(By Brandon Hansen/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent)
As I do every morning, I make my morning coffee, stroll out to the mailbox and then pull out my copy of The Spokesman-Review to see what the daily news is for our area.
That coffee nearly found itself on the backside of the neighbors car (Sorry, Melissa) after I read one headline that an elected Spokane City Councilman believes in chemtrails.
“By virtue of the fact that it is being openly discussed in certain circles, I think there may be some merit to it,” Councilmember Mike Fagan was quoted as saying.
Well, Mike, I talk about orcs and trolls when discussing video games – does that mean they exist?
Now the newspaper was oddly quick to point out that Fagan was the council’s “lone, consistently conservative voice” which really caused my eyebrows to pop up. Just because one person believes in a made up myth, with no scientific data to back it up, I would hope we don’t try to classify an entire political identity because one person that identifies D or R says they actually believe in the Easter bunny.
But it’s 2017. This is where we are. Recently on Facebook I posted a photo of a pizza box spilled on Boone Ave. and people in the comments began arguing over Trump.
The common social media thread and in general how we as a nation are talking is “take a stupid, non-offensive topic” “see how we can make it political and offensive” and “make it a meme.”
Chemtrails aren’t political. They’re fairy tales.
The same could be said in another thread I regrettably decided to engage in concerning wolves. Yes I am aware that it’s a bit of a hot topic. People on the thread seemed to think that WDFW has reintroduced the wolves into Washington.
A common fact known between both sides of the debate, however, is no such thing happened. These wolves migrated by themselves from other areas in North America that reintroduced them. This common misconception is particularly damaging because when I pointed out on the thread that WDFW did not reintroduce wolves, people immediately began to construct the reality that the WDFW is doing it in secret.
(sarcastic writing voice) Yes under the veil of night, WDFW is reintroducing animals into our area that are largely unpopular, probably cause the department’s phones to ring off the hook constantly, and since you can’t actually hunt wolves, it’s not like they’re making money off the tags or something. Their plan is eventually to raise a wolf army!
So now we have a super secret conspiracy with no proof or logical endgame.
Say what you will about the wolves. My parents live in an area they’re known to roam and my seven year old niece plays outside. So I’m not exactly singing from the high mountains I love the animals and would invite them in for tea and crumpets.
However, if the people around this area immediately jump to crazy conspiracy theories on any topic of slight discourse – without using a logical thought process or data to back it up – then you destroy the validity of the argument in the process.
One particularly harmful conspiracy theory was that the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting was faked. Parents of children that were slain actually have to deal with people who call them government actors and frauds. Imagine the pain that must cause.
So this chemtrails news story isn’t just mist. We have an elected official who believes in this theory because people are talking about it. People talk about the earth being flat too, and you know what? They’re morons.
I know we’re in some serious trouble if elected officials believe in chemtrails. Why? Because if you believe in things that aren’t true, you can’t begin to come up with solutions for actual issues.
If trends continue, I expect the following headlines to become a thing:
-Congressman believes moon landings were faked because first man to walk on moon no longer alive
-Bigfoot seen, and even though WDFW did tests to show it was a bear, what the heck do they know?
-Trump is responsible for every single bad thing to ever happen in the history of man, because we said so
-Independent publisher Jared Arnold is psychic and talks with dead relatives
You see what happens when we throw logic out the window?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m starting a tin foil hat business so I can rake in a couple million dollars or so.