I don't believe in the vast majority of common conspiracy theories and here's why. In my opinion, most of them are a way of creating a complicated and often politically motivated explanation for something that has a really simple answer.
It's also funny to listen to the paranoid people on the right-wing who'll talk about how the US government is working with the UN to take our guns away, or some other complicated plot. Yet, they'll then bitch in a separate conversation about how the same entities are incompetent. The problem with most conspiracy ideas is that they tend to crumble under the pressure of logic.
There's the usual "Obummer is a secret commie, Muslim, Marxist, fascist socialist who's trying to take away our guns" verbal diarrhea I hear quite often from the pro-NRA trolls. That's to be expected from people who listen to Hannity, Savage and Limbaugh all the time, but I hear plenty of stuff I think is dumb from Independents, Libertarians, Democrats and the professional left. It's usually the same misinformation and urban legends about vaccines, HAARP, chemtrails, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I fully believe there forces constantly at work that do not have the best interests of the American people at heart. There's actual, not secret, conspiracies in place as I type this. Things like making it harder for people to vote, harder for women to get contraception and to funnel even more money to multi-national corporations. I know, because there's members of my own family working at this every day when it comes to reproductive rights. These things are real, they're right under our nose, and there's no need for some wacky hypothesis for which there is little to no proof.
Another downfall to a lot of conspiracy theories is their sheer size. Eventually, no matter how secret, the truth comes out. Especially in today's world of instant information, there's always going to be one journalist or whistleblower who'll break the story for a chance at TV time and a book deal. Even if that doesn't happen, someone confesses on their deathbed, or Anonymous gets hold of the info and dumps it.
But let's walk back to one of the most popular, and in my opinion, the easiest to discredit conspiracy theories, the chemtrails. I know plenty of otherwise intelligent people who believe in this fervently, and make a point to tell me about it on a regular basis. So I am going to ask them this and ask them to think about it. Why would the government go through all the time, money and secrecy to maintain a program designed to dumb down the population, when through junk food and reality TV, we're doing it to ourselves? Just think, we're making ourselves weak and stupid, and we're paying for it ourselves.