What is the absolute worst thing you can call a person, I mean something that immediately elicits strong emotions of disgust, revulsion and hatred toward that individual? Is it murderer? Is it Trumpist? (Just kidding.) No, it’s pedophile or worse yet, cannibal pedophile. So, it’s no surprise that these terms are used by right-wing Internet trolls to demonize liberals and the “left.” They want Americans to despise Democrats.
Remember Pizzagate? This ridiculous 2016 Internet conspiracy theory claimed that Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats were running a satanic, pedophile ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. Some believe it was hatched by an ultra-right, white nationalist group but maybe the Russians did it. Regardless, it was totally false.
The following year, a Pizzagate offshoot began creeping around on the fringes of the Internet in October. An anonymous operator who self-identified as “Q” began posting mysterious image board messages to support President Trump. He (or perhaps she) gave the impression that he was an intelligence or military officer with a very high Q security clearance.
This individual warns about a small, secretive group of powerful Democratic elites that are manipulating world affairs, in concert with the mainstream media, Hillary Clinton – of course – and the “deep state.” He claims that these Satan worshippers – who some Q followers believe are also cannibals – have organized mass pedophilia rings that they hide from the public. Further, Q assures his readers that Trump is the only one who can thwart these evil-doers and is waging a secret campaign against them.
Q followers worldwide likely number in the low millions. They have formed a religion-like Internet community called “QAnon,” which has no known physical location. Yet, it reportedly has an infrastructure, literature and a growing number of believers. Q leaves clues on the Internet and patriots – as followers call themselves – search to decipher their meaning and reveal his prophecies. Their antics are reminiscent of the Pokémon Go game.
My interest piqued in 2018 when QAnon members appeared at Trump rallies holding up large Q signs. Research revealed that they have cryptic sayings, like “The Storm is coming (mass arrests),” which they believe will lead to the “Great Awakening,” a period when Trump will destroy the evils of the deep state. They also have a pledge, “Where we go one, we go all,” frequently abbreviated as “WWG1WGA.” The beliefs of these people are so bizarre and disconnected from reality that they’re difficult to describe in a way that makes any sense.
The FBI has designated QAnon a potential domestic terrorist threat that could drive “extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.” Yet, a July 4 video shows Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn – who the White House has discussed rehiring – taking an oath that included a QAnon reference, WWG1WGA. And Trump helped elevate these radicals into the mainstream recently by seeming to welcome its members into his base. Fox News’ frequent whitewashing of QAnon’s activities can be found here.
Dozens of QAnon supporters are now running for elective office, including Marjorie Taylor Greene who recently won the Republican primary in a deep red district in Northeast Georgia. She will almost certainly be elected to the U.S. House in November. Greene has written numerous articles for a conspiracy theory web site, according to NBC News, and has been highly criticized for making anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim videos. Although she formerly embraced the QAnon conspiracy theory and called Q a patriot, she backtracked during a recent Fox News interview and claimed that she’s not a QAnon candidate.
On August 12 Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent. Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up – a real WINNER!”
In a recent blog, I outlined how former Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich and other Republicans have viciously vilified Democrats for decades. The QAnon group, however, has taken that agenda to a dangerous extreme by falsely accusing Hillary Clinton and other democrats of being pedophiles who drink the blood of children.
According to an article in the Atlantic magazine, one of Q’s posts stated: “These people need to ALL be ELIMINATED.” And reportedly, many QAnon supporters believe top Democrats should either be imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay or rounded up and executed.
Although the speakers at last week’s GOP convention didn’t go quite that far, their lies and race-tinged fear mongering was directed at casting Democrats as radical socialists who will destroy America and control Americans. I believe that the blatant promoting of right-wing conspiracies during the campaign and this event shows that Trump is desperate to win. And there’s a good reason why.
When Michael Cohen – Trump’s lawyer and fixer – testified before Congress he parted one of the many veils that obscures the Trump organization’s fraudulent activities. If Trump loses the election, the entire body of their criminality – money laundering, bank fraud, etc. – will be exposed and family Trump could be in a world of hurt. So, I believe he will contest an election loss and hold out until he can cut a deal whereby he and his family can avoid both federal and state prosecution.
Folks, it’s imperative that we carefully vote early and work hard for a landslide turnout to elect Joe Biden. That’s our only defense against this autocrat and his conspiracy theory goons.