The Troubled Life and Lies of Dylan Wheeler - Twitters Rising King of Bullshit
“As an American citizen, I still have the right to say Fuck this country. Fuck the government. Fuck the cops. And Fuck the big corporations.” - Dylan Wheeler, 2014.
“The money I save from being single is worth a Valentine's day spent masturbating with the tears of my loneliness.” Dylan Wheeler, 2013.
“Kill em with kindness. And if that doesn’t work, use a gun.” - Dylan Wheeler, 2013.
“My car is feeling hotter than a Jew furnace. ... Thankfully my AC works fine.” - Dylan Wheeler, 2012.
A setting sun hangs just below the horizon as the dark of night creeps over a well-maintained road somewhere in central Minnesota. A grass verge meets haphazard lines of imposing trees. Clouds swirl in front of a hidden crescent moon, and a gentle breeze rustles the leaves of the assorted branches.
The serenity of night is broken by the sound of a speeding white police car, blue and red lights flashing brightly. Thoughts race fleetingly through officer Huntley’s mind. She has been called to an address after a report that a suicidal male had cut himself. Physical safety is always on a police officers mind, and Officer Huntley considered that this situation was likely to get dicey if the man still had his knife on him. Before her arrival on the scene, she was informed that the male was no longer armed.
As Officer Huntley pulled up to address she saw three males in the driveway of the residence. She cautiously made her way up the driveway, a male in a blue shirt yelled “Shoot me!” several times. As she continued to approach the drive, profanities turned the air blue as the young man continued to yell.
Suddenly the young man reaches for his waistband but instead of pulling out a weapon he take off his shorts and yells, “Who wants to party?!”. Officer Huntley notices that the man is now naked from the waist down.
The police officer begins to approach the man firmly asking him to sit down. He ignores her. She repeats the request and continues to advance. “Make me bitch.” the young man replies. She grabs his wrist with one hand. She reaches for his shoulder with the other, the man spins around, Officer Huntley reacts too slowly and is struck on the left side of her face with a glancing blow that causes her glasses to fly off her head landing approximately twenty feet away.
Officer Huntley responds by kicking the man hard in the shin to create distance between them. The man falls to the ground, yelping in pain.
With the assistance of two of the bystanders, Officer Huntley manages to grapple with the man and subdue him, eventually getting him into handcuffs.
Once handcuffed, the fight slowly leaves the man. As he calms down, Officer Huntley applies a sterile dressing to his wound and waits for an ambulance. While waiting the man turns to the police officer saying, “I’ve always wanted to do that to a cop.”
According to the man's brother, he had not been sleeping well and had crashed his car the night before. The man was eventually transported to St. Joe's ER where he was transferred to a doctors hold.
The date is October 4th 2013, and Officer Huntley has just met Minnesota resident Dylan Wheeler. Wheeler would later plead guilty to assault in the 4th Degree on a Police Officer.
Two months later when recalling the event Wheeler explained: “I don't feel bad or crazy about doing it tho #fuckthesystem.”
From public court documents, a rough transcript of Dylan Wheeler's sentencing hearing, and some March 2018 company filing records it would appear that the Dylan Wheeler who pled guilty to assaulting a police officer is the same Dylan Wheeler who runs the popular Twitter account and online brand Educating Liberals (@education4libs).
In this post, we will be offering the first detailed critical coverage of a man who was once charitably described as having the stupidest account on Twitter. We will examine his biography, troubled past, political evolution, and debunk some of his false or deeply misleading claims.
All the information provided was gained through open source investigation or through public records. For more about this investigation, please read our methodology here.
With 362.8K Twitter followers and a self-published book under his belt 26-year-old Wheeler is every bit the young entrepreneur. His combative and Democrat bashing tweets have been shared on sites ranging from Facebook to Reddit and beyond in the murky depths of 4chan and 8chan.
Wheelers piercing blue eyes stare into the camera in his Twitter profile picture, a USA baseball cap covers a shock of near shoulder length dirty blond hair. You could easily mistake him for just another twenty-something college bro but Dylan Douglas Wheeler — to give him his full name — is an alt-right propagandist who has repeatedly called the Parkland Florida shooting survivors “crisis actors,” supported the use of deadly force on defenceless migrants, and has an apparent inability to fact check even the simplest of claims.
Wheeler’s book was also so riddled with wrong, inaccurate, or misleading information that we devoted a completely separate post to it.
A Brief Biography
Wheeler was born into a Conservative family, although he has stated his family was largely apolitical growing up.
According to FEC filings a man who we believe to be Wheelers father donated $1000 each to the failed 2014 and 2016 campaigns of Stewart Mill, a former Republican candidate for Minnesota's 8th District who once joked about “battered women” and is reported to have said that the Second Amendment is “an inalienable right given to us by God."
One of Wheelers brothers is also listed on the filing records for Triple DC LLC, the company that the Wheeler brothers created with another sibling pair Devin and Desmond Janousek. Online Desmond goes by his middle name Tyler and runs the Twitter account @realTylerZed. He is a frequent collaborator of Wheelers and helped co-write his book. Desmond’s younger brother Devin (@E4LDeev) is in charge of logistics for the Education for Liberals team.
The Wheeler and Janousek brothers met at the Wheeler’s grandmothers daycare when Desmond was eight and Devin was seven. The boys spent much of their childhoods together travelling around their neighbourhood on bikes, playing video games, and building forts together. Their parents wanted them to be self-sufficient so refused to buy the boys supplies for their forts. To raise money for fort materials, the friends started to collect cans and got their first dose of capitalism after spending hours collecting bags of cans to sell, receiving measly compensation. As Dylan put it “Our hours of labour did not translate into as much money as we thought it would.”
Dylan and Desmond received another dose of capitalism as a high school junior and senior respectively after they put $100 each into an E*TRADE account and invested an equal amount into Fannie Mae and the gold company UXG. Within two weeks the Fannie Mae stock plummeted during the housing crisis, and it would soon turn out that their gold stock was “a horrible pick” as they later described it.
The two boys were bothered by taxes at an early age after noticing that their first paychecks were smaller than they had calculated they should be. In their book, Desmond writes that when he received his first paycheck “the check came and it was almost half of what I was supposed to get after taxes.” This is odd considering that at the time the income bracket he was (most likely) in was taxed at a roughly 10% rate on a federal level and 5.35% on a state level. Further, the Social Security and Medicare contributions amounted to roughly 7.65%. According to my calculations if state taxes hadn’t been deducted this would mean Desmond would lose 23% of his income to taxes. The amount is far from insignificant but far below “almost half.” If Desmond honestly did lose almost half his paycheck and he’s not exaggerating for effect or misremembering I can only think of a couple explanations 1) my calculations are wrong 2) his employer was short-changing him. Both are possibilities.
It is strange that no one had bothered to teach the boys how taxes worked until that point, but that is more an indictment of their education than anything else.
Not much more information is known about Wheeler's childhood beyond a couple family photos and the fact that it appears he had chickenpox as a young child.
In the fall of 2010, Wheeler started studying at Concordia College a liberal arts college in Minnesota. There he majored in Exercise Science but dropped out in 2012 after completing a little over half the needed 126 credits. It is unclear if he transferred elsewhere to finish his degree however as of October 2018 Wheeler has claimed he is completing an online real estate degree with a major in Organizational Behaviour and a minor in psychology.
Awakening of Wheelers Political Mind
In 2009 Wheeler started his first Twitter account and was a frequent tweeter sharing his thoughts on a range of topics.
The earlier Twitter account offers much insight into the man who now calls for the cold-blooded murder of migrants and attacks school shooting survivors. Some might say the tweets provided too much insight as one is simply a picture of him peeing into a toilet.
Wheeler was once a supporter of the Occupy movement’s philosophy calling for a revolution and heavily criticising capitalism and the super wealthy. Despite his current objections to leftist beliefs he once tweeted out that “This world would be a lot better place if the top 300 richest fucks actually gave a damn, or were forcefully removed.”
Wheeler also expressed goals of wanting to become the wealthiest person alive so that he could end world hunger and provide clean drinking water.
Among tweets containing Noam Chomsky quotes (which he praised as making “perfect sense”) and religion bashing Wheeler admits to stealing a handicap sign from “a dead ladies house” which he suggests using because “this Subway is PACKED.” He later retweeted a tweet from one of his friends who said he should “put that bitch to good use.”
It was around 2012 that Wheeler started following Alex Jones, buying around 50 bumper stickers along with an unknown number of Jones’s other “awesome” products. Wheeler even described Jones as one of his top five living heroes and gave him credit for red pilling him. Later, in 2017, Wheeler described Ben Shapiro, Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannoplous as “important people in my life.”
Alex Jones’s influence clearly rubbed off on the young Wheeler who in 2014 tweeted that “Obama, Oprah, Osteen, Dr Dre, Kanye, Jay Z, Bieber, Beyoncé, Pope, Kim Jong-il”, were all “demonically possessed elites”. Who should repent. He also stated that he was “starting to see the lizard eyes behind demonically possessed people.” In 2018 after it emerged that Kayne West (briefly?) supported Trump, Wheeler changed his tune tweeting out reluctant praise for Mr West.
Wheeler is also skeptical of vaccines, fluoride, GMO’s, and aspartame believing them to be poisons. He also believed in the existence of chemtrails and FEMA camps for putting people in when martial law is declared. He even described the camps as “slaughter camp[s] the Illuminati will hoard you into once they take the power grid out.”
Despite clarifying that he would not want Obama to be killed Wheeler mused in 2014 that he “wouldn't mind it if Barack Obama was assassinated” and later tweeted at Obama saying he “Can't believe no one has killed your ass yet.”
On the 31st of December 2013, Wheeler started attending AA meeting to help battle his self-described drug and alcohol addiction. At one point in his recovery he claims to have: “tripped so fuckin hard I thought I was Christ lol. I was completely sober having hallucinations and shit” suggesting it could have been “partly due to a withdrawal from 4 heavy years of pot usage.”
Some of his rap lyrics included straight-up bangers such as “I’ve got the lord on my team and I know he’s riding with me” and “Imma be the one who makes a difference without using guns, violence isn’t in my nature.” Some of his songs noted the necessity for a revolution “before we can see the light.”
Despite once rapping that he’d kill his opponents “with my kindness” he later changed his tune stating he was “done being nice cuz the nice finish last.”
Wheeler was raised religiously but in ~2013-2014 briefly moved away from religion writing some scathing attacks of it such as “Religion is the ultimate suppressor. People who follow dogmatic religions are far less likely to confront political and social injustices.”
By the end of 2014 Wheeler appears to have moved back to Christianity however as late as early 2015 Wheeler tweeted “Ppl sound ridiculous when they say they're going to heaven. Like you KNOW this for sure? It's an optimistic thought, but no one truly knows” and “And I still believe in Jesus, but idk how much I like religion. Shit. I hate religion to be honest” and “faith is another optimistic concept. It's still blind tho. I just can't bring myself to believe in Christianity anymore” and “I dislike Christianity bcuz it's so enslaving and shame-based. Believe this or go to hell. Doubting is a crime. No room for free thought.”
Wheeler also attacked individual Bible verses such as Psalm 137:9. From other 2015 tweets, it appears that Wheeler disliked organised religion though he still believed in Jesus and God.
In 2013 Wheeler retweeted a tweet stating “I have zero respect for police.” Later in 2014, he tweeted that “Pigs can't be trusted.” In this case “pigs” refers to police officers. As late as the 16th of April 2015 Wheeler mentioned that police brutality videos “get me super pissed off.”
In a fitting tribute, Wheelers’, final tweet on his first account came on the 28th of May 2015 and contained a single word “#poopy.” 19 days later Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president.
The Birth of the Educating Liberals Brand
Early on in 2015, before Trump declared his Presidency, Wheeler came out in support of Rand Paul but once Trump arrived on the scene, things began to change. Wheeler initially used his personal Facebook page to promote Trump and fight back against criticism of him. He later created a burner Twitter account that we have been unable to locate.
Noting the success of this account, Wheeler later remarked: “as soon as Trump won the election I knew that this could be a train to jump on and capitalise on for quite a long time.” Sensing a demand for conservative voices on Twitter, Wheeler decided to create a new Twitter account in January 2017 to continue preaching his support for conservative ideals. This account was the Educating Liberals (@education4libs) account he is now famous for. In a discussion on his podcast, Wheeler explained that the name came to him in around ten seconds, which is also approximately the time we estimate he takes to fact check literally anything he writes.
After gaining hundreds of thousands of followers, Wheeler and Desmond (‘Tyler Zed’) Janousek began to coauthor a book to help “defend yourself from the tactics of the left.” As mentioned before the self-published book is titled 101 Facts That'll Convince Your Liberal Friends to Walk Away and was so bad I ended up having to write a whole different post about it. Wheeler’s inability to fact check brings us nicely to our next subject.
Fact Check, Fact Check, Fact Check, Fake News.
