On GOP Train Crash Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories are like cheap ramen noodles. Easy to make, lacking substance, and quickly forgotten.

Earlier today, an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia hit a dump truck that was on the tracks for an unknown reason.

The truck driver was killed, a passenger severely injured, and several GOPers suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident.

Normally, this kind of thing would be the domain of local news. However, the Republican party has been hijacked by a gang of conspiracy theorists who see the Obama/Clinton Deep State at work every time they stub their toe or the grocery store runs out of their favorite cereal.

To them, this crash couldn’t have been an accident, because “accidents” don’t just “happen.” It must have been a plot to either decapitate the GOP, or distract us from the all-powerful Devin Nunes memo or President Trump’s country-uniting State of the Union. Or maybe it was antifa. They’re pretty much responsible for everything that George Soros isn’t, right?

And because social media has given these disturbed people a megaphone where they get to shout nonsense at fellow travelers all day, we get garbage like this.


Occam’s Razor and basic logic demand that until we find out more about the crash, we treat it as occurring because of the simplest explanation.

And to be clear, we have no idea why the truck was on the tracks. Maybe it stalled. Maybe it ran out of gas. Maybe the drivers were having an argument. Maybe it was foolishly trying to cross the tracks in front of the train.

We don’t know. But “we don’t know” does not mean “we don’t know, so it was a deep state coup attempt to stop the memo being released.” It just means we don’t know yet, and that guessing without more information is likely to bring false conclusions.


Instapot conspiracy theories like this rely on the idea that nothing happens by accident or coincidence, and therefore, everything happens by design. But of course, that’s not true.

Trains hit cars all the time. According to advocacy group Operation Lifesaver, there were over 2,000 vehicle/train collisions in the US in 2016. And that number has gone down quite a bit since the early 80’s, when there were over 9,000 collisions.

And their data shows that there hasn’t been a recorded year with fewer than 230 vehicle fatalities at a railroad crossing.

So, yes, trains hit vehicles. A lot. And sometimes when they do, people die. It’s not the deep state at work, it’s not the Soros Cabal making its move, it’s not “The Storm” coming.

It’s just the shit that happens when two objects try to occupy the same space.

Or hey, maybe sending an agent out to kill themselves (while leaving the other agent alive!!) to delay a train for a few hours was all part of the Deep State’s master plan.

It’s possible. But logic and context tell us it’s incredibly unlikely.


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