Concluding that “Neither liberals nor conservatives are more credulous or crazy,” co-authors Alfred Moore (Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working on the Conspiracy and Democracy project), Joseph M. Parent and Joseph E. Uscinski (Associate Professors of Political Science at University of Miami and authors of American Conspiracy Theories), suggest that “Republicans and Democrats are equally prone to believing in conspiracy theories.” From the Washington Post:
Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? Liberals, that’s who. Take Princeton economist Paul Krugman who ominously warns that:
Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left—which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe—the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.
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Krugman makes a fair point: in moderation conspiracy theories may show healthy skepticism, but in excess they can erode the trust needed for states to fulfill their basic functions and warp the respect for evidence necessary for sound decision making.