It's hard to argue against pedophilia.
If you argue against another conspiracy theory (e.g. flat earth), the worst thing that will happen is that theorists label you as "part of the system" (or whatever) and everyone not directly subscribing to the theory will laugh it off.
If you argue against a pedophilia conspiracy theory, the theorists will quickly label you as someone defending pedophilia, or a pedophile yourself. If even people that don't directly subscribe to the theory hear that, there is a serious risk of social exile. This makes it incredibly risky to argue against it.
There is also the aspect to it that predation on children is generally the ultimate societal affront. We toil everyday not just for ourselves, but to create a world for our descendants better than our own. Pedophilia, in that sense, taps into the same aversion that make things like cannibalism of children a taboo subject.
Bored housebound carers of children.
Child marriage is "extremely prevalent" in U.S.: "The cycle perpetuates across generations"
>"In Kentucky, we found a 13-year-old girl married off to a 33-year-old man, a 15-year-old girl married off to a 52-year-old man — I could go on and on to give you these horrific examples of these children who were married off to their rapist," she said. "It's horrific and it has to stop now."
I'm unfamiliar with the notion that child marriage is a conservative cause. Do you mean in the context of religious freedom? Are there conservatives who push for child marriage in unambiguous terms?
Op-Ed: Roy Moore’s alleged pursuit of a young girl is the symptom of a larger problem in evangelical circles https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-brightbill-roy-m...
Banning child marriage in America: An uphill fight against evangelical pressure -
Kentucky's bill had to change to accommodate religious concerns. A similar bill is dying in Tennessee. https://www.salon.com/2018/03/11/banning-child-marriage-in-a...
Given the lists of names involved, it is safe to assume some sort of conspiracy is going on. The rumours are fabricated and not plausible, but there is a real kernel of truth to them.
Pedophilia conspiracies are up there with "Government spying on everyone!" as quite likely a fact as some level, even if nobody can point to any specific evidence. It probably isn't that sprawling but really who knows once the billionaires and politicians get involved. It is plausible, the pedophiles have the motive, there is circumstantial evidence. Prince Andrew appears to still be in the naughty corner at the moment.
It is not safe to assume that. The fact that powerful person A and powerful organization B were both involved with pedophilia does not in any way imply that there was an overarching conspiracy involving them.
"It was found that from 1990 to mid-2018, abuse reports about 382 priests were made to the Church, with 625 children, mostly under 16, sexually abused by members of the Catholic clergy"
And that's just one country, Poland .
1,000 identifiable victims ... just in Pennsylvania .
So "occasional" is not the qualifier I would use. Maybe "pervasive" is more accurate?
But none of this explains why this is a central topic of right-wing conspiracy thinking. The Catholic Church in the US is almost exactly as politically polarized as the population in general .
Because the entire premise is to impugn the enemies of Trump supporters, the alt-right and evangelical Christians - Democrats, leftists and "liberal globalist elites" (cough Jews) - as baby blood-drinking Satanic pedophiles. It's very clearly political propaganda at its core. There's a reason its prototype, Pizzagate, was focused on Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager when she was running, and why it considers Donald Trump to be a prophet of God.
The point is there are many many many theories out there for which we have limited evidence for. Given that, it doesn't seem to be enough to explain why right wing folks latch on to certain of those theories but not others.
This is an interesting point. If, as the article notes, one of the conservatives'/right-wingers' goals is returning to a "nuclear family" in an economy where "a single income can support a family again", then one step in that direction would be to move away from traditional conservative/right-wing policies on wage inequality.
This lack of distinction is used to give this right-wing narrative more impact. People tend to think of prepubescent children when the word pedophile is used.
Not that this excuses Epstein in any way of course.
Bojack Horseman is the closest example I can think of, in which he is not bad faith accused of such things, and feels vaguely accountable for them even if he wasn't actually a rapist.
And just to be clear, I do think rape and sexual exploitation is maximally bad. I think our cultural understanding and characterization of rapists is terrible and harmful to everyone, especially victims, and that saying our this does not in any way diminish the badness of it.
edit: and for completion, it used to be worse to be a witch, or a commie.
Also, although there's correlation between right wing and conspiracy theories in general, the title is over emphasising that a lot. The interest in the Epstein scandal for example is pretty much universal.
The civil rights movements had people that did try to normalize pedophilia. They were thrown out at some point though. They were mostly active in the green party of Germany, but the party had a clear and complete break with them. To say they harbor pedophiles today would indeed be a conspiracy, although some proponents are still politically active. But also not very relevant.
I think it appeals to a certain right wing crowd because it is a trivial moral stance to be against child exploitation and aside from that they have few other stances that could be called moral. There was this craze in the 70s about sexual repression that went a bit too far in some directions, so it was difficult to call them out. It was a necessary movement, but you also had these crazies that took everything a little too literal and wanted to remove any form of shame or inhibition.
I think Epstein might have had sex with minors under the law that were basically teenagers, but I don't think there is evidence that he was a pedophile. He was just exploitative of young girls and perhaps the trusted pimp of some of the US and UK political class. Pedophilia is a sexual disorder. Children are ugly from a sexual perspective for people with a normal sexuality.
"Child marriage in the country has increased during coronavirus – and now a newly-tabled bill would allow children as young as 10 to marry"
How do you think this invalidates or relates to the topic at hand? People can't engage either positively or negatively unless you actually make a clear point.
I'm not currently convinced you have a coherent one but I look forward to being proved wrong.
However you're fighting the wrong battle here. There is some merit in your arguments and the left has often been blind to valid issues due to focusing on other concerns (spending a fair chunk of the 20th century defending Soviet oppression and mass murder springs to mind)
But that's only loosely related to the article under discussion which seems a clear, inarguable example of a portion of the right that are promoting and presumably investing in theories that are utterly bonkers.
Nobody is claiming that "believing bollocks" is the exclusive preserve of either end of the political spectrum but what's going on at the moment with QAnon, Covid denial and other extreme belief systems is surely something we should all be united in trying to fight?
I've given you an example of something that was labelled a 'conspiracy theory' by the left that turned out to be absolutely true, and in fact even worse than suspected when the truth came out. Furthermore, it was in fact the left that was engaging in conspiracy! Apart from that it's blindingly obvious that the author is using the beliefs of a minority as a vehicle to attack the (non-wingnut) majority of the right, and to delegitimise criticism of leftism.
You seem to want to give the impression you're making a clear point but you seem a little cautious about explicitly stating it.