The premise of conspiracy theories is based on the idea that history is determined not be blind forces occasionally influenced by the decisions of leaders, but rather by shadowy cabals of people manipulating things from behind the scenes. John F. Kennedy was killed by a group of right-wing businessmen and politicians. The moon landings were faked. 9/11 was an inside job. Add to those howlers is the new conspiracy theory that a cabal of Trump campaign officials, the #Republican National Committee, WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence denied #Hillary Clinton the presidency. The losing candidate is advancing this idea to everyone who will listen.

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A vast right-wing conspiracy

Hillary Clinton has been raving about the vast right-wing conspiracy ever since her husband was fending off multiple scandals of his own making when he was president in the 1990s. The latest version, advanced at a recent tech conference, involves Russian hackers snatching data from Democratic email files and handing it over to WikiLeaks for publication. Then, using RNC research into American political attitudes, the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to weaponize the purloined information and use it to good effect to move enough American voters from Clinton to Trump in time for the election.

James Comey’s involvement

Former FBI Director James Comey is both a hero and a villain in the conspiracy theory that Ms. Clinton is advancing.

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Comey is a hero because he is supposed to have stood up to President Trump over the investigation of the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. He is also a villain because twice, including just before the election, highlighted Clinton’s various misdeeds concerning her unsecured email server.

The DNC was involved too

Clinton also claimed that she got zero help from the Democratic National Committee, which she claims was all but bankrupt and had no data operation. Democrats are enraged by this accusation. Indeed, considering that the DNC played a crucial role in fending off Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy. Clinton is exhibiting a great deal of ingratitude.

Birth of a conspiracy theory

The problem with conspiracy theories is that they tend to be impervious to facts and evidence. People will go to their graves believing that Dick Cheney faked 9/11 as a way to appease his oil company friends. Clinton provides a ready made explanation for her defeat that does not involve her shortcomings as a candidate. Donald Trump, the vulgar boor and rake, could not have possibly denied the woman of destiny her due. So a conspiracy has to be responsible. The sad fact is that many Democrats will be disposed to believe it, the better to deny reality. #James Comey