We launched Muckety back in 2006 out of a belief that relationships matter.
Investors should be aware of corporate directors’ potential conflicts of interest. Voters should know about candidates’ sources of campaign funds. Readers should factor in journalists’ ties to the people and organizations they cover.
However, we also know that conspiracy theorists love Muckety. To them, every connection is proof of nefarious activities, often involving plans for a new world order controlled by global puppetmasters.
It troubles us that we give fodder to paranoiacs, many of whom display xenophobia, antisemitism, racism and misogyny. We’re probably more familiar with these people than most.
So when Donald Trump delivered a speech Thursday in Palm Beach, describing a “Clinton machine” that colludes “in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty,” we recognized the cues.
Here’s an excerpt:
It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.
Just look at what this corrupt establishment has done to cities like Detroit, Flint, Michigan, and rural towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and all across our country. Take a look at what’s going on. They’ve stripped away these towns bare and raided the wealth for themselves and taken our jobs away, out of our country, never to return unless I’m elected president. The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure.
We’ve seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.
Never mind that WikiLeaks documents are likely traceable to Russian hackers, which would place the supposed new world order headquarters in Moscow.
And never mind that, as the interactive Muckety map above illustrates, both candidates for president have had extensive dealings with “global financial powers.” Hillary and Bill Clinton have received speaker fees. The Clinton Foundation has received donations. Trump has received loans.
Some of the very institutions with which Clinton supposedly met “in secret” have provided Trump enterprises with millions of dollars in financing. These include Goldman Sachs and, notably, such foreign interests as Deutsche Bank and UBS.
Despite these entanglements, Trump has been able to tap into suspicions held by his base, that their lives are controlled and threatened by evil schemers behind the curtain.
These are the folks who believe that the Clintons have a death squad that murdered not only Vince Foster, but women who threatened to tell all about their affairs with Bill. Dire warnings about Hurricane Matthew were yet another left-wing attempt to substantiate global warming. The struggle of the middle class is traceable to the Jewish cabal controlling the world’s financial system.
Trump fans these flames.
“For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before,” he said Thursday.
Just as he did with another conspiracy theory - the allegation that Barack Obama was not an American citizen - Trump delivered vague charges and relied on others to supply the evidence.
“There’s a whole deal going on,” he said. “We’re going to figure it out. I always figure things out. But there’s a whole sinister deal going on.”
Following the example of their leader, his backers will mix partial truths with falsehoods and half-baked ideas to concoct what they see as proof positive. No doubt, some of them will make Muckety maps.