In other, healthier eras, conspiracy theories are easily shot down as silly, easily debunked, wastes of valuable time. In the Trump age, however, anything seems possible. The latest example: Twitter went nuts this weekend over the #FakeMelania meme. The gyst: The Melania-looking woman who traveled with our president to tornado-ravaged Alabama may not actually be the First Lady.
According to this theory, it also wouldn’t be the first time we’ve gotten Fake Melania. The conspiracy goes like this: Every time Melania is too annoyed with her impulsive, reckless, potentially criminal husband to go through the usual First Lady motions, Trump replaces her with a double.
It’s a ridiculous theory…or is it? Trump isn’t only a habitual proven liar, he’s also weird, and even if certain conspiracy theories about him — like that his doctor isn’t a real doctor and Trump writes his medical notes himself — never wind up being proven one way or the other, the important (and chilling) thing is that they could be true.
And of course, there’s Melania herself — an enigma who brushed off the fact that her presidential husband slept with a porn star, and once disappeared from public view for a full 24 days, not to mention has curious fashion and holiday decorating tastes.
In any case, it gave people on the Internet something to do, which was to go full Oliver Stone and zoom in on photos, much like David Hemmings’ increasingly mad photographer-turned-amateur-sleuth in Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic Blow-Up.
Someone even ID’d Melania’s possible stand-in.
Even if this is all winds up as fictional as many of the president’s statements, at least it gave Twitterers the chance to do what it does best: make jokes.
Others pointed out that we’re once again dwelling on something silly rather than something important.