Dan O'Heirity

Donald Trump and Conspiracy Theorist Thoughts

If you have been following my posts over the last couple of weeks then you will know that I turned my attention to the American presidential election. Trump’s campaign has so far had 38 legal challenges to the election thrown out of court. And yet, he still continues to make baseless claims about widespread electoral fraud. If Trump is to be believed then there has been a massive conspiracy to steal the election from him. The trouble is that this is the stuff of conspiracy theory, not the stuff of courts and evidence and legal rulings. Today, there was a most wonderful article in The Guardian entitled, “Its Only Fake Believe: How to Deal With a Conspiracy Theorist”. Let’s take The Guardian points one by one. First, conspiracy theorists tend to make claims for which they have no evidence and the lack of evidence is in fact evidence of a conspiracy because the facts have all been covered up to hide the truth. Next, if they have no evidence, then conspiracy theorists name apparently impressive figures as supporting their theory. For example, an apparently renowned scientist claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax. Third, there is a tendency to connect a random incident with the theory that is being forwarded. For example, installing security cameras across a city is evidence that authorities are trying to use Covid-19 to control us. Fourth, conspiracy theorists make arguments on the basis of false equivalency. For example, more people die each year in car crashes than from Covid-19 so Covid-19 is not that bad. Lastly, there is the thought terminating cliché. For example, you can prove anything with statistics.

I am sure that by now most readers will have connected Trump’s campaign to overturn the election results as being rife with conspiracy theory. Trump has produced no evidence of widespread voting fraud and yet he continues to cry fraud. There are lots of candidates for Trump’s “impressive figure” but let’s take Rudy Giuliani as an example. He was once an impressive figure but that time has long past. As an example of a Trump campaign random incident, Trump’s now ex-lawyer Sidney Powell has claimed that two electronic voting system companies involved in the U.S. elections used Venezuelan technology developed under the direction of Commander Hugo Chavez who wanted a system that could be rigged so that he would never lose an election. Powell also accused, “Hugo Chavez, along with Cuba and China, of ‘communist interference’ in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections”. Chavez has been dead for many years. As for comparing apples with oranges, Trump has consistently claimed that Covid-19 either is the flu or is like the flu. Finally, there are plenty of candidates for Trump’s terminating clichés but lets take this one, “American will start winning again, winning like never before”. If you want to do your own check into Trump’s conspiracy theory lunacy then you might start with this story from The Independent in which Trump is reported as saying that, “the FBI, the Justice Department and the federal court system were complicit in an attempt to cover up alleged election fraud”.

China is Still Trying to Deny That Covid-19 Originated in Wuhan

It seems almost unbelievable but, as reported by The Guardian, China is still trying to claim that Covid-19 did not originate in Wuhan. Their line of argument is that the fact that the virus was first discovered in Wuhan does not mean that the virus originated in Wuhan. One theory put forward by Beijing is that the virus was circulating in Italy in autumn 2019. However, The Guardian story has Prof Jonathan Stoye, a virologist at the Francis Crick Institute in London suggesting very strongly that this was not the case. However, if China’s real aim is to promote doubt about the origins of the virus then just the fact of Beijing’s claims being published will add to their cause. And so we have a story from The South China Morning Post reporting that the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking into whether the virus might have originated in China. The world has surely not forgotten that this is the same WHO that did Beijing’s bidding in the early days of the pandemic. It is also the same WHO that is meant to conducting an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of Covid-19. In reality, Chinese scientists are leading the investigation and WHO personnel have had no access to the Wuhan market where the virus was first detected. We should not be fooled. China knows that it’s image in the eyes of the world is severely tarnished and Beijing is trying to restore China’s reputation. For the Chinese, Covid-19 is politics not a health emergency on a global scale.

The Leadership in Beijing is Morally Reprehensible

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has shared a fake image on Twitter of an Australia soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan boy. The boy is holding a lamb. The back story is that after a very long investigation 25 Australian soldiers have been identified as possibly having committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Although the process may be a long one, these soldiers will very likely be made to stand trial for what they did, including murdering Afghan civilians. Zhao has said that, “The facts revealed by this report fully exposed the hypocrisy of the ‘human rights’ and ‘freedom’ these western countries are always chanting.” Senior cabinet minister Simon Birmingham has hit back saying, “Unlike other countries who may sweep these things under the carpet, we undertook a thorough investigation, we’re applying remedies to address it“. The report itself makes for shocking reading and it looks like there are soldiers who have behaved in a sub-human way. They should absolutely be prosecuted. At the same time, China is once again showing its true face on the world stage. I cannot even begin to fathom in what world a Chinese ministry spokesman found it acceptable to post such an image. Nor can I fathom why China simply does not get the message that Australia is not going to be told what to do by Beijing. Beijing’s immaturity in this respect is breath taking and even more so as China does not see that the eyes of the world are on Beijing and leaders are taking note about what trading with China means if China becomes displeased with a country.

First Published 30th November, 2020

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