Sunday, June 13, 2021

Bill Crawford: Internet-Driven Conspiracism Undermines Civil Society

Real conservatives know who Peggy Noonan is. Read her latest column “What Drives Conspiracism” where she laments that irrational conspiracies “fueled and powered” by the Internet are “helping break up America.”  

Rational people know that civil society cannot work when leadership embraces conspiracism. Rather civil society requires civil leadership.

Flashback: Ronald Reagan defined civil society as order with virtue. Reagan was also the epitome of civil leadership – strong but conciliatory, demanding but willing to compromise, conservative but willing to work across party lines. 

Reagan said, “Our first President, George Washington, Father of our Country, shaper of the Constitution and truly a wise man, believed that religion, morality, and brotherhood were the essential pillars of society.”

Reagan also affirmed the prayer embodied in America the Beautiful – “America! America! God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!” 

For him, brotherhood transcended politics, as demonstrated by his legendary relationship with Tip O’Neil, the Democrat Speaker of the House. O’Neill’s son Thomas described their relationship, their commitment to “find common ground” this way:

“What both men deplored more than the other’s political philosophy was stalemate, and a country that was so polarized by ideology and party politics that it could not move forward.” (Sound familiar?)

“While neither man embraced the other’s worldview, each respected the other’s right to hold it. Each respected the other as a man.”


The late Congressman G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery also bought into the notion that brotherhood should transcend politics.  His relationship with Republican President George H.W. Bush is also legendary.

“When it came to matters affecting our national security and matters of war and peace, we stood as one,” Bush wrote in the foreword to Sonny’s memoir “The Veteran’s Champion.”

The late Sen. John C. Stennis may be the best 20th Century example of civil leadership. Stennis was respected for his character, steadfast faith in God, and love for people.

Reagan said of Stennis, “The humble man who came to Washington from a small town in Mississippi has made an impression on American government that is difficult to measure and hard to fully describe. He has demonstrated for all of us that one man, committed to God and country, willing to work hard and sacrifice personal gain and comfort, can make a difference.”  

“He considered it a point of pride, not weakness, to be able to work across the aisle with presidents of the other party,” said Brother Rogers, former associate director of the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service.

“When we face difficult times, difficult issues,” Reagan said, “we Americans can unite for the common good.” Montgomery and Stennis would agree.

Flashforward: But today’s snarly politics would not.  

As civil leadership wanes in our national leaders, what does that foretell for state and local leadership? For our national fabric and civil society?

Conspiracism that brews hateful rhetoric and anarchy and breaks up America.

And, as Noonan warns, “conspiracism isn’t going away. It will only grow and become damaging in ways we aren’t quite imagining.”

Unless true patriots stand up for brotherhood and civil leadership.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” – Colossians 4:6.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.



Anonymous said...

LOL. The irony of a boomer trying to appeal to a sense of civic nationalism. Too bad they killed it. Along with everything else that once defined civility. At this point, worse is better. Let it burn.

Krusatyr said...

Noonan would go halfway with the devil, but demo-marxists want it all and are currently twisting children's minds with CRT, gender flipping and abolishing pursuit of excellence, even as they force-feed adults with climate cult, indemic anti-white racism and Central Planning.

How does one go halfway with that evil? Noonan would call it a mere conspiracy and split the difference.

That'sMisterDeplorableToYou said...

That is a well written piece, it contains a lot of wisdom and nice sentiment. However, it only applies if everyone is rational. If Tip O'Neil were alive today he wouldn't recognize his own party. The political left has gone completely off the rails and into full-blown socialism.

You can't make peace or compromise with that which literally seeks to destroy you.

Anonymous said...

10:16. Boomers killed "civic nationalism"? Please explain

Anonymous said...

10:16 am

Ok queen. Let’s let it burn.

Remember the ones with the real money will survive.

You will be “Gen embers.”

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed people as you and Noonan direct these comments to one side of the political aisle. You might consider that when pondering why you are irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Without conspiracy theories, we wouldn't have spy novels or movies. The Internet simply made available to each person a publishing platform that used to only be available on television, e.g., MTV's Big Brother and Jerry Springer, and before that The Gong Show.

I think conspiracy theories and the Internet are just tools, misused in service to the love of power (megalomania) and fame for its own sake (self-glorification). These are defects as old as mankind.

If and when we figure out how to take the obscene amounts of money out of elections, we might stop getting candidates who will do or say anything to win.

Anonymous said...

