A growing number of Republican candidates have expressed support for a conspiracy theory group the FBI has warned may be a domestic terrorism threat.
The latest political figure to acknowledge QAnon is Lauren Boebert, a far-right candidate seeking to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
You may have heard about Boebert’s restaurant Shooters Grill, where the wait staff are encouraged to carry firearms.
Last week, Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the GOP primary, putting her on track to become a member of Congress.
“Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values, and that’s what I am for,” said Boebert. “And so everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger, and if this is real, then it could be really great for our country.”
Other candidates that have expressed support for QAnon or have engaged with Q content online include Marjorie Taylor Greene (seeking a congressional seat in Georgia), Jo Rae Perkins (GOP senate nominee in Oregon), Sam Williams (seeking a congressional seat in Texas), and Irene Armendariz-Jackson (Williams’ opponent in Texas).
According to Media Matters, at least 60 current or former congressional candidates have amplified the QAnon conspiracy theory in some way. According to The New York Times, President Trump himself has retweeted accounts that often focus on conspiracy theories – including QAnon – nearly 150 times.
In 2018, Vice President Mike Pence was photographed with a police officer wearing a QAnon patch on his uniform. The photograph was posted to Twitter but removed after it went viral among the QAnon community. The police officer was demoted.
It’s possible that Republicans across the country are becoming more comfortable with conspiracy theories because they have seen both President Trump and the Democrats exploit conspiracy theories for their benefit.
Keep in mind that retweeting or supporting QAnon may be nothing more than a way for candidates to attract attention, notes Sam Williams: “A retweet doesn’t mean you agree with something…Some of the stuff is just hilarious honestly.”
What is QAnon?
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that originated in 2017 when an alleged government official known as “Q” began posting classified information on 4chan.
According to Q, there is a powerful cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles that secretly rules the world and is trying to undermine Trump’s presidency. Trump, referred to as “Q+,” knows of the cabal and is working to defeat it.
Followers believe Trump invented the Russia collusion story in order to get Robert Mueller to help him expose a sex-trafficking ring linked to prominent Democrats and celebrities and to prevent a coup by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Gorge Soros. QAnon followers live in a world of broken institutions and a media that offers nothing but lies.
“Conservatives know there is a conspiracy – a deep state conspiracy,” says Irene Armendariz-Jackson. The Democratic Party is “very much intertwined with the Satanic church” and uses aborted babies to promote satanic worship. “I know a lot of Americans are waking up to understand the darkness behind everything going on right now.”
Accusations of pedophilia seem to be related to followers’ belief that members of the cabal kidnap and murder children to obtain adrenochrome, a chemical compound that is allegedly extracted from kids.
Followers look forward to an event they call “The Storm” or “The Great Awakening,” when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested and the US military will take over the country, producing salvation and utopia.
QAnon has gained new support in recent months by capitalizing on the pain and frustration many people are feeling in 2020. Followers claim the coronavirus is a hoax invented by Democrats to undermine Trump’s presidency and/or that the virus spreads through 5G networks. Some QAnon supporters believe Dr. Anthony Fauci is a “blackhat” or member of the evil cabal.
Another new theory is that John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his death in 1999 and will soon reappear to be Trump’s running mate this year. Others believe Kennedy is Q.
As explained by University of Miami Political Science Professor Joseph Uscinski, QAnon carries on a tradition of apocalyptic thinking that has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. It appeals to anyone susceptible to conspiracy thinking; it gives people who are feeling lost somewhere to belong.
QAnon satisfies humanity’s appetite for the conspiratorial while at the same time promising a better future that is ordained. It is fueled by paranoia, populism, and religious faith. Like other conspiracy theories, QAnon comes at a time of rapid social and economic change and staggering inequality. The same thing happened during the Black Death in the 14th century, in the Rhine Valley in the 16th century, and in New York in the 19th century. And it is happening today.
Editor’s Note: Since QAnon is primarily described by its critics (as is every secretive organization), they are not in a position to defend themselves. Who knows which allegations, conspiracies, and suppositions are sourced from the group itself or someone else.
All I can say its that I would love to see “The Storm” where a thousand liberals are arrested…