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Conspiracies in our time

Reader comment on item: [Michael Barkun on] Old Conspiracies, New Beliefs

Submitted by Paul M. Weyrich (United States), Jan 13, 2004 at 11:49

I appreciate your calling our attention to this important book. I have been running public policy institutions for more than thirty years. During part of that time I hosted a national television talk show for five years. As you might imagine, over the years I have been contacted about every conspiracy theory imaginable on the right.

One thing which has struck me as I listened to people who buy into these conspiracies is that it excuses them from any responsibility for constructive action. Afterall, if powerful forces are in control of all the levers of power in this country, then there is nothing an ordinary citizen can do. Some will say that their conscience requires them to educate others about the particular conspiracy they have bought into. But never have I heard from any of them any plan to do anything about these conspiracies. So belief in conspiracy theories is an easy way out. You don't need to participate in the political process. You don't have to follow what is happening in the Congress. All that is required is to shake one's head and to wring one's hands as further "proof" of the conspiracy in operation is discovered.

Thank you, by the way, for all you do to expose the threat which Muslim extremists pose to this country.
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