Out of my Mind

By: Travis Naughton

The Earth and all of the other planets in our solar system are spherical, not flat. Human beings have indeed walked on the surface of the moon. Helen Keller was in fact a deaf and blind person who learned to communicate thanks to an extremely dedicated teacher. Vaccines save lives and prevent illness. The Holocaust really happened. The 2020 presidential election was the most scrutinized election in history, and Donald Trump lost. These are all facts, backed by ample evidence. I encourage you to go to the library, interview an expert, and do your own research if you don’t want to take my word for it.

There are people who will tell you that the thousands of scientists who claim the Earth is spherical and the moon landings really happened are all lying to you. There are people who claim Helen Keller was neither deaf nor blind. A growing number of people claim vaccines are either unsafe or that they’re a way for the government to control our minds. And there are people who are convinced that the last presidential election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor without a single shred of evidence to prove it. These people are called conspiracy theorists.

Conspiracy theorists are not interested in the truth. They care only about creating chaos, stoking fear, and gaining attention for themselves. A conspiracy theorist is a person who will insist that 2+2 does not equal 4 despite every mathematician on Earth agreeing that it does.

When examining the merits of a conspiracy theory, it is important to ask questions. Why would every scientist on Earth lie about our planet being round if it is actually flat? What would they have to gain from such a global conspiracy? Why would space agencies from all over the world spend billions of dollars to pretend to land on the moon? How could thousands of poll workers and election officials lie about who won the election and not leave a single piece of evidence behind that would prove their guilt?

A conspiracy theory is like professional wrestling. It can be entertaining, but it should not be mistaken for reality.

The truth matters, and it is unconcerned with your opinion. I cannot stand the phrase, “I am simply speaking my truth.” The truth cannot be unique to a particular individual. The truth is absolute. 2+2=4, and it does not matter in the slightest whether you agree or not.

During World War II, the Nazi party systematically murdered six million innocent Jewish people, and they meticulously documented their efforts. This is an indisputable fact due to the first-hand accounts of people who were there and the thousands of pages of Nazi documents that were used as evidence in the Nuremburg Trials.

Yet despite this irrefutable truth, millions of people around the world deny the Holocaust ever took place. It’s a conspiracy, they say. A neo-Nazi skinhead may claim that he is speaking his truth when he says that the Holocaust is fake, but in reality, he is simply lying to create chaos and stoke people’s fears for his own personal gain.

The 2024 presidential election will be a litmus test to see how destructive conspiracy theories can be. Trump’s supporters echo his baseless claim that if Biden wins, then the election must be rigged. Every single candidate for office who has ever lost an election could make the same claim, but that wouldn’t make it true.

Like Holocaust deniers, Trump’s election lies are an effort to create chaos and stoke people’s fears for his own personal gain. I hope that enough Americans will be able to distinguish the far-right’s dangerous conspiracy theories from the truth in November.

Our future depends on it.