It comes with the territory. Information bombards us from every side. Even intimate information which was once totally hidden or ignored is now available at our fingertips. Naturally conspiracy theories will abound. On the internet we can overwhelm the gullible masses with facts and half-truths which tend to prove any position no matter how ridiculous. Leadership was not questioned in the past because the average citizen did not have access to intimate facts. Trust was essential. Those politicians who were most re-elected were deemed trust-worthy. We just didn't know any better.

Anonymous said...

It seems like Crawford is trying to convince us that if we don’t accept the official government narrative, then we are to blame for the blowback that results from the evil acts committed by our government.

Anonymous said...

Noonan helped Reagan's presidency enormously. Her well-written speeches spoke to the heart of Americans.
Her visceral attacks on Trump would have been easier to swallow had she also raked the left over its infatuation with socialism.
As to who killed civics in America, look no further than the mirror. We allowed the NEA to tell us there's no time for that in our children's academic curriculum. Even the arts survived budget cuts though the budget was never the reason for removing civics. Socialism was the motivation.
Conservatives cannot escape responsibility either. The greatest generation appears to have assumed everyone understood the value of civics, but the assumption is proving fatal to national pride and unity.
Liberals, you embraced Obama when he insisted there was no justification for American exceptionalism. You remained silent when he fled America for his apology tour.
We are all to blame. Can we accept that and agree to do something about it?

Anonymous said...

Unchecked media, agenda driven op-ed pieces, media parading as factual when they are not…. Crooked politicians, life time politicians….

That is what killed civility….

Anonymous said...

The Immigration Act of 1965, among many other things.

Anonymous said...

Noonan has been one of the few semi-conservative writers espousing common sense and decency over the Trump and Obama years. Me thinks the national GOP is regretting recruiting blue collar, under-educated evangelicals over the last 4 decades. The party has become the party of Ross Barnett.

Anonymous said...

10:44am/Mister Deplorable To You,

Perfectly said sir!

This word conspiracism, is that like saying you were against believing COVID was deliberately made in a Chinese lab before the evidence comes out that it actually was?

As for some of the really stupid things some right wingers will believe, Peggy and Bill should see if they can come up anything even close to as dumb as what Democrat voters ended up swallowing hook, line and sinker;

like defunding and abolishing the police (due to a minority of bad apples) in the poorest and highest crime areas of the country…is going to make the lives of poor people and the lives of their children living in those high crime areas…better.

Gonna be hard to beat that kind of “conspiracism!”

Anonymous said...

So, exactly where are they looking for these "true patriots" that will save the country? This is hard to fathom when the political party currently in power hates all things America. Any shred of logic and/or foundation that founded America is absolutely despised by the left. Any effort to preserve and save America is labeled by the left as systemic racism.

"Reagan said, “Our first President, George Washington, Father of our Country, shaper of the Constitution and truly a wise man, believed that religion, morality, and brotherhood were the essential pillars of society.”

This quote nails it. America's religious and moral fibers are rapidly deteriorating to a point of no return. Ironically, those that are typically labeled as "conspiracists" are NOT the same folks causing this rapid deterioration.

Conservative Boomer said...

A very well written piece with a message that is right on target.

And reading several of the comments above, they point out the problem. 10:43 and 10:45 from one side; 12;32 from the other - their thinking is that the problem is only one one side of the political spectrum ----- the other side.

Noonan (nor Crawford) directed their comments to one side of the political aisle. They both point to both sides. But many that read their comments think that the problem is with the other side, not them.

Truth is that today, both factions (Democrats and Republicans) have crazy factions trying to control their party from the fringes. Right wing nutjobs are just as crazy, wrongheaded, and problematic as the left wing nutjobs. Granted they all operate in their own idiotic ways and neither represent the vast majority of the folks who consider themselves as being either a Republican or a Democrat. But because their voices are loud and antagonistic, they get the headlines. Check the newsfeeds - Rep AOC or Omar, Senator Sanders, or from the other end of the spectrum, QAnon Shamon and his followers, Gomez, Lim Wood, to see their idiocy daily along with all those that follow them. Along with that is their ridicule of the reasonable folks on both sides of the spectrum because they are trying to make government work and arrive at solutions.

Yes, the Great Divide exists. And to 10:16, I am a Boomer, but the great divide and sense of nationalism wasn't killed by me and mine. Granted, the 60's was a time of great change due largely to some civil unrest but that unrest did result in the end to a senseless continuation of a war in Vietnam that was driven by a President that didn't mind loosing a few hundred thousand lives of young men while he used it to deflect from his social change being directed from the White House; the imposition of civil rights; (and above all, the greatest music that is still being enjoyed today). The fight was for nationalism, not against it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Bill, we “conspiracy theorists” (that get proven right every day, since the “Covid” kicked off) are nuts! Even though every, single, goddamned, thing, we, said, is coming true.