Wheeler claims that he has only ever had to make two retractions and that “when we make tweets we’re not just talking out of our asses, we’re researching everything, fact check, fact check, fact check, multiple sources.” Although we believe Wheeler is correct in asserting that he has only made two retractions, it is also true that he has tweeted out falsehoods and fake news on numerous other occasions. A lot of these are worthy of a retraction, correction, or clarification. We will include a (by no means exhaustive) list below, but first, we will briefly detail the two retractions.
No one can have a perfect factual record, and we are happy to hear that Wheeler has a policy of issuing retractions. We support transparency - what we take issue with is Wheeler being inconsistent, misleading, and promoting numerous falsehoods.
In the wake of the tragic Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland Florida in 2018, Wheeler tweeted out:
“The shooter was a registered Democrat and member of Antifa. Why does this not shock me at all? Maybe because you have to be a total piece of to belong to either of those groups. Rot in hell, loser.”
In case anyone is forgetting, the shooter was not a member of Antifa, nor a Democrat. In fact, he was a MAGA hat wearing psychopath. Wheeler retracted the statement one day later.
The second retraction came after Wheeler tweeted, “Adam Schiff’s sister was married to George Soros’ son, Robert until just a couple of years ago. Easy to research that fact.” Unfortunately, the fact was also untrue which Wheeler acknowledged a day later tweeting:
“Correction. Adam Schiff’s sister is NOT married to George Soros’ son, Robert. Robert is married to a Melissa Schiff, but she is unrelated to Adam. I was fooled by false information, but wanted to make sure I corrected it. I have zero tolerance for fake news.”
Describing the Parkland retraction, Wheeler explained, “I was more interested in like getting on a topic while it’s hot about something rather than letting the facts come out.”
For a man who professes a zero-tolerance approach to fake news, Wheeler seems almost purposefully gullible.
On October 29th Wheeler tweeted: “Mass Shootings. Reagan - 31 Bush Sr - 18 Clinton - 54 Bush Jr - 49 Obama - 132 Trump - 39 It seems pretty obvious who the problem started with. Now tell me again why we should have stricter gun control?”
As is a pattern Wheeler does not provide a source for this claim which makes fact checking it more difficult. I tried to find his original source but failed so I had to find my own source which ended up being an open source compilation by Mother Jones of mass shootings/shootings spree’s in the USA from 1982-2018. These are the figures I gathered from them
Reagan - 8 (missing one year)
Bush Sr - 6
Clinton - 16
Bush Jr - 12
Obama - 40
Trump - 20
As you can see they are more than a little bit different to Wheeler’s figures. Although the most mass shootings occurred while Obama was president Trump currently has the second most mass shootings and still has 2-6 years to go before his term is over so that figure may still rise.
On October 26th Wheeler tweeted: “BREAKING NEWS. The Bomber has been identified as Cesar Sayoc. He is 56 years old & lives in Aventura, FL. And he is affiliated to the DEMOCRATIC Party. Damn, I hate when I’m right.” That tweet did not age well as the depth of the bombers support for Trump became increasingly apparent.
Earlier on October 24th and 25th Wheeler had tweeted: “The Democrats send themselves bombs in the mail & everybody loses their minds. The Democrats try to poison the Republicans with ricin & nobody bats an eye. Crazy times we live in” and “BREAKING NEWS. The return address on the suspicious packages that were sent to Obama, Soros, & Hillary has been connected to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. This is that false flag I warned people about over a month ago. The Democrats are trying to frame the Republicans.” Shultz’s address was likely added by the bomber either so that Shultz would receive any mislabeled packages or to make the person opening the packages less suspicious. Either way the person who sent the bombs was certainly no Democrat.
Instead of debunking this point further, I’ll just leave you with Twitter user Kilgore Trout’s reaction to a similar tweet, “lol my dudebro here is tweeting this with the all caps BREAKING because he actually thinks maybe there’s a chance debbie wasserman-schultz PUT HER RETURN ADDRESS ON FUCKING MAILBOMBS.”
On the 19th of October 2018 Wheeler tweeted: “Elon Musk has offered to buy & then delete Facebook. This man is my new hero. How can I help?” This tweet is repeating fake news created by a satirical news site. Even if Musk wanted to buy Facebook he couldn’t, it’s worth 23x more than his net worth.
