Not that long ago, QAnon was the ultimate example of foolishness. Even in a world that loves conspiracies, this cult of dimwitted opinions was teetering on the edge before falling into utter absurdity.
It's too bad because Americans—maybe humans in general—have a fascination for conspiracies.
I'm old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination and the murmurs that his successor, LBJ, was responsible for it. After all, JFK was killed in Texas, LBJ's home state. It made perfect sense to do it in his backyard...if LBJ were an idiot and wanted to implicate himself. But remember—conspiracies, to survive, must cherrypick their "proofs."
A few years later came the assertion that the moon landing occurred on a Hollywood soundstage. Then, the towers never fell. No plane struck the Pentagon. Barack Obama was born and raised in Kenya.
Sometimes the accusations were cruel and sadistic, like the depraved ramblings of Alex Jones that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged.
I'm not immune—I watched the X-Files faithfully from 1993 to 2002 and loved it. It was fun.
But that was a television show. It's a long and perilous leap from rogue FBI agents Mulder and Scully to Pizzagate, which nearly got innocent people killed, and on to the Big Steal, which has already resulted in numerous deaths, ruined lives, and not nearly enough convictions.
Conspiracy, accompanied by vengeance, grievance, and rage, lies at the heart of the MAGA coloring book whose owners profess no philosophy or platform, no dreams of any better future or plans for a more amicable country. Instead, its adherents rally behind the one man who represents everyone who has ever played them for a sucker—Donald Trump—and follow that grifter to further misery. They agonize over the "deep state" when the only deep state they need to fear is further unconsciousness.
It is little surprise, then, that the newest chapter in the MAGA coloring book links bank failures to investment in woke causes.
Except there is no such link.
Unfortunately, my knowledge of finance could fit in an emoji. So I recommend this article by Jamelle Bouie, who explains more clearly than I ever could how banks get into trouble and how Donald Trump opened the gates for a recurrence of 2008 by relaxing the restrictions his predecessor had placed on large banks—a policy accepted in a bipartisan vote. The Democrats don't get to skate on this one.
As for the accusation itself, is it true that these two banks invested in "woke" industries? Yes, most start-ups are "woke" because they deal with renewable energy and issues related to social improvement, but those industries have little to do with the collapse. All banks allow and promote similar borrowing. But that 2018 deregulation increased the limits of so-called small banks five-fold and made them freer to take risks than they had been for a decade. Predictably, five years later, the next crisis occurred.
Of course, the MAGA conspiratorial coloring book won't include facts, so you won't find this explanation on its pages. Besides, the Republican party of big business is loath to criticize its major supporters, so look for the putative GOP leaders to harp on talking points like inflation, Ukraine, renewable energy, and eventually, no doubt, dead voters, solar panels, and transgender economists.
But as The X-Files' Fox Mulder used to say, albeit in a different context, the truth is out there. Unfortunately, there's very little chance that the people under the MAGA hats will stumble across it.