One thing that disturbs me is the title of that book. We've cozied-up quite well to the word "democracy." And we hardly ever hear of the "Constitutional Republic" anymore, as though "Constitution" is some kind of curse word. It's unfair to muddy the water by lumping all of those well-known conspiracy theories together, as to imply that anyone who believes in a cover-up about the JFK assassination also believes that aliens landed in Roswell, for example.Here is another view of the "noisemakers"
In 2009 this came out:
Kathryn Olmsted (UC Davis),
'Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories in American Democracy'
A precis of the book (all of this is my impression, please blame me for any factual distortion):
This book is the recent history of conspiracies. From WWI through 9/11.
Many US citizens believe that their own government is guilty of real crimes. A live alien landed in Roswell and was hidden away. Government agents shot the JFK. NASA faked the moon landing. In order to cover up their crimes, the US Government commited even more crimes.
So we can accept that Northwoods is real, but we can't conceive of the idea that officials within the government commit crimes?[...]
Many US citizens believe that their own government is guilty of real crimes.
1. The theorists beliefs have been reinforced by real cover ups like Northwoods.
In addition to holding our governmental servants accountable, as alluded to in the OP, we ought to be "outraged" about the lack of accountability in the mainstream media. As for all the conspiracy theories that one may find distasteful, consider this: perhaps those distasteful theories wouldn't exist, or be as prevalent, if the MSM had a sense of duty and patriotism, and would simply do their job. Or perhaps they wouldn't exist if we did a better job of holding the MSM responsible for their content.
MSM reports are full of just as many holes as some outlandish conspiracy theories, but we're supposed to accept them as pure truth? Why? Because some handsome news anchor puts on a fancy suit, gets up on the stage, spits out a bunch of conjecture, and spins it as gospel? That sounds a lot like church to me. The mainstream media has become the Church of Politics. And every time we hear some neat-and-tidy, yet unverifiable report, we're supposed to jump up and yell out "hallelujah!" and "amen!" Being fans of the scientific method, we seem to have a hard time applying it to journalism. We need incontrovertible proof that an electron moves counterclockwise in a magnetic field, or that it carries a charge of 1.602 X 10-19 C. But we don't need incontrovertible proof of exactly why we're sending our men and women off to war, for example? There's something very wrong with that picture.