Recent psychology research has shown that humans have a natural tendency to believe conspiracy theories, not because we are paranoid freaks, but because of how our brains are wired. But believing in something doesn’t make it true, as in the case of this menagerie of claims that Trump fans continually bring up about Hillary Clinton. Here are some we collected from just 12 hours of user comments.
On her bona fides…
Hillary Clinton’s license to practice law lapsed in 2002. She was never disbarred nor expelled (SOURCE).
There isn’t one news outlet that isn’t far-right leaning that makes, let alone substantiates, the claim that Clinton was fired as Secretary of State. She resigned at the end of her four year term, as is the case with almost every Secretary of State. She did get fired from a job the summer after she graduated college, scooping the guts out of dead salmon at a cannery. Maybe to a Trump supporter, that’s the smoking gun?
This author lived in New York when Clinton first ran for the Senate in 1999. The former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani was supposed to run against her on the Republican ticket but stepped out because of prostate cancer – that would have been a great race. So instead the GOP tapped (the mostly unknown) Rick Lazio, and he lost in a 55-43 landslide. Wall Street sure didn’t pay me to vote for her, nor the 3.75 million other New Yorkers who cast their ballots for her.
All over the map.
Yes, Clinton did defend an accused child rapist in 1975. Regardless of the other details, how dare Americans vilify an attorney for vigorously defending their client. That is what is required by the oath every attorney takes when they are admitted to the bar. As for the other details, snopes.com writes:
In 1975, young lawyer Hillary Rodham was appointed to represent a defendant charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. Clinton reluctantly took on the case, which ended with a plea bargain for the defendant, and later chuckled about some aspects of the case when discussing it years later. Hillary Clinton did not volunteer to be the defendant’s lawyer, she did not laugh about the case’s outcome, she did not assert that the complainant “made up the rape story,” she did not claim she knew the defendant to be guilty, and she did not “free” the defendant.
During Clinton’s tenure in the Senate, she sponsored 20 bills that passed the senate, and she co-sponsored 74 bills that were signed into law, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
As for Benghazi, Clinton did not intentionally lie about the Benghazi attacks as they unfolded (SOURCE). She did not personally refuse to provide enough security (SOURCE). She did not murder the four Americans who died during the attack (SOURCE).
People love to blame Clinton for using the Clinton Foundation to launder money (FALSE). They conveniently ignore that the countries that donate, like Saudi Arabia, are U.S. allies. And independent watchdog groups have shown that the Foundation donates 89% of its funding to charity.
Now for those infamous emails. The FBI did not find her guilty of breaking the law by using a private email server as Secretary of State (SOURCE). Clinton did not delete 30,000 top-secret emails (SOURCE). She did not leak secret documents to foreign agents (this one is so FALSE it doesn’t even show up on Fox News!) and at no point did anything having to do with her email server put any U.S. interest or asset in danger.
A vicious murderer
Ted Bundy was a serial killer. Jeffrey Dahmer. One might lump some famous dictators and fascists in there too. But if Clinton is a serial killer, then what about George W. Bush and his entourage?
Trump has been harping on Clinton being a liar since he announced his candidacy. It is ironic considering that less than 23% of Clinton’s statements are false when fact checked, compared to over 70% of Trump’s. We’ve done a few stories on this (here and here). It is odd that the man who lies more than any other politician in a decade is the one insisting that the inherently honest woman is the bigger liar.
No, Clinton didn’t whack Vince Foster and make it look like a suicide (SOURCE). She didn’t kill Ron Brown and 34 others by causing his plane crash (SOURCE). Yes, it is PARTLY TRUE that she tried to discredit the woman who claimed to have had affairs with her husband. Odd how we condemn a woman for standing by her husband, isn’t it?
Way out in left field.
No credible news outlet has this story. For good measure, let’s just also state that Clinton did not create ISIS (SOURCE). As for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Senator Clinton voted for both the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, but so did 98-99 of the other senators. Funny how none of them are accused of starting the wars?
Other insidious conspiracy theories about Clinton include:
- She was fired from the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate investigation for lying. FALSE.
- She engaged in massive corruption and fraud in Whitewater. FALSE.
- She set up the talks to give Iran $400 million. FALSE.
- She caused Capt. Humayun Khan’s death. FALSE.
- She rigged the debate schedule (FALSE)
- She committed voter and election fraud (FALSE).
- She will raise taxes on the middle class. FALSE.
- She will destroy the environment. FALSE.
- She wants to abolish the 2nd amendment. FALSE.
There are a lot more debunked accusations, but here is the grand-daddy of them all:
Clinton controls the media.
According to Psychology Today, “conspiracy theories tap into some of our deepest desires, fears, and assumptions about the world, and resonate with our brain’s built-in quirks and foibles. In proposing that events are carefully controlled from behind the scenes, for example, conspiracy theories fit neatly with the intentionality bias—our tendency to assume that ambiguous events happened on purpose. By explaining significant events as the result of grand conspiracies, they tap into our assumption that big events have big causes. And by ceaselessly connecting otherwise unrelated dots, they satisfy our never-ending quest to explain what’s happening in the world around us.”
Clinton doesn’t control the media. There is no massive election rigging. Dead people aren’t voting. It’s just that Trump is losing support and so he’s preying on our inner demons. And our unfortunate tendency to believe this kind of nonsense.
“I don’t care what facts I read, Hillary is a crook and nothing will change my mind.”
Perhaps you are just looking to rationalize the fact that you don’t like her? If that’s true, just come out and say so. It’s a lot more honorable than peddling the snake oil we’ve listed above.