Conspiracy theories make for great movies, book and discussion. Most online and social media sites owe their life blood to conspiracy theories. Presidents generate hundreds of theories, and Obama has had his share. Every year, new theories are formed using old logic and old theories are revived using new “evidence.” These were the top 5 conspiracy theories of 2012.
1. Obama cooked the books.
After September’s labor report showed unemployment dipping below 8% for the first time in 43 months, the conspiracy theorists surmised that Obama had the Bureau of Labor Statistics alter the report. The BLS is fiercely independent and is managed by career civil servants. How Obama was able to influence the report without tipping off every whistle-blower in Washington is anybody’s guess. Unemployment has remained below 8% for three consecutive months.
2. Obama continued to not be born in America.
An oldie but a goodie. Donald Trump revised claims that Obama was not born in America. Trump assured the world that he had “experts” looking into Obama’s birth record. “A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate.” Arizona Republicans are still questioning the president’s birth certificate. Iowa Republicans wanted to add a birtherism clause to their state platform.
Even Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney jumped on the bandwagon. On a campaign stop in Michigan Romney deadpanned, “No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate.”
3. The Mayan apocalypse brought us to an end.
Solar flares, geomagnetic reversals, Planet X collision and the Mayan calendar — all variations of a doomsday scenario that has the government building secret underground facilities to preserve the “elite” of the human race. Everything was supposed to converge on Dec 21, 2012 the end of the 5,125 year old Mayan calendar. The day came and went, and the only conspiracy was the spike in shipping charges that “guaranteed" your online purchase would arrive by Christmas morning.
4. The UN disarmed America as part of a "new world order."
This theory revolves around the UN treaty to regulate gun exports. The treaty regulates international trade of firearms, which is no different than the trade regulations around automobiles or electrical appliances. Conspiracy theorists believe this is a plot by the new world order to create an “one-government” model, starting with unilateral disarmament of the world’s civilian population. However, the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty does not affect domestic gun ownership laws. Those laws remain under the control of the sovereign nation. The global trade of nearly all manufactured products is regulated by rules which bind exporters and importers to commonly agreed conduct.
After the November election, Obama announced his support to renew talks on an international guns trade treaty and that has gun rights and conspiracy theorists “up in arms."
5. The U.S. government re-armed as part of a "new world order."
The Social Security Administration purchased 174,000 rounds of ammunition, and that set off a wave of conspiracy theories that the government was planning for civil unrest. The SSA maintains its own security staff. The SSA Inspector General’s office has 300 agents responsible for protecting SSA offices and personnel as well as investigating fraud and other crimes.
Conspiracy theorists took notice of the type of ammunition purchased; the agency bought hydra-shok hollow points which are expensive and designed for extra “stopping power.” Since the SSA only deals with domestic issues, it was surmised that the ammunition was purchased in preparation for an imminent domestic threat. Rumors circulated on the internet that the SSA got their information from emails leaked by other agencies.
The purchase of 46,000 rounds of ammunition by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration added to the conspiracy theory. Theorists assumed that the agency was preparing to arm the employees of the National Weather Service. However, it turns out the purchase was for the agency’s Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement.