By chance, right after I wrote the post about “trust” and the Iraq war, I spent two hours next to a real hard-core conspiracy theorist on my flight through Atlanta (I suspect the guy was a Ron Paul supporter, but I’m not sure).
The guy was nuts. He believes that 9/11 was an inside job; in particular, he thinks that the Pentagon was hit with a missile not a plane and that the towers went down because Marvin Bush had the beams painted with thermalite (which burns at a high enough temperature to melt beams, he says). His take is that the whole thing was to justify a war that Bush wanted to fight.
He didn’t like Obama either and thinks that the health care plan is Marxist. (He wasn’t totally crazy on the health care issue, because he agreed there needed to be some safety net and that expanding Medicare/Medicaid to cover everyone might be a good idea.) He thinks the Federal Reserve and the income tax should be abolished, though he does favor raising corporate taxes. It got a lot crazier than that — he says that every war this century was started by bankers, that Wall Street funded Hitler, that World War I was started by bankers because German was bartering instead of using currency, that our income tax only services the federal debt and is not used for governmental expenditures, and that this whole system exists primarily to benefit the Rothschild family.
I don’t know how long this guy has believed all this stuff, but I got the impression he started thinking this way after 9/11 (he said he lost his job in the airline industry when travel went down as a result of 9/11).
I’m not saying this guy is necessarily typical of anything, but I can’t think of a better example of someone who doesn’t trust the system. And the basis for his lack of trust is paranoia about banks and wars. I didn’t hear one thing about Tiger Woods or politicians who fool around on their wives, that’s for sure.
People are crazy but in some ways they’re not quite as dumb as the media thinks. Bush did push us into a baseless war and rich bankers do rip everyone off, just not in the way that some conspiracy theorists think.