Side note: Reagan destroyed California and by extension the US by giving amnesty to millions of communist, big-government worshipping hispanics and further destroyed the 2nd amendment. What else would you expect from an actor?

In case you were wondering.

Anonymous said...

The greatest conspiracy theory of the last 25 years was trump colluded with Putin

Anonymous said...

Is there actually a market for this drivel? Crawford seems to be writing for and about some sort of quasi-real world, inhabited by people whom the REAL WORLD has left behind. Is this actually about anything, or just a series of Purr Words, to reassure a fragile segment of the populace, who need someone to tell them, "There's no such thing as monsters."?

Or, maybe, Salter's article amounts to, "Have another one of these blue pills, PawPaw, and GO BACK TO SLEEP - right after you mail that check to the RINO.... I mean, the Republican Party."

Honestly, I feel that I'd lose brain cells, trying to understand what he's talking about. I have no more interest in visualizing the cosmology of people like him, than I do in understanding NASCAR or World of Warcraft or Civil War Reenactors or the Drag Queen Pageant Hierarchy. His worldview seems to resemble a CLOSED SYSTEM - like a board game.

I didn't and won't google 'Peggy Noonan'. However, since she's apparently big on dissing 'Conspiracy Theorists' and 'Conspiracism', I'm going to guess that she's being promoted by those who seek to hijack/divert/rein-in Trumpist Fervor.

I DID google 'Conspiracism', however. Now, I'm wondering how widespread has been the reading of TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY. Nobody's read about the Third Reich - you know - the stealing of power - the silencing of dissent - the Wannsee Conference (which sure fits MY definition of 'Conspiracy') - the looting of Europe (and subsequent keeping of half the loot) - the Nazi Ratlines (another clear-cut conspiracy with worldwide effect)? Nobody's read, in-depth, about Russia's near-century of absolute HELL, under Communism - and how all that came into being (a whole mass of "overlapping webs of conspiracy", just like in the definition of 'Conspiracism')? Nobody's read about China's solid century of misery (featuring one conspiracy after another)?

Do people actually believe, "Ha ha! There's no such thing as the Mafia! Ha ha!" (in which case, one would not need to wonder whether Mafiosi have actually CONSPIRED)?

People DO conspire. I have conspired. The first conspiracy I remember, was in Third Grade. I conspired just for the heck of it - because I realized I COULD. I thought I'd invented a whole new concept. It affected my "whole world" (Third Grade, and the Principle, and my family, who made a big show of "Switchin' that girl 'til she cain't stand up!"). Taught me some valuable lessons.

Well, there ARE grownup psychopaths, running the World, who still, even though they're grownups, still conspire - mostly just for the heck of it, if you get at the root of their motives. They conspire, because it feeds whatever demons they've got inside them. And they know how to draw others into their conspiracies, and set up reward systems for those they recruit (sometimes, it's called "loot"...). They know how to construct "overlapping webs" of conspiracy.

They know how to set things up, so that when their plans go awry (don't they always?), they'll have PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY. Holocaust Studies taught me that. And Hitler was using an OLD and well-worn blueprint...

Or... one can just tell himself/herself/themselves (whatever pronoun makes you happy) that the world is being run by good people with good intentions, and that the bumper crop of unprecedented and inexplicable events of the last sixteen months, "just happened", and they're not in any connected, and it'll all be over, soon, and we can go back to havin' summah that good ole Seale-Lily Ice Cream.

Anonymous said...

Guy who posts false information about "deep fakes" last week now posts about "Internet driven conspiracism."

Bill, YOU are part of the problem, but firmly believe you and Ronnie RayGun, the genesis of gun control and illegal immigrant amnesty, are the solution. SMH.

Oh, the irony.

Anonymous said...

@12:32 One side of the aisle? Can I ask just where the hell you have been for the last four years? Psycho liberals led by democrats wasted over a hundred million in the last four years trying to throw out a sitting president simply because they hated him! These clowns are still trying to prosecute Trump and he hasn’t been in office for six months. Now their trying to push a law up the voters asses so they will never lose another election. But I guess some people think that’s bipartisan.

They cheered when Marxist burned and looted cities across America. Then called it the crime of the century when people marched into the House Chambers after a man who hid in his basement, and never answered a fucking question was somehow voted into office. Yeah so that pretty much pushes the Democratic Party’s communist views into the destroyers of America. Get used to

Anonymous said...

