, more efficient and experienced, and then we begin to enumerate the advantages and rationality of our own group in exchange for the irrationality, stupidity, and arrogance of the other group.
This can push us to spend what we have of time, effort, and money in order to raise the profile of our group, and the term “in-group favoritism” indicates that ideas that seem superficial or very trivial may completely separate two groups of Humans, so that each side defends its group as if it were a war of identity, a war of life or death!
In social and cognitive psychology, we learn that humans are not completely rational, and that their preferences are based primarily on their political and religious affiliations. There is a degree of “tribalism” in all of our thinking, whereby our belonging to some political orientation helps us define our identities, who we are, and enhances our sense of ourselves, which is What could be more important to us than the accuracy of an issue. Here, we will tend to believe ideas that are in line with our party’s views, however unreasonable they are, and rather we will treat them as facts.
Rather, it goes deeper than that, as it may develop at some point to ask ourselves: Could there not be a conspiracy? If the right thing – our rightness – is so clear, then could they not only be opponents, but rather conspirators who would like to eliminate us, and is it right ?!
In fact, you can notice this clearly in the recent congressional break-in. One of the most striking scenes was of a young man wearing two horns on his head, this young man named “Jake Angley”, he and his fellow followers (9) a conspiracy theory called “QAnon”, which includes allegations. She says that there is a detailed secret plan to get rid of Trump developed by the “deep state”, a term that Trump has long used, and the plan seeks a military coup led by Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The theory holds that those in the deep state would like to eliminate Trump because he will reveal their biggest secret and arrest them and kill them, and the secret is that they are a group of devil worshipers and child traffickers who want to control the world, and they have enough resources for that. The strange thing is that Trump once said that he He heard that the pioneers of this movement “love this country very much” (10).
This degree of extremism in our human behavior can be controlled. In the experiments (11) of Phil Vernbach, from the University of Bonn, in 2013, it was clear that those who defined the facts calmly and rationally clearly retracted their extremism, as well as the experiences of Amos Tversky and his companions in the nineties (12) proved that despite the bias, things were Most “cute” when presented to an audience in a calm manner.
But this only happens in normal times, times of stability, but when the President of the United States of America himself puts pressure on this sensitive chord of his followers, the thin rational hair that connects us with reality is cut off. How would you act if the message that someone gives you daily is that Your country was stolen from you, and that there are those who want to sabotage it, and they are not only Arabs, Latinos, or Asian origin, but rather they are Americans like them, but they are only from the other party ?!
In his own set of experiments over the past several decades, Emil Bruno (13) of the MIT Institute, a teacher who was a volunteer for social and medical services in war-stricken regions, points out, who later turned to study conflict psychology The political point is that the more extremism increases, the lower the degrees of sympathy for others in the event of political disputes, the lower the degree of gloating in the death of others! This was more evident the greater the political discord, and less clear the less.
An ordinary citizen, in any country in the world, including our Arab countries, may turn into an unknown soldier in the army of the extremist attack on immigrants or those who have different opinions, religious or political beliefs at any moment if a politician manages to tamper with his emotions towards his group, the worse than That is because we live in a really tense world, and with the rise of political extremism, we have become in an era that many have called the “Post Truth Era” (14), where we can only expect more lies, exclusion and racist extremist judgments. With the aim of gaining political standing.
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- Conspiracy Theories as a Russian Public Diplomacy Tool: The Case of Russia Today (RT)
- In-Group Favoritism Is Difficult to Change, Even When the Social Groups Are Meaningless
- QAnon: What is it and where did it come from?
- Previous source
- Political Extremism Is Supported by an Illusion of Understanding
- Rationalism in Crisis – Has it entered postmodernism as a matter of psychology | Mirrors
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- Post-Truth and Its Consequences: What a 25-Year-Old Essay Tells Us About the Current Moment