Could Trump be a conspiracy?

Conspiracy Theories - Trump and Conspiracy Theories: From Propagator to Target?

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the essentials in brief

  • Conspiracy theories are always about power. That's why there are many, in which US presidents play a central role play.
  • Conspiracy theories and populism work in a similar way: Both contrast an elite with the people.
  • In the election campaign spread US President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories. Now he could be targeted by conspiracy theorists himself.

Conspiracy theories are power theories

Was the murder of John F. Kennedy a large-scale plot? Is the US government hiding a crashed UFO in Area 51? Wasn't Barack Obama born in the USA at all?

There are innumerable conspiracy theories surrounding the US government and especially the president. Why is that so?

American studies professor Michael Butter explains this by saying that conspiracy theories are always about who has power. As the “most powerful man in the world”, the US president is often at the center of conspiracy theories.

Trump as a promoter of conspiracy theories

American presidents and conspiracy theories have always been closely linked. According to Butter, the new US President Donald Trump has a special role here: During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly spread conspiracy theories - more aggressively than ever in recent history.

Conspiracy theories and populism

Michael Butter is not surprised that the populist Trump spreads conspiracy theories: populism and conspiracy theories worked similarly.

Both divide the world into two poles: the elite and the people - “those up there” versus “us down here”. Therefore, populism and conspiracy theories appeal to similar audiences.

Trump as a victim of conspiracy theories

In the meantime, Donald Trump has taken over the presidency. As the new “most powerful man” he now belongs to the political elite.

For Michael Butter, it is only a matter of time before the first conspiracy theories are directed against Trump. Because: in the logic of conspiracy theorists, the powerful cannot also be the good.

Broadcast: SRF 1, Einstein, January 26, 2017, 9 p.m.

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Michael Butter is Professor of American Literary and Cultural History at the University of Tübingen. He has been working on conspiracy theories for years and is co-head of an EU research network working on the subject.

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  • Commentary by Javid Dakob (Ministry of War)
    Well dear srf (or Einstein) team .... whoever can think has a clear advantage! #fakenews
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from SRF Kultur (SRF)
    Please note that we are only posting comments on the topic of the article here. The question of whether certain events that are not discussed in this article have taken place or not is not the issue here.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Michael Räumelt (commercial law firm)
    That's why I prefer to be a "conspiracy practitioner" .... is more understandable, more realistic ... and mostly it's true.
    Agree agree to the comment

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