TIME Donald Trump

Donald Trump Has a Grand Unified Campaign Conspiracy Theory

"This is a conspiracy against you"

Donald Trump has a theory about what is happening to his campaign.

There is a global elite, with a plan to continue its domination of the American people. Hillary Clinton is one of them, enabled by the press and nefarious elements of the U.S. government, to promote its globalist agenda. No financial statistics, poll, nor bureaucratic decision is out of its reach, nor are the results at the ballot box. And these powers have the power to elevate women who will lie about his sexual misbehavior.

Trump laid out his grand unified theory in a speech Thursday in October, less than four weeks before Election Day, calling on his supporters to rise up and defend not just his campaign but civilization itself.

“For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind,” he said at a rally in West Palm Beach, Fla. “Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before.

The bombastic Trump released his most treacherous charge yet Thursday, following months of alleging that the U.S. election system would be “rigged” against him. “This election will determine whether we are a free nation, or whether we have only the illusion of democracy, but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system,” he said. “And our system is rigged. This is reality.”

Trump’s visions draw upon conspiracy theories that have been nurtured for years by far-right-wing outlets like InfoWars, which has been a home for 9/11 “truthers,” and unfounded claims about the Bilderberg Group and the World Economic Forum. Just this week, founder Alex Jones alleged that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are demons. “I been told this by high-up folks, and they tell me Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur,” he said on his radio show Monday.

Trump has been laying out his theory for weeks, gradually expanding the list of institutions that are rigged against the American people. Those involved in the effort against him include the political establishment, Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Federal Reserve, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Justice, globalist elites with unlimited checkbooks, the Clinton campaign, the Commission on Presidential Debates and major corporations. Most of all, he blames the national media, which he claims is single-handedly keeping the Clinton campaign afloat. He said the Washington elite and national media existed for a single reason: “to protect and enrich itself.”

“For them, it’s a war,” he said of the powers arrayed against him, “and for them, nothing at all is out of bounds.”

He adds the “establishment” has “trillions” at stake on the election, and blamed a “global power structure” for the decline of manufacturing cities like Detroit and small towns in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. “They’ve stripped these towns bare, and raided the wealth for themselves.”

Trump has toyed with conspiracy theories before, suggesting without specific evidence that federal unemployment numbers are manipulated, that the independent Federal Reserve takes its cues from the White House, and that the Clintons bribed the Attorney General with a Cabinet post to prevent charges in her email case. “Even the polls are crooked,” Trump declared Monday at a rally in Wilkes Barre, Pa., of the preponderance of respectable surveys showing him trailing Clinton nationally and in swing states. And of course, he strew muck as he publicly questioned the site of Obama’s true birthplace for half a decade.

Trump’s latest descent into the world of false intrigue and deceit came on the heels of stories Wednesday evening alleging his culpability in new groping incidents. He cast them as another data point in the conspiracy against him.

“These claims are all fabricated, they are pure fiction, and they are outright lies,” he said, before raising questions about how a half-dozen women made the allegations to four publications in stories published within in an hour of each other. “It’s not coincidence,” Trump said, “that these attacks come at the exact same moment and all together at the same time as WikiLeaks releases documents exposing the massive international corruption of the Clinton machine.”

The WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails, which the FBI blames on Russia as part of a widespread attempt to undermine faith in the U.S. electoral process, proved to be a frequent proof point for Trump to the existence of a global plot against him and his supporters.

“We’ve seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors,” Trump said, mischaracterizing, and in some cases inventing, revelations from the release of the emails.

“They’re criminals,” he continued of the Clintons. “This is well documented. And the establishment that protects them is engaged in a massive cover-up of widespread criminal activity at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in order to keep the Clintons in power.”

Firing up his supporters a month after Clinton cast half of them as “deplorables,” Trump seemed to project his statements onto his supporters. “Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed,” he said of the “elites.” “They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek to destroy your career and family. They will seek to destroy everything about you including your reputation.”

It is a campaign message he is likely to carry into November. “This is a conspiracy against you, the American people, and we can’t let this happen or continue,” he said in West Palm Beach, unbowed and defiant. “This is our moment of reckoning.”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team