I thought it was going to be easier to generalise between liberal and conservative and liberal paranoias, and trends would emerge that would allow me to say something brilliant. But after reading about QAnon as a reverse game, with guided apophenia making you the playing field instead of the player, I am chary of seeing patterns just for the fun of it.
Ultimately, though, that won't stop me. The seriously paranoid groups seem to come more often from the right. There are few of them in relation to the whole, but the paranoia goes deep and quickly includes worldwide forces. I repeat the examples I gave before, of the Endtimes 666 groups of the 70s and 80s, the Trilateralists and New World Order believers (Henry Kissinger overlapped with these groups), the old Illuminati and newer Bilderberg worriers, the guys showing satellite photos of Obama's FEMA camps. Liberals have their paranoias, but the style is different. They believe crazy things about Monsanto and GMO foods, but they don't think the Pope, Queen Elizabeth, and Donald Trump are in on it. A greater percentage of liberals are involved, but it's less global. A mile wide and an inch deep, while some conservatives are trying to tunnel a single well to the center of the earth. Why is that?
This has been shifting recently, but I don't think it is because of Donald Trump. I think he got elected because that more generalised paranoia has been increasing. He used to be quite liberal, remember, and in many ways is a liberal turned inside-out now. The conservative fears now have a fair bit of real stuff to draw on, however much people add in ridiculousness like goat-horn signs.
Even though the Buffalo Springfield claimed that paranoia strikes deep, that was mostly just getting the crowd excited. The left was paranoid then, more visibly so, but it was vaguer, and had that same wide distribution. It wasn't a relatively small cadre of powerful people colluding to oppress us, it was the richest 10% in general, creating a system that oppresses. That still holds true today, with the idea that the even narrower 1% has designed a system that works for itself but the rest of us participate in perpetuating it. Conservatives make it personal. It's a few people, and they have evil, not merely selfish intent. They are much less likely to say "We have set up a system which rewards politicians for intervening, for doing any damn thing, so they keep making up rules" and more likely to say "Governor X is a fascist who wants to make people dance to his tune."
Into all this neat division I have pretended is the story comes some messy data. The black community, especially urban black communities, have both types of paranoia, that it's a system, and also that the CIA or FBI is running experiments on the black community in specific, and that very specific politicians are thoroughgoing racists who spend a lot of their energy on keeping black people down. Just one example. Anti-vaxxers are present on both sides of the spectrum. [Tangent: Interesting research reported by Jonathan Haidt, that anti-vaxxers show an unusual pattern of moral foundation, very high on purity scores and low on respect for authority scores, which does indeed draw from both left and right.] The belief in toxins being everywhere and demanding constant vigilance to keep them at bay is found on both left and right, as is a lot of alternative medicine.
I will mention again that liberal fear of conservative paranoia and vice versa may have a lot to do with projection because of the style. If - and I am speculating - liberals sense that among their own tribe the extreme suspicion that is sometimes paranoia is widespread, then when they see paranoia among conservatives they may assume it is similarly universal. News reports that focus on extremes would certainly feed that idea. Putting that idea in the mirror, conservatives may fear liberal paranoia more because they sense among their own that when it is bad it is very bad, needing to be contained and shuffled off to the fringes, and worried that liberals don't seem to be doing any such containment, but letting environmental catastrophism or critical race theory just flow over the landscape. But liberals don't tend to all believe those things in any intense way. They say on paper that they agree that we are in big trouble on both counts, but then they don't do much about that. They just go on with other things in their lives, almost as if they didn't really believe it at all.
Next up, I'm going to try and get some historical perspective on whether this is worse or better than usual, and more importantly, is it going to get worse.
By the way, the song was written about the closing of dance club in Los Angeles and the protests about that. Just a reminder about people getting completely unhinged about universal oppression of a generation on the basis of rather trivial events.