Eight years after an event that once galvanized the country and served as the rallying cry for the Bush administration is now the source of extreme polarization, distrust and hate. Tragically, a third of the Democrats and possibly a quarter of Americans along with half of New York firmly believe that 9/11 was an "inside job". These individuals dubbed 'Truthers' based on what they seek, portray themselves as rational human beings exhibiting natural human traits like curiosity and skepticism. On the flip side, we have a group of individuals dubbed 'Birthers' who claim, based on lack of concrete evidence, that our current president Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen, but a Kenyan with no legal right to be president. Conspiracy theories and their appeal are as old as time and serve as amusement for those interested in "thinking" outside the box. Fundamentally Truthers are one of the most deplorable and incomprehensible theorists given the magnitude of their accusation, but they unwillingly have one thing in common with Birthers - both groups undermine America.
Birthers and Truthers often find themselves on polar idealogical spectrum, but they share commonality among themselves along with many other prominent conspiracy theorists. Consider the following; Both absolutely believe in what they consider the truth despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Both are emotionally and spiritually connected to their theory on a strange religious level accusing others of being "non-believers". Both are upset when they talk to "non-believers" and initially present information to persuade, but move to accusations of us being "brain-washed", "sheep" or "zombies" if persuasion seems difficult. Both believe that powerful people, corporations and networks operate in the shadows outside the realm of human knowledge. Both need a swift kick in the ass to wake the hell up.
Birthers and Truthers do have one major distinct difference and in fact Truthers for as long as I have examined them appear to be unique in contrast to other conspiracy theorists. Virtually all conspiracy theorists operate in the realm of explaining the unexplainable as a coping mechanism. JFK theorists simply refused to believe that a random schmuck armed with a sniper rifle could take out the leader of the free world and contrived the unimaginable because it made them feel better. Pearl Harbor theorists refused to believe that four Japanese carriers slithered past the watchful eye of the Navy and Air Force and assumed that FDR simply let it happen, they feel better about their country and FDR gets his war. Truthers are different in that respect. They are not explaining deficiencies, they are not out to make themselves feel better. Instead they have much more sinister motives and their constant cry for "truth" and "ask questions" suggest that their only interest is the prosecution of an administration. Willingly or not, their implications are laced with evil because unlike the typical conspiracy theorists where there are several key players sworn to secrecy, Truthers allege to thousands of individuals keeping the darkest secret in American history. Beyond the impracticality of police, fire, military, federal government, state government, citizens, family of citizens, pilots and air traffic controllers all keeping one big secret, Truthers exhibit a distrust of the human population to a sickening level. While all individuals are capable of heinous acts, a belief of this nature requires a level of cynicism beyond anything we have ever witnessed.
Truthers serve as a primary impediment for healing and unification in an already deeply partisan country. They prey on the ignorant and those immediately affected by the tragedy, making their actions even more deplorable. Worse yet, their persistence is magnified as time passes and their "unanswered" questions spread through the population like rats smitten with bubonic plague. All evidence by established sources like Popular Mechanics, National Geographics, scientists and researches are tossed aside and the likes of "Loose Change" (a flimsy documentary by a college student) is considered gospel. While Birthers act as an impediment to unification and selfishly compromise the "right" their intentions appear angelic in contrast to the Truthers. Many Birthers also claim their curiosity would be completely satisfied as long as Obama's certificate is physically extracted. Truthers have no such demands and are not interested in answers, because no answer is deemed acceptable!
While I am an agnostic myself, I am of the opinion that conspiracy theorists are largely void of religion (although Birthers put a dent into this theory) and like most human beings are compelled to believe in something higher than themselves. Theorists evoke out of us several emotions, primarily frustration, anger and desire to commit homicide, however we should instead be sympathetic. For to see a group of people so terribly lost, misguided and unproductive is truly tragic. You certainly cannot be angry at a bull after it impales the matador, the bull is just a big dumb animal unfairly provoked! However sympathy is difficult to procure for the Truthers, because people so full of malicious hate and distrust of their fellow citizenry are no better than the Saudi hijackers operating our airplanes on that fateful day, eight years ago.