Saturday 17 March 2018

Surge in paranoid politics raises the spectre of America becoming increasingly ungovernable

'Trick or treat?'
'Trick or treat?'

Juliet Samuel

Nothing can disprove the fears of a paranoiac. Indeed, everything confirms them.

Take the 'chemtrails' conspiracy theory: the idea that the white trails left behind in the sky by airplanes are sinister chemicals dispersed to sterilise or control voters. If a government declares there is 'no evidence' of such chemicals, that itself must be clear evidence that there's something 'they' don't want us to know. But if that government were to open up an investigation, that too would be incontrovertible proof 'they' must have found something.

So, too, with the strange case of the FBI and Hillary Clinton's emails, which dominated the US presidential campaign this past weekend. The FBI had previously "completed its investigation" in July, concluding that while she was careless, no crime was committed when Mrs Clinton used a personal, instead of a government, server to exchange emails about classified information. At the time, Donald Trump declared this as evidence that "the FBI rolled over [and] the system is rigged".

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