It is unquestionable that authorities lie, mislead, and deceive the general public on a regular basis. Government involvement in gun running, selling drugs, and intentionally infecting people with diseases has been exposed many times. In Hillary Clinton’s case, the FBI could have recommended a charge of perjury, obstruction of justice, and gross negligence at a bare minimum. Instead, because she is above the law, she is let off without even a slap on the wrist.

If I was being questioned by the police and changed my story as often as authority figures do, nobody would believe a word I said either. We see it every time something goes horribly wrong. Instead of keeping their mouths shut until accurate details can be released, they just tell the press whatever they want to hear.

We often see it on full display when mass shooting are reported. For the first few hours there are several shooters, but eventually the story is changed to reflect a lone gunman narrative. Often times eye witnesses continue to insist on the existence of multiple shooters. It seems that suspects are almost always detained or arrested, and we never hear from them again.

Initially in Dallas, police reported at least two, possibly up to four gunman. At least three people were arrested, but only one was ever cleared (the man who had his image released on Twitter). In Orlando, Omar Mateen’s wife was arrested, and has since disappeared without a trace.

The type of gun reported is also subject to change. Usually the media claims the gun to be an AR-15. I can’t help but wonder if they do this without any information from the police. I think that most of the media assume that all “assault rifles” are AR-15s. In the case of Dallas, the rifle pattern changed several times. First it was an AR-15, then it was an SKS, then it became an AK-74. The thing is that these guns don’t bear much resemblance to one another.

One of the key investigative techniques used by police is to take multiple statements from a suspect and look for inconsistencies. When details change, it tends to indicate deception and possible guilt. In today’s 24 hour news cycle and with instant access to information, constructing the narrative ahead of its release becomes difficult.

It could simply be the fault of the media for reporting inaccurately, with an emphasis more on being the first to break news, rather than being the most accurate. Those who latch onto conspiracy theories, however, certainly can’t be blamed for their skepticism. The truly skeptical mind is just as suspicious of the official story as it is of alternative theories.

It is no wonder that trust in the government and media are at an all time low. What puzzles me is not the interest in conspiracy theories (let’s face it, everyone loves a good one), but rather the solutions presented. If you do not trust authority or government, why would further expansion and centralization of power be the logical solution? Many of the people interested in exploring alternative narratives are also adamant supporters of either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump (*cough*AlexJones*cough*).

While I understand the pragmatic support of a candidate who may be at least a step in the right direction, the fact is that both of these candidates will expand the government and the executive branch. Neither one of them is a white knight, or better yet, a Ron Paul. Of course, no such candidate exists. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are an utter disappointment, and we have to make due with the choices in front of us.

With Bernie Sanders dropping out, supporting the Wall Street candidate, and finally exposing himself as a total fraud, Trump’s base may suddenly include a more skeptical audience. This is very encouraging. Even if Bernie supporters are wrong about almost everything, they do recognize the problems, though their solutions are bunk.

The best we can hope for is that whoever becomes president will face the unwavering scrutiny of the public, including their own supporters. Deception is much easier when the public and media are willing to dismiss all criticism as conspiracy theory and racism. At this point, these labels are thrown around so haphazardly that I’m hesitant to take anyone seriously who hasn’t been attacked in this way.

The deification of our elected representatives is terrifying. If candidates are not afraid of losing the support of their base, they are likely to make decisions counter to their interests. Barack Obama bombed seven countries after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and running on a peace candidate platform. Selling out your supporters is what people do when they believe themselves to be beyond rebuke. Whoever your candidate is, hold them accountable for their actions.