December 7, 2023 | WIRED

GOP presidential candidate validates the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory on the debate stage

During the fourth Republican presidential debate last week, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramswamy said a string of disproven accusations such as that the Jan 6 Capitol riots were an inside job, the 2020 presidential election was stolen, the government lied about 9/11 and that the ‘Great Replacement‘ conspiracy theory isn’t just a “grand right-wing conspiracy.” In a discussion with WIRED , ISD Senior Research Analyst Jared Holt emphasized the concerning implications of reiterating this conspiracy on a presidential debate stage, as it substantiates and amplifies a theory with a history of violence.

“We know this conspiracy theory can drive people to kill,” he said, highlighting how the ‘Great Replacement’ has served as a through line between various instances of white supremacist mass violence in the last decade.

“If this supremacist lie is further embraced by political leaders, I think it’s reasonable to worry that the chance of violence will increase,” he said.

An Explainer on the ‘Great Replacement’ theory is available on our website.