For a conspiracy theory that’s been marked by a litany of failed predictions, disappointments, de-platforming, and infighting between factions; QAnon remains remarkably popular.
This is the theory that Trump is about to unleash a massive wave of indictments against the deep state, and anonymous Trump administration official known only as Q is leaking foreknowledge of events to acolytes on far right social media.
And despite the endless exhortations that the great purge of America’s enemies is coming “next week” or “soon,” none of these arrests or events have materialized.
Believers likely think it’s because Q is gathering the intel he drops on his following. Skeptics might say it’s because Q only posts when something happens that he can use to retroactively prove his own existence.
They also argue among themselves endlessly over whether or not “something big is happening” and what the plan is.
I did a Twitter thread on this that got picked up by some big news sites, and got a truly insane Neon Revolt article written about me, as well. So RIP my mentions.
QAnon acolytes love jargon, and they love using jargon to prove that the conspiracy theory they’ve invested so much time in is real.
One of the most popular QAnon “proofs” is “the map,” a massive layout of how centuries of conspiracy theories all connect to each other in ways only Q can reveal – and only Q believers can understand.
To outsiders, it’s proof that everything skeptics believe about conspiracy theorists is true, that they’re deranged and obsessive and need heavy doses of medication. And to believers, it’s proof that the skeptics are asleep and unaware, totally oblivious to the maleficence going on all around them.
Every election cycle seems a little more beset by conspiracy theories, outrageous and unfounded accusations, and bizarre plots. They get weirder, and yet more normal at the same time.
The conspiracy theory community has mobilized to support Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans. And they’re going much further than anything that happened to John McCain in 2000, desperately trying to shore up their support with suburban white women by terrifying them into a thinking a rape caravan of ISIS invaders is (very slowly) making its way north to take their jobs, force them to drive electric cars, and treat refugees humanely.
But one day before the election, polling for the House of Representatives doesn’t look good, nor does it look good for Republicans to keep their death grip on state legislatures.
And if there’s one thing conspiracy theorists are good at, it’s making excuses for why the stuff they theorized didn’t come to pass.
To state the obvious, pipe bomb maker Cesar Sayoc and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers were violent, paranoid, hate-filled dwellers in the pervasive discourse of such people: conspiracy theories.
The targets of their ire were different. Sayoc was a hardcore Trump acolyte who felt that oppositional Democrats were the scourge of America, while Bowers appears to have disdained Trump for not doing enough to cleanse America’s REAL scourge – the Jews.
But both wanted their foes disposed of in the same way – a violent purging that spared no one they felt was not sufficiently on their side.
It’s a race war fought on obscure message boards and Fox News alike, pumping out anti-Semitic and violent conspiracy theories to broken minds who have no ability to discern fact from fiction.
These are self-proclaimed patriots who see themselves as the vanguard of a new digital war, where hearts and minds are won with memes, anonymous legions of soldiers fight by “digging” into people’s pasts, and anyone not sufficiently with them must be destroyed.
But when their memes and social media bitching didn’t get the job done, Sayoc and Bowers resorted to what paranoid killers have always resorted to when words aren’t cleansing the filth fast enough – bombs and bullets.
Their actions aren’t random. Their motives aren’t mysterious.