If your birth certificate says that you were born in Honolulu, and your parents lived in Honolulu at the time, it is unlikely that your mother put her pregnant self on a plane, flew to Kenya to deliver you, and then persuaded the Hawaiian authorities to record your place of birth as Honolulu.
If you get into a vehicle with a drunk driver, don't fasten your seat belt, and die in a crash, it is unlikely that your ex-father-in-law had anything to do with it.
If your friends found you dead in your bathroom in the 1970s, it is unlikely that you faked your death and are alive and well in 2009.
If you were a top athlete and your career ended years ago, and now it looks as though you committed a crime and you're acting like you're guilty as sin, it is unlikely that white people set you up because they are jealous of your past success, even though they haven't heard from you in years.
Sometimes things are exactly what they seem. Americans are American, accidents are accidental, suspects are suspect, and the dead are dead.
So why are conspiracy theories so attractive? Because sometimes reality is so unattractive that it's simply unreal. So if the "wrong" person wins an election by a large enough margin that there won't be a recount, something has to be wrong. An unheroic and preventable death has to be something else. If the government, which is supposed to be ineffective, accomplishes something remarkable, it must be a scam.
A terrorist attack "does not happen here," so there must be more to it.
If one thinks about it, one of the most difficult aspects of growing up is coming to terms with reality. At some point one has to accept that there is no Easter Bunny and St. Nicholas is a dead bishop from Turkey instead of a jolly old elf from the North Pole. Not even the tooth fairy is real. Reality bites.
In reality, the home team doesn't always win; in fact, some years they don't even make the playoffs. Wishing really hard (or voting for Pedro) doesn't make every dream come true. There won't always be ice cream for dessert.
In reality, if loved ones die, they stay dead. They don't come back as a recast or reappear in the shower. In reality, there are not only heroes and villains. People one admires sometimes turn out flawed. People one dislikes sometimes turn out to be right.
The problem with wingnuts is that they like the perks of being an adult but refuse the responsibility. As far as maturity goes, they stay forever preteens, even when they are eligible for Medicare. That's why they are drawn to conspiracy theories -- the ultimate alternate reality.
The reason President Obama is so popular overseas is not (only) his smile, his oratory skills, and his cute dog. Countries older than ours are painfully aware that it takes an adult to run a government. Reality has come to bite them time and again. An immature fratboy or prom queen with the finger on the nuke button is frightening.
So when things get frustrating, consider that while reality is difficult, at least for now the adults are in charge.