While it's pretty easy to poke fun at the various conspiracy theories that sprang to public notice along with the news that Epstein died in prison, Walter Kirn, writing in The New York Times, isn't completely wrong in asserting that "sometimes paranoia just stands to reason."
The Family seems to think it’s only telling a compelling story if the Fellowship is actually a potent political force. But there’s something fascinating, and tragic, in the way it documents a group of ordinary men so easily convinced that they’re exceptional, even to the point of being handpicked by God like ripe fruit in a celestial grocery store. It’s a thread in contemporary politics that runs all the way to Number One Observatory Circle, if not the White House. That politicians are, instead, chosen by voters is an inconvenient fact that keeps interrupting so many careers. But it is, nevertheless, a fact, and one that Ensign, Sanford, Siljander, Wamp, and so many of their former congressional colleagues each has to attest to [emphasis added].
I think that we should pay attention to what Gilbert is telling us. It is undoubtedly true that small groups conspire together to try to run the world. It is also true that such groups sometimes use nefarious techniques in their efforts to do that. It is also true that they sometimes act to further the conspiracies they promote, and sometimes they are successful, through their actions, in achieving some of the public policy goals they seek. Truly, maybe Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. So far, we don't really know.
In the end though, as Gilbert is reminding us, we live in a democracy, and we can, if we exert ourselves, ultimately have the last word on the public policy questions we care about, and can defeat any and all conspiracies that aim to prevent us from doing that.
Of course, "exerting ourselves" means becoming personally engaged in the political struggles that will determine what our government ultimately does. It is fun, sometimes, to read about conspiracies. It is even more fun to work with others, in public, no conspiracy involved, to determine our own political destiny.
"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" - that is what democracy is all about. No conspiracy is required!