10:16 here.
For 10:50am the proof is all around you. The article is an appeal to an America that no longer exists. You can't find common ground with people who want you dead.
For 11:13am. Money printer go brrr. I know exactly what real money is. Gen embers will still be here after the fire. Will you?

Anonymous said...

10:16 just had multiple orgasms while reading that nonsensical post of his. But, that's why he shows up here on occasion.

Anonymous said...

KF—why not approve comments calling out the racist founding fathers??? You act like it’s a well-kept secret that America was built upon the backs of slavery, and all that slavery entailed.

I recall you speaking against Adolph Hitler yet George Washington is revered. FOH.

Anonymous said...

LOL at 3:09pm. You actually think there's a difference between the political parties. Protip, there isn't. Boomers weren't pulling the levers of power in the 60's, so that's not what I'm referencing.
And of course, being a boomer, you just had to mention the "greatest music ever". Day of the Pillow when???

Anonymous said...

The only thing that can unify America is a common enemy. And we have a common enemy. That enemy is programming the population against itself. A divide and conquer strategy that has worked for centuries. The majority of the West is under the influence of this enemy. They have been long been known as rootless cosmopolitans and internationalists. Today we call the globalists. Their agenda remains the same. If our media was patriotic they would tell us these facts and even name the enemies. But alas, our media is entirely under the control of these very same globalists.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants to argue about Crawford and Noonan. Nobody posts about Frank Pollard's message. Maybe that's what is wrong with 2021 society.

StarRider said...

3:47 is the voice in the wilderness on this thread.

Anonymous said...

@6:22p- People who agree with you make absolutely ZERO sense. The reality is that the entire world was built on slavery in some fashion. The large majority of the world has rebuked slavery, and rightly so. Please, please tell us what sense it makes to DESTROY America and her history and relive the worst parts of her past (that NONE of us even experienced) over and over. Intelligent people learn from the past and move forward. Ignorant people wallow in the past.

The truly mind-boggling thing is you elect leaders who would have lived the EXACT SAME life George Washington lived, slaves and all. Where is the sanity in that? Even Obama’s family owned slaves. (My family is related. I know this to be fact.)

When your fight becomes education and personal responsibility you will see growth and success amongst your like-minded peers. No amount of governance or laws or destruction will ever improve your quality of life.

Anonymous said...

Montgomery and Stennis are 2 of the best exhibits in the argument for term limits, but MS needs that govt teat.

Anonymous said...

@7:10pm I used to love everything Peggy Noonan wrote. But about 15 years ago, she completely sold out to the establishment who would rather compromise than fearlessly lead. Now, so-called conservative work across the aisle idiots are getting their asses kicked by snarling leftists. It was the last 30 years of RINOs who allowed the country to deteriorate to where it is, not having the managerial courage to recognize the barbarians at the gate....and thus, letting them in.

The 2020 election should never have been a problem, but it took both parties to carry out that coup, and get that toe-hold in the door that the horde needed. It should never have even happened.

Anonymous said...

Racism is real and it’s because most want to whitewash the past. It certainly wasn’t your sin, but it was your forefathers, until you acknowledge it and disavow it, you are no better. When you the “New Minority” are out of power, then maybe you will understand.

Anonymous said...

@9:04a- I do not personally know anyone who hasn’t disavowed slavery. I believe it was a horrific time in history and as you stated, it was committed by our forefathers.

No one wants to whitewash the past. The past is just that, the past. Throughout my education, when actual history was taught in the classroom, I was never proud or empowered by the lessons of slavery. I always felt it was shameful, just like I’ve always felt slavery in the Bible was shameful. I have encountered racists people of all races. It usually stems from ignorance and a hateful, ugly heart, not a nod for or against slavery.

But thanks for making it crystal clear that revenge is your end goal. Revenge for acts no living person committed. Revenge for acts committed by all races. It will not matter who the “New Minority” is if we allow America to continue to spiral into chaos. She will be destroyed and no actual Americans will be leading her.

Anonymous said...

Wow 9:56 you were taught about slavery and the civil rights struggle, Jim Crow, bombings and lynchings. Really what school did you go to? Most couldn’t learn because it was never taught.It’s not a matter of revenge, it’s a matter of majority rule. I haven’t read the Bible but I have had to turn the other cheek. Nobody wants vengeance, only an equal footing and fairness.

Anonymous said...

@10:31a- Yes, I learned about all of those things from my textbooks, and I went to school in Rankin County.

