Much has been made of the “new political reality” in which alternative facts are a meaningful part of political dialogue. A sizable proportion of the population believes that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Others continue to believe that President Richard Nixon purposefully faked the Apollo 11 landing to rally support for his administration. The manipulation of facts is common in politics. Political Scientist Rick K. Wilson discusses several political conspiracies, details the underlying psychological principles driving believers and points to the rhetorical advantages gained by politicians for promoting conspiracies.
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