Conspiracies are an easy way to explain why you lost. “They’re all against me” allows you to justify in your mind why no one agrees with you — it clearly can’t be because you’re wrong. It can only because of that vast conspiracy.
We see this with all crazy conspiracy nuts, both liberal and conservative. But usually it’s just a small minority on either side — people who probably should be taking medication for their delusions.
But lately, I’m seeing it from otherwise rational people, and especially among conservatives. “We have all these scandals involving Hillary Clinton — whitewater, Benghazi, emails, fixing elections — and none of them stick. Clearly, there is a vast left-wing conspiracy by the media to cover all this up!”
Or maybe those “scandals” only exist in your head.
The GOP has spent literally years and millions of dollars digging up and investigating anything they can to bring down Hillary — and have come up empty. They grab hold of any minor little statement and try to blow it up into something it isn’t, and when that doesn’t work, instead of saying “Guess we were wrong” they get all paranoid.
Usually that kind of thinking is only found in the “lizard people control our government, wake up sheeple” nuts. The right-wing news media keeps this alive though, legitimizing it, turning it mainstream. And it is hurting our democracy.
Part of it is also explained by a general tendency on the right to lack empathy toward anyone who doesn’t think like them. Remember in the last election when the GOP was shocked that Romney lost, despite every poll showing Obama would win? “But everyone I know voted for Romney!” many actually said. The inability to consider that the other side may have some good points leads you to this kind of thinking. (Not that there aren’t Democrats who do the same thing, but certainly not to the level we see on the right.)
Now their Presidential candidate is saying everything is rigged, because he can’t explain otherwise why he is losing. I blame the lizard people.