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Who is susceptible to conspiracy-theory thinking? 

Not only the superficially educated and narrow-minded, not only bumpkins with bad breath and worse teeth, not only the gullible and aggrieved, not only those who are nostalgic for a past that never was, not only those who are afraid of losing control—the fire-breathers, the weapons-collectors, wearers of bespoke body armor, anonymous online trollers, lovers of Ayn Rand novels for whom the gift of literacy is truly wasted, not only the teacher’s pets from cardio-prayer class, and the self-appointed scolds of free speech and the memorizers of parables about power …

Not only them, and not only the emotionally obese whose dreams are scarily self-tunneling and find themselves most alive when watching themselves rerun on the government channel late at night while wearing a human mask …

Not only the sufferers of psychosomatic persecutions who use their cats as food tasters, not only the scavengers of propaganda, not only the depressed and bed-crazy, not only those who hear voices in other people’s heads, not only the owners of 66 books on terror, not only those who crowd their homes with canned goods and medical salts, not only the connoisseurs of cartoon porn, not only those with ominous hair and gnawing vendettas against the IRS, not only proudly unregistered voters or voters registered to parties with serpents in their logo …

Not only them, and not only the over-medicated who’ve barricaded themselves behind an alternative reality as a way to hide from their own damaged lives and turn to AM radio for the comforts of hate and heart-worming pet tales …

And not only the adrift and the paranoid and the resentful, not only the rural white, not only the panicky liars, not only racists and anti-Semites, not only those who speak in spittled spurts about the Constitution, not only the no-longer-employable-work-from-homers, not only the smelling-impaired, not only those who would never donate their organs to strangers, not only defunct politicians, not only the fanatics, not only those who fear world music … .

-- Adam Hill - San Luis Obispo County supervisor, San Luis Obispo

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