In mid-October I wandered into a Trump field office in Youngstown, Ohio and met Coni Kessler, a kind 75-year-old Youngstown native with penciled-on eyebrows and a Women for Trump button on her Trump 2016 t-shirt. She sat me down in a chair just beside her, and for more than an hour, explained why she detested Hillary Clinton and was ecstatic to vote for Trump this year.
Clinton, she told me, is an atheist who wears an earpiece during debates so billionaire George Soros can feed her talking points. The day Clinton collapsed into the back of her van when she was sick with pneumonia? According to Kessler, the Clintons hired a young actress to run up and give Clinton a hug for a staged photo after the collapse. Kessler also said she’d seen videos of Bill Clinton raping an underage girl but that the video had mysteriously disappeared. She wondered why no one was talking about Bill Clinton’s illegitimate, half-black son. And she said that whenever she talks negatively about Clinton online, “they”—presumably the technology overlords—shut her phone down.
At some point, I stopped Kessler to ask her where she’d gotten all these stories, stories I knew were false Clinton conspiracy theories. Her answer: “It was on my Facebook page.”