The definition of equal footing/fairness is the catch here. What equal footing have you not been afforded? Please share your unfair experiences. I grew up extremely poor and knew people of all races much wealthier than my family was. My family had a history of divorce, alcohol abuse, etc. Those poor choices by those before me made my walk more difficult. Today, I manage to exist amongst people of all races who have much more privilege and “footing” than I do. I don’t seek revenge or any other form of justice upon them.

You say revenge is not your mission, but “majority rule.” You’ve made it clear you want the white man to be the minority and are insinuating that only then will he understand. This implies you wish to do things in power to hurt white Americans who did not partake in slavery. I’m sorry, but this is exactly what revenge looks like.

All humans with any moral compass have experienced turning the other cheek. It is not a struggle relegated to one race.

You really should read the Bible. If you don’t gain faith from it, maybe you will at least gain a deeper understanding of history that stretches beyond Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492. (I also learned that from my textbooks.)

Mordecai said...

Are you saying you haven't read the Bible, but you turned the other cheek? Why did you turn the other cheek? Someone told you that turning the other cheek was a biblical act, in what context? What happens after you turn the other cheek? Do we riot? Someone should have told you that the same Bible that says turn the other cheek, also says thou shalt not lie. You tell it anyway you want to 10:31, it's revenge and an unearned advantage over your neighbor. Ain't that right, Haman.

Anonymous said...

I believe the reference to the Bible was about the enslavement of the Jewish people. It's at the front of the book, so it's easy to find.

Election campaigns push whatever emotional buttons their research shows will motive people to go to the polls and vote for their candidate. I think it's really as simple as that.

The real change, in my opinion, happened when Donald Trump began his re-election campaign the day after he was sworn in. Thus began the never-ending campaign cycle. We no longer have a post-election honeymoon where governing can take place apart from election politics.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell all you milquetoast “republicans” and limp wristed “democrats”l a little something about conspiracies.
This nation was founded on a conspiracy to commit treason against the tyranny of the Crown and declare independence from England.
All of the co-conspirators risked death.
Hence the significance of the phrase “Give me Liberty of Give Me Death”

Kingfish said...

12:49: you're either real young or a liar.

Bill clinton invented and perfected the permanent campaign. Period.

Anonymous said...

KF, Actually I’m neither. During Bill Clinton’s 8 years I was mostly stoned, but I still don’t remember him launching his second campaign the day after his first inauguration. Not saying it didn’t happen,


Anonymous said...

@12:49p/7:08p- Bill and Hillary have literally been campaigning their entire adult lives... where have you been?!

Anonymous said...

It ain’t my fight but did 11:43 say unearned advantage??

Anonymous said...


“Intelligent people learn from the past and move forward. Ignorant people wallow in the past.”

People don’t run this country. Laws govern this country and its people. The laws of the founding fathers, to be exact. Those laws were/are rooted in racism or the notion that whites are superior to blacks. Now, go back and reread your statement and tell me the intelligent people and the ignorant people.

BTW, the truth isn’t good nor bad—it’s the truth.

Anonymous said...

@12:08a- I stand by my original statement.

Who created, and continues to create, the laws you say govern this country? I’ll help you out... it’s PEOPLE!!

OUR laws (unless you’re not an American) are rooted in creating a republic independent of the British throne. Yes, slavery existed around the world in those times and was a present day practice. America’s people, through war and legislation, corrected this vile issue. Slavery was outlawed and long ago removed from any laws you yourself stated govern this country and its people. So, what’s your hang up? The laws, that YOU said govern us, afford us all more freedom and equality than any other country in the world. Yet, you’re stuck wallowing in the past.

YOU go back and reread YOUR statement. Your arguing over actions that have been corrected by the PEOPLE (those elected by citizens to serve in those genius three branches of our government) generations and generations ago.

I’ll say it again, intelligent people process reality and move forward. Ignorance (drowned in emotion) keeps folks wallowing in the past.

The truth is that there will always be those with ugly and hateful hearts. Laws will NEVER change that. The truth is many people make, and will continue to make, horrible, horrible individual choices that affects their families for generations. Laws will NEVER change that. The truth is that Americans who are seeking revenge for the past are slowly destroying their own freedoms. If we all continue down this road, America will not remain the land of the free. It’s crystal clear to those of us not thinking with our emotions.

Anonymous said...

The law, as it existed at the founding of the country, has changed significantly over the last 250 years, starting with the the Bill of Rights, which was passed almost immediately thereafter. There have also been a couple of pretty big Civil Rights Acts since then.

Blaming current circumstances on the "racist founders" sounds to me like a psuedo-history lesson taught in the penitentiary. That's the same penitentiary where white supremacists teach about a coming race war. While those theories may make sense in prison, neither translates well into civil society.

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