Since the US presidential election between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, the topic of “conspiracy theorists being pro-Russia” or “pro Putin” has exploded online.
Did conspiracy theorists and members of the alt-right wake up one morning with a sudden sense of patriotism for Mother Russia? Of course not.
When BuzzFeed published a report about Trump being compromised by the Kremlin, Reddit’s conspiracy subreddit lost its damn mind. They immediately decided that the story was “fake news” and that the story was being pushed by CTR shills. The moderators of the subreddit took the unprecedented action of tagging the story as “unfounded” – an action that would seem pretty reasonable if it weren’t for the fact that theories about Pizzagate, UFOs, Jews and Vitamin C curing cancer have never received the same level of healthy skepticism. Later, it seems as though they decided to remove the story altogether – an unsurprising move, considering the fact that many of the moderators of /r/conspiracy have publicly displayed their support for Trump.
The reality of the situation is this: Conspiracy theorists and members of the Alt-Right are not “pro Russia” or “pro Putin”. Instead, many of them fall into the following groups:
- Conspiracy theorists who hate the US / UK establishment. These people see the US and the UK as being the leaders of some sort of globalist / capitalist conspiracy.
- Conspiracy theorists who hate “the West” because of their support for Israel.
- People who hold counter-cultural viewpoints – almost as if they are rebelling against the western society that they grew up in – like a teenager going against everything that their parents tell them.
- Die-hard Trump supporters that hold a “friendly” view of Russia, simply because their leader does. If Donald Trump suddenly became critical of Putin and Russia, you can bet your bottom dollar that these people would immediately follow suit.
- People who hate Hilary Clinton and the Democratic Party so much that they’ve willing to side with Putin. I suspect that a sizeable number of these people were Bernie Sanders supporters that became disillusioned after Hilary won the nomination for president. I also suspect that they were more taken in by Sanders’ anti-establishment stance than his liberal views.
The truth is: Conspiracy theorists view countries such as Russia and Iran as being the enemy of their enemy. Although they are quick to call bullshit on “western propaganda”, they have absolutely no issue with the propaganda viewpoints that are expressed by the likes of Russia Today and Iranian Press TV.
For most conspiracy theorists, it is not about seeking out the truth at all costs – it is about reaffirming pre-existing beliefs.