Conspiracies and herd immunity: let’s review the facts

I was pleased that a recent New York Times op addressed something I’ve recently written about.

Farhad Manjoo discusses conspiracy theory with a Harvard scholar. She’s worried about violence, as is almost every friend I’ve spoken to. I’m not, maybe because I don’t have distended amygdalae.

As I discovered when doing research for How I Learned The Facts of Life, conspiracy entrepreneurs who, before the 2016 election, were pushing all sorts of pro-Trump anti-Hillary garbage, learned that they got no traction (and no money, i.e., subscription fees) from liberals.

Liberals did not then and, I assume, still do not buy into conspiracies, let alone QAnon. Which is, I think, the bottom of the bottomless barrel.

As a liberal who fell for only one fake news bit (the dolphins in the ever-so-clean Grand Canal), I have thought a bit about why this is. There are either too many answers or too few. Or I’m no longer capable of further deep thought on this subject.

So here’s the simple, if shallow, fact: if you’re a liberal, you most likely do not accept conspiracy theories. Therefore, it’ll be safe for us liberals to gather our herd together without fear of brainwashing as soon as there is a viable COVID vaccine.


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