As Voltaire once said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Which brings us to the 22nd of October when Wheeler tweeted: “The mass caravan has swelled to 14,000 people. Good Lord this is ridiculous. Like or RT if you are in favor of our military using deadly force if necessary to defend this nation from enemies BOTH foreign & domestic.”
That tweet is a clear dog-whistle. The US military already does have the ability to use deadly force to defend America from threats. What Wheeler is really doing is asking a government he once hated to kill those he fears. The fact that he stated the military should kill enemies within the country is equally terrifying although it’s also ironic as in 2013 Wheeler tweeted that we are “living in a pre-nazi Germany state right now and nobody knows it because they are fast asleep.” Little did he know that just five years later he would be the one calling for a police state in which the army eliminated those deemed to be enemies of the state.
On October 14th 2018, Wheeler tweeted: “WikiLeaks says Hillary Clinton will go “down” by October 21st. Fun fact. WikiLeaks has NEVER had to retract a statement for “fake news.” Once again this is fake news that did the rounds on rightwing conspiracy sites this month. Wikileaks has never released a statement saying this and October 21st has come and gone. This particular piece of fake news dates back to 2016 when an identical story was circulated in the same corners of the internet. As the Above Top Secret Blog wrote: “If Clinton was guilty of treason and WikiLeaks had proof, they'd just release it not give some ultimatum about indicting her for mishandling classified information.”
Also on October 14th, Wheeler tweeted: “Chelsea Clinton says that she is more beautiful & educated than Ivanka Trump. What the hell is she smoking?” As it turns out Chelsea Clinton never said either of those things. However it is just objectively true that she is more educated than Ivanka Trump with a bachelor's degree, two masters, and doctorate under her belt compared to Ivanka Trump's single bachelor's degree. Whether the number of educational titles means someone is a better person or better equipped to engage in politics, etc.… is an entirely different discussion that is beyond the scope of this post.
Wheeler rarely lets the truth trump his desire for likes and retweets. For example, on February 24th, he tweeted, “Students in Louisiana thought this symbol [√] looked like a gun so they called the police. I kid you not. Liberals are now coming for our weapons of math instruction!!!!!”
If he had spent more than zero time fact-checking this claim, he would have found that the story is far more complex than he let on. As a contemporaneous news report explained.
[Two] students were working together, and a student made a math symbol of a square root sign, which kind of looks like a pistol. And he was helping a weaker student, and the student says, 'Well, that looks like a pistol!' And he just made a comment [like] 'let's just get to work before I shoot you with a pistol,” said Superintendent Doucet.
Gossip turned it into a rumor about the student plotting to carry out a mass shooting at Oberlin High School. The rumor warranted a search of the student's home for guns.
"He did not commit a crime. He did not commit anything remotely criminal, nothing to remotely suggest any intent to do actual harm,” said Hebert.
Not only is Wheelers tweet misleading in regards to the overall story, there is also no indication in any of the news reports that anyone involved in the story is a liberal. In fact, the school is in a county that went to Trump with 74.3% of the vote, hardly a Democrat stronghold.
More recently on October 17th 2018, Wheeler tweeted: “America is BACK. We now have the world’s most competitive economy - the first time holding that title since 2008! Which was also the year we elected Barack Obama.”
That is misleading for a couple reasons, most importantly that the criteria used to evaluate economic competitiveness was overhauled for 2018 changing 66% of the measures used to evaluate it. When the numbers for 2017 were redone, they also showed the US on top. Additionally:
Roughly 70% of the weighting in the index (slightly less of the actual number of indicators) originates from data supplied by international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank or the International Telecommunications Union. There is typically a 2-3 year lag between measurement and publication.
In case anyone has forgotten Trump wasn’t even in office two years ago. To avoid any accusations of bias, it’s also worth noting that some of the successful measures predate even the Obama administration. It’s also worth noting that there was a global financial crisis in 2008. Oh and just for fun, it’s worth noting what the organisation that prepares the report says about 2019:
2019’s Global Competitiveness Index could look a lot different if a number of the warning signs we perceive about America become exacerbated, for example, changes in trade tariffs, falling confidence in the independence of the judiciary, growing income inequality or a more difficult environment for hiring skilled foreign talent.
On October 8th, Wheeler tweeted “Want to know why kids misbehave these days? It’s simple. Because their parents don’t whip their asses anymore.”
