Letter to the editor: Believe anything

By DANELL SULIK | Kendall

Every so often, the world goes seriously sideways, and we find ourselves dealing with war or famine or drought or flooding or disease — or all of these simultaneously. Unlike in the past, we have the tools to help us cope, but wading through the disinformation and conspiracy du jour is a hard slog.

People once believed bubonic plague was a punishment from God, or caused by bad air, poisoned wells, or foreigners with a different religion. Twenty thousand Jews were burned to death in Strasbourg in 1348, and yet the plague persisted because they didn’t know it was spread by infected fleas and lice.

You’d think we’re much too sophisticated to believe anything that farfetched in America today, but it helps to remember we’re now also dealing with “alternative facts.” And for four years, the previous guy in charge was a grifter, using the White House to feed his ego, enlarge his brand, mock science, and spread conspiracy theories, making it hard for some to know what to believe.

Fifteen percent of Americans, approximately 50 million people, became devoted followers of Q, the cryptic message poster of QAnon, and treated the messages as gospel. Linguistic analysis recently revealed that the mystic Q is actually two guys from different sides of the world. One lives in the Philippines, and the other is running for office in Arizona. Q hasn’t posted anything since December 2020, but that hasn’t deterred the faithful who anxiously await the next message. 

There must be a tear in the fabric of the universe. It’s the only way to explain a world where truth and commonsense have been turned upside down, inside out, and backwards. Carlson echoes Russian propaganda, which Russia then broadcasts as propaganda. Some Americans believe Putin’s claim that he’s invading Ukraine to save it from a corrupt Neo-Nazi party run by Zelensky — a Jew. 

Keeping in mind the average age of U.S. senators and Congress members is 60, Cawthorn says he’s been invited to orgies by members of his party. Herschel Walker, the ex-football great who doesn’t believe in evolution and is running for a U.S. Senate seat, says he graduated in the top 1% of his college class, except he never graduated. After contracting the virus in 2021, Sarah Palin said she would get the Covid vaccine over her “dead body.” And while you’d assume he’d want to keep his potential voters alive, our very own RonJohn touts hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and gargling as treatments for Covid. 

Of course, people are free to believe whatever they want. Although unlikely, perhaps Bigfoot did kill JFK, the Earth’s flat, Elvis hasn’t left the building, and the moon’s a big chunk of gorgonzola. Perhaps, but when confronted with the facts, believing in something isn’t enough to make it so. 

It’s been said the more things change, the more they stay the same. Unfortunately, there’s always been war, famine, drought, flooding and disease —and people willing to believe just about anything.

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