As the world watched the outcome of the Alabama special election-turned-spectacle unfold last week, a crack team of professionals worked feverishly gathering undeniable proof that sinister forces had sabotaged one of the nation’s most important decisions — and they would stop at nothing to get the “truth” out.
Actually, those dedicated professionals were the writers and promoters responsible for one of the most outrageous voter conspiracy theories yet, and the “proof” was more tenuous than a light fog evaporating in the morning sun.
So how shaky was this proof? Let me put it this way: the evidence was so thin that all it took was a one-word question to blow the whole thing out of the water, but before we get to that, let’s take a look at the allegation.
According to several “alternative” news websites, massive voter fraud took place during the Alabama special election between Republican candidate Roy Moore, and Democrat Doug Jones.
The story goes something like this, according to Salon.
“[Alex] Jones [of Infowars] claimed that the Democrats ‘had the dead people vote and had the folks bused in in those Democrat areas, and they stole the election.’ Jones also claimed that ‘my research shows Roy Moore probably would have won by six, seven points.'”
At once, the “dead people” part jumps out and smacks the heck out of your intelligence, but it does not stop there. While you tenderly massage your bruised intelligence, the second part of this convoluted mishmash may give a moment of pause. Buses? People brought in? Hmm.
You see, this is the stock-in-trade of the conspiracy theorist; tie something utterly ridiculous to something slightly plausible, and voila, instant conspiracy theory.
But when taking a closer look, most people will immediately see the fallacies, however, for some it may take that extra push to knock them off of the conspiracy wagon.
Sadly, there are people who suffer from a special kind of denial that no amount of reason can overcome. For those people, best of luck to you. For others, there are people like John “Nip ’em in the Bud” Rogers.
Through a series of tweets, Rogers methodically dismantled the theory, all the way down to its crumbly foundation.
Of course, Rogers could have stopped after asking the ultimate conspiracy theory stopper question of “How?” but he proceeded to unravel this one like a cheaply-made suit.
After addressing the most obvious ridiculousness of this unbaked conspiracy theory, Rogers then broke out the math to further prove the falseness of the story.
By Rogers’ count it would have taken a convoy of 800 buses to bring in enough people to throw the vote.
8/ So, right now your brilliant conspiracy has some genius renting 800 buses from, well, how many buses does one company have, say a couple dozen companies, all on the same day, requiring 800 drivers who ALSO have to be in on it. And still. Nobody. Notices.
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) December 13, 2017
Eight hundred buses? Holy-why-didn’t-anybody-see-them-Batman? Elementary my Boy Wonder, it is because they were not there.
Paradoxically, the wacky explanation for the election loss is also a bit of an insult to the thousands of Alabama Republicans and election officials by suggesting they were duped by what would have been a massive, and obvious operation to steal an election in a state that has some of the toughest voter laws in the country.
Such a claim essentially alleges that Alabamians were apparently too dense to notice such an obvious flood of humanity, in their midst, invading their spaces to obtain last-minute voter registration credentials in order to compromise the election.
Ironically, this conspiracy theory is brought to you by the same group of people who denied that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, saying it was “deep state” propaganda, while simultaneously floating the theory that millions of fraudulent voters handed Hillary Clinton the popular vote.
Whoever these “deep state” chaps are, they must be the worst plotters ever, since they somehow garnered millions of illegal votes, but failed to compromise the Electoral College. Oh my, what a difference a gerrymander makes.
But as always, you just cannot keep a good conspiracy theory down. Just wait until the mid-term elections. If their candidates do not win, it will be another worst case of voter fraud, but if their guys win it will surely become a great victory over the “deep state,” or the “shadow government,” or the “Pirates of the Carribean.”
Perhaps it is called “alternative” media because it originates in an alternate universe, which is a parallel dimension, and is distributed as alternative facts. But we all know that alternative facts are simply a polite way of saying they are lying.