This is misleading. It is true to say that there has been a general downward trend in parents who approve of spanking since 1986. However, since Wheeler’s birth in 1992, the number of males who believe it is sometimes necessary to spank children has stayed relatively consistent, while the number of females who say the same has only marginally decreased. Nevertheless, even that misses the point.
The science around spanking is fairly clear and many experts agree that spanking does not work. A large 2016 meta-analysis (PDF) found “Thirteen of 17 mean effect sizes were significantly different from zero and all indicated a link between spanking and increased risk for detrimental child outcomes.” Either way, even skeptics of that paper agree that “it’s irresponsible to make exclusive statements one way or another.”
On October 6th, Wheeler tweeted: “A Minnesota TV reporter was fired for wearing a MAGA hat. How ridiculous is that? I bet if he was wearing a democratic pin or something, he would have received a raise.”
It’s worth making clear that the reporter was wearing the hat while reporting, which was against his stations policy. As Buzzfeed news reported:
“He violated our policy so he’s no longer with us,” Noel Sederstrom, news director for KTTC, told BuzzFeed News. “We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.”
Prohibiting reporters from wearing campaign clothing or pins, especially while on the job, is standard practice across the news industry. Many news outlets also recommend or warn their staff against making public political displays or statements in order to maintain objectivity. But on his social media accounts, Bunner was vocal about his political leanings. He once added an NRA banner to his profile picture. And in another post, he wrote, “You watch CNN to oogle Brooke, Kate, Erin, Brianna, Sunlen, and Poppy. Not for journalistic integrity.”
Clearly his support of Trump was not the issue, it was his breaking of company policy.
On October 3rd, Wheeler tweeted: “Bill Clinton says Judge Kavanaugh is a “threat” to our country & a “disgrace” to women. Seriously? This is coming from a man who was IMPEACHED for getting a blow job in the Oval Office & lying about it.”
While I think there are many reasons to criticise Bill Clinton, it is worth noting that the Senate found him innocent on both his count for obstruction of justice and of lying.
A Casual Disregard for Violence
On October 26th, Wheeler tweeted “BREAKING NEWS. A “suspicious” package has been found addressed to Cory Booker. How sad. Spartacus didn’t make the kickball team & is looking for attention.” The suspicious package turned out to be a viable bomb.
I have already mentioned Wheeler's habit of calling the Parkland survivors crisis actors and his tweet in which he indicates that migrants within and outside the US should have deadly force used on them.
The “crisis actor” rhetoric is clearly dangerous, as the case of Alex Jones has demonstrated. Parents of murdered children have been re-traumatised after being accused of lying or faking the death of their children. Many of the parents have had to move multiple times to escape death threats from Jones’s followers.
Calling (or even hinting at) attacks on marginalised or minority groups is also plainly dangerous, as the countless cases including the recent synagogue shooting have demonstrated. Wheeler is using the language of fascists and should delete his tweet.
Another of Wheeler's favourite tropes is to paint all those who disagree with him as idiots, losers, mentally ill, or plain crazy, saying things like “The left side is made up of violent, mentally ill people. I had no idea how sick they were until this election,” and “Before Stephen Hawking passed away, he said "Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us & our children.” I knew Trump Derangement Syndrome was bad, but had no idea it was fatal.” And most worryingly, “Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. If you see someone afflicted by this condition that affects the brain and central nervous system, please subdue them until security can return them to their psychiatric hospital.” (My emphasis.)
As I have previously written:
In Soviet Russia, the KGB "created a network of psychiatric hospitals to persecute dissidents by classifying opposition to the state as evidence of mental illness," (Myers, 2014). Today Trump supporters attack his critics by claiming they have "Trump Derangement Syndrome."
In the eyes of some Trump supporters, if you don't support Trump, you're not just wrong - you're mentally ill, deranged in fact. While we're not at the stage where 'having' 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' lands you in jail, it's a bad sign that this sort of discourse is tolerated.
Made up mental illnesses have landed people in jail all around the world. This 'syndrome' may be "a joke", but many things are "jokes" until they're suddenly not. You cannot claim rational (or moral) superiority when you class your opponents as having a fake mental illness.
And before anyone hits me with a good ol' "but Trump isn't the state," that's not the point and even if it was, I seem to recall people recently saying that you can't make fun of Trump with some dumb baby blimp because he represents the USA and fallen veterans etc...
On the 14th of October, Wheeler also tweeted “God will separate the Left (liberals) from the Right (Conservatives). And anyone that doesn’t like that dies. The End.” Need I say more?
