Why We Love Conspiracies

Conspiracy theories seem to be a pet pastime of many here on Newsvine. Either you love them, or you love bashing them. Maybe it’s the great, sinking flaw of the well-read that we can’t seem to get away from them. At any rate, I thought I would go ahead and step out into no-man’s land and say it: I love the conspiracy theories.

Now, I should probably mention at this point (so you can stop with the hate mail) that I don’t really believe any of them. But then, I don’t actually believe that any of you exist, either. I recognize the possibility, in both instances. It serves my interest to do so.

“Why?!” I can hear my imaginary audience screaming, “In what way does admitting to the possibility of the validity of conspiracy theories help you?” (yes, my imaginary audience speaks exactly the way I do…doesn’t yours?) Well, that is why I am writing. Those of you who already love conspiracy theories probably don’t need this explanation, though you may occasionally find yourself bewildered as your otherwise well-organized mind takes a hiatus when you start reading about incendiary devices planted in the World Trade Center. Those of you who hate the conspiracies, with an equally irrational passion, often wonder what the hell is wrong with the rest of us. I hope to shed a little light on the matter.

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Change the Constitution?

As a result of the comment thread on another article, I started thinking about Constitutional Amendments. As some of you who have read my other articles may know, I am a big proponent of adhering to the precepts set out in the Constitution. That most important document lays out a pretty good system of governance, particularly because (if strictly followed) it keeps too much power out of the hands of any one person or group of people. Most of the power falls to the states, and what national oversight there must be is divided amongst three equally powerful branches of government. However, hearing folks argue, as I do, that the slow and steady shift in governmental power is “within the bounds of the Constitution”, I am thinking that maybe it is time for a change.

We’ve heard plenty about Constitutional Amendments lately, in the context of trying to “save” the institution of marriage in this country. The concept of using a Constitutional Amendment for the purpose of discrimination is abhorrent to me, but I am not at all opposed to making some changes for the sake of clarifying the nature of our government. The Constitutional Convention was very concerned with creating an executive branch which would not have the power to evolve into a dictatorship. There was much debate at the time as to how to prevent that from happening. However, we now find ourselves in a situation where the executive branch has claimed for itself the power to make laws and ignore laws by using signing statements and executive orders. Our Congress, which was originally envisaged as the only branch with that power, seems disinclined to enforce oversight on a “war-time” President, having already given up its Constitutional power to declare war. The judicial branch is quiet under the weight of “national security”. And the press, specifically protected in the First Amendment due to our founder’s recognition that, even with the checks and balances put in place, the government needed a watchdog, is in increasing jeopardy of being crippled by the same.

Perhaps some clarification is in order. Continue reading