Conservative bloggers and opinion writers don’t have a monopoly on spreading their political conspiracy theories.
After President Donald Trump signed his executive order prohibiting people from Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the U.S., activists mobilized against the constitutionally questionable ban that caused chaos in airports nationwide over the weekend.
But their protests may be just what Trump’s inner circle wanted, according to conspiracy theories that have been blowing up left-wing corners of the internet.
It’s a distraction from bigger moves at play, the theories, posted on blogging platform Medium, state. One goes as far to call the ban the administration’s way of testing a coup and was shared by countless celebrities. You probably saw that picture of a downed Statue of Liberty from The Day After Tomorrow in your Facebook feed more than once. Another comes to a similar conclusion, but in less brazen terms.
The coup post, seen by 5 million people according to its author, was the most popular story on Medium Tuesday with more than 10,000 likes. The other was the second most popular with more than 6,000 likes. On social media, the stories were reposted all over progressive, anti-Trump pages and accounts.
These theories aren’t as provocative as others that came up during the election, such as the alt-right conspiracy Pizzagate, which accused the Clinton campaign of being involved in a child trafficking ring based out of a D.C. pizzeria. They don’t have that outlandish, gossipy flair, but their popularity shows how hungry Trump’s haters are to prove the president is as nefarious as they thought.
In Google engineer Yonatan Zunger’s Sunday post Trial Ballon for a Coup?he writes that Trump’s order was a test to see how other arms of the federal government would react in order to pave the way for bigger power plays. Would federal agencies follow the White House order or calls from judges to stop enforcing it? Reports of the former abounded.
“It wouldnt surprise me if the goal is to create ‘resistance fatigue.'”
“This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored,” Zunger writes.
In addition, Trump’s decision to block and then allow green card holders was “meant to create chaos and pull out opposition.”
“It wouldnt surprise me if the goal is to create ‘resistance fatigue,’ to get Americans to the point where theyre more likely to say ‘Oh, another protest? Dont you guys ever stop?’ relatively quickly.”
Capitol One Bank’s Jake Fuentes came out with a similar power consolidation theory in his post, The Immigration Ban is a Headfake, and Were Falling For It.
“Weve proven we can ignore an entire branch of government, and weve slipped in some subtle moves that will make the next test even easier,” Fuentes writes.
While those theories were making the rounds, a history professor’s own read on the weekend’s events went viral. Heather Richardson, of Boston College, offers an analysis that does echo one point made by the conspiracy theorists: the executive order was meant to cause chaos.
On Facebook, her post calling the de-facto Muslim ban a “shock event” is spreading like wildfire since it was posted Sunday with more than 77,500 shares.
Richardson explains how Trump’s ban, which was written by Bannon, was orchestrated to cause chaos and anger.
Looks like this is the left’s chance to blast out their own theories as the Trump administration’s true agenda starts to emerge.