by Shelton Bumgarner
While generally I think Olivia Nuzzi, at least on Twitter, is one of the more annoying scribes out there, she does deliver a powerful piece on New York Magazine’s website about the tragic attack on the memory of Seth Rich by the forces of Trumplandia.
It continues to blow my mind that anyone with an IQ above room temperature would give the Seth Rich conspiracy theory any credence. It makes my skin crawl even thinking that otherwise “respected” media and political figures would give the Seth Rich conspiracy any respectability.
As Nuzzi writes:
To Trump supporters, Rich came to represent their belief that the president was innocent and the Russia narrative was a creation of the media-deep state industrial complex. Adding fuel to this bewildering fire were claims that Rich had been a secret, devout Bernie Sanders supporter — this, based on curious edits made to Reddit posts from an account belonging to Rich made after he died, and the existence of another Reddit account called “pandas4bernie” (recall the panda suit) that became inactive around the time he died. The people behind “pandas4bernie,” who are also behind a similar Bernie-themed Twitter account, denied Rich was connected to their Reddit, and a coworker of Rich’s told me that although he’d never openly expressed a preference for Sanders, he thought it would be unlikely that Rich was a fan, since the Sanders campaign feuded so publicly with the DNC, something that aggravated everyone there. What’s more, when Rich died, he was planning to move to Brooklyn to work for the Clinton campaign.
If anything gives you insight into the mentality of the typical citizen of that nation of the mind known as Trumplandia, it is the Seth Rich conspiracy. I have spoken to more than one Trumplandia person and they are quick to jump on any conspiracy. One person Trump supporter I’ve spoken to was absolutely sure that the Access Hollywood tape was an elaborate conspiracy on the part of evil liberals to end the Trump campaign.
And, given that Donald Trump himself loves nothing more than a good conspiracy, such bizarre thinking is at the core of the Trumplandia mythos. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest you can’t understand Trumplandia without understanding the psychological underpinnings of the appeal of conspiracy theories. I am no shrink, but obviously Trump has tapped into something by being so ready to believe random conspiracy theories. It obviously helped him politically. Got him the presidency, if nothing else.
One of the interesting takeaways from the article is that Rich wasn’t even all that technologically proficient. As the New York Magazine article puts it:
And for some coworkers, an irony of the entire conspiracy – which hinges on Rich being the one who leaked the DNC documents to Assange’s organization — is that Rich wasn’t much of a tech whiz. “One of the hilarious things about this whole thing was the idea that he was somehow the master hacker behind Wikileaks, is that he was fundamentally, like, not that great of a programmer,” a coworker told me. “He’s like a very smart guy, but he was not — that wasn’t his thing. He wasn’t a computer person first and foremost, he was really interested in politics and solving problems but he came to the computer part as a tool.” Another friend noted on a memorial page that her funny memory of Rich was having to explain to him that his Twitter account, which he used often to complain to companies, was private—which is why those companies never responded to his gripes
But the greatest tragedy of Seth Rich is people like Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich trying to use it as leverage to defend Trump on charges of collusion — or worse collaboration — with the Russians during their meddling in the 2016 election cycle.
I wonder, perhaps, that when it comes to Hannity, this is all an effort to get fired from FOX News so he becomes a martyr for Trumplandia and ends up as Communications Director at the White House, or an anchor for InfoWars. Something like that. Anything, at this point, seems possible.
What I fear is two things. One, I fear that as the Tsar-A-Largo scandal grinds on over the next few months and years, that we will pretty much hear about poor Seth Rich on a constant level until Trump’s fate is decided one way or another.
Additionally, I fear for the safety of John Podesta. I really worry that Trump will pick up on the Seth Rich conspiracy theory and some nutjob will come after Podesta in a physical manner. I really hope I’m being spooked for no reason, but it is something to worry about, given that a crackpot went to Rocket Pizza looking for proof of a conspiracy there.
Anyway, this is not over by a long shot. The stakes are too high and Trumplandia is too deluded for them not to cling on to the Seth Rich conspiracy with all their might, hoping to score as many points and gain as may votes as possible.
Shelton Bumgarner is The Trumplandia Report’s editor and publisher. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.