Many of Wheeler's conspiratorial beliefs have been discussed elsewhere, but I will provider a fuller list here. This list is not exhaustive but it provides evidence for the facts that:
Is a firm believer in false flag attacks. 1
Believes that Barack Obama forged his birth certificate. 1.
Believes Michelle Obama to be a man. 1.
Believes or believed that the Daesh/ISIL execution were fake and orchestrated by the CIA. 1.
Appears to believe in chemtrails. 1
Once wrote “Legally we do not have 2 pay our income taxes. Find any good lawyer & they will tell u that. Our govt & the IRS are just money hungry jerks.”
One of his man made climate change denial tweets from December 2017 reads:
“70's - The new ice age. 80's - Acid rain. 90's - Ozone depletion. 2000's - Global warming. Then they had to change it to climate change because global warming was such an obvious lie. That’s 40 years of being completely wrong in the name of fear-mongering for power and money.”
Twitter user @Brianfeist offered an excellent rebuttal to that saying:
Sometimes science makes mistakes, that's how we learn. 80s we definitely had acid rain. Through the work of groups like the EPA we were able to stop it. 90s there was definitely a hole in the ozone layer. Through global action we were able to stop it and reverse the damage. Climate change is very real and happening at an alarming rate. Look at the horrible hurricane season we had or the fires or the extreme cold. Are of these things show climate change is very real. The people making money off of lies is the Koch brothers and their friends.
If you truly want to understand Dylan Wheeler you do not need to read my blog post or spend 50 hours researching him you need read only one paragraph written by the author Jon Ronson:
The conspiracy movement blossomed and hardened after 9/11. The ‘truthers’ were a special sort of awful. They utilized social media to grimly troll those victims of terrorism who dared to disagree with their conspiratorial beliefs. People who had survived actually being blown up on trains were getting hounded by paranoid Miss Marples who’d been watching too many Alex Jones You Tube videos.
That passage was written in the 2014 afterword of Ronson’s book Them, three years before Wheeler even started his Educating Liberals Twitter account. However although it may not have been written with him in mind, it applies to him perfectly. Wheeler has himself admitted that 9/11 trutherism is what ‘woke him up’ after he started following Alex Jones in around 2012 and bought into his brand of bullshit both literally and figuratively.
Wheeler is no Russian bot as some have claimed, but he is harming American democracy and the American people by publishing fake and misleading news and stoking divisions. He is not just one man shouting at a cloud and a few cows - he is a successful conservative thought leader with an audience of over 362,800 Twitter followers. What he says matters because it can have real world consequences. More and more extremists are being radicalised by the words of those they follow on Twitter and those with a large following have a responsibility to make sure that what they are sharing out will not put fuel into the hands of angry men ready to start a fire.
One or two falsehoods a month - while not good - is perhaps inevitable, 13+ false or misleading tweets is unacceptable. However, Wheeler does not only play a (small) role in the cause of the problems we are faced with today, he is also a symptom. He is a ‘paranoid Miss Marples’ who has turned to Twitter to attack the victims of school shootings. He has correctly identified that something is rotten in the heart of the American Republic, he is just wrong about the cause. It is not the migrants or the left who are to blame. It is the people with deep pockets and shallow morals. It is the top 0.001% holding the rest of us down.
And finally, even if Wheeler occasionally lies he is not a liar - he is a bullshit merchant and a bullshit merchant does not care about the truth, a bullshit merchant cares only for narratives. In both his book and on his Twitter profile Wheeler does occasionally provide accurate information - but this information always serves the purpose of furthering the narrative he is pushing. The impact of Wheelers falsehoods and misrepresentations may take some time to emerge but emerge they will. And when that happens I have one simple message for Wheeler: You broke it. You own it.
Thanks for reading. If you have any comments, corrections, or hate mail, please direct it our way and don’t forget to check out our review of Wheelers terrible book.
Disclaimer: All the information within this article is presented in good faith. Rigorous efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of all the information provided. Any information found to be incorrect or misleading will be transparently retracted. The fact-checking process alone has taken weeks to complete to the satisfaction of all our current contributors, it is, of course, possible and perhaps even likely that some errors have slipped through. If this is the case, please reach out to us, and we will happily correct the record.
Begging: If you have enjoyed this article, please consider supporting us. With your support we will be able to continue our work and bringing you future investigations like this one. Even a one-off donation would mean the world.