Why Do So Many People Still Believe In QAnon?
QAnon is a runaway freight train of failed conspiracy theories. No matter how many times their predictions fall flat, believers in Q stay on the train.
Far from dissolving itself as many conspiracy theories are wont to do, QAnon, the Grand Conspiracy Theory of Everything raging on the conservative web, shows no sign of letting up. After almost a year and a half with no arrests of who we’re insistently told by Q’s followers are treasonous Satanic globalist pedophiles undermining America, the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, and no wall on the southern border, should’ve taken their toll on the believers.
Surely, their patience with Q must be at an end. How many more breadcrumbs of leading, vague questions can they follow into dead ends or paths to nowhere? How many steps backward should a strategic genius take to deceive his enemies before finally springing his trap shut? Looking at the messages on QAnon boards and forums, a lot of tempers have flared, patience drained, and Q has been labeled a charlatan and hoaxer countless times while the remaining Q faithful pleaded to have faith.
When discussing this back in August, I mentioned that one of the keys to QAnon’s success is Q’s vagueness. As more exacting predictions failed to come true, the person or people behind the avatar kept getting more and more obtuse, allowing fans to read anything they wanted into the so-called “breadcrumbs” being left behind and effectively self-radicalize. In a way, it’s not strange that QAnon followers are getting more and more zealous. They’re whittling their ranks down to the most eager and fervent believers while those less trusting leave on their own.
Before we go any farther, it may be a good idea to revisit what QAnon actually is. It’s one of those rare incarnations of a conspiracy theory that tries to explain literally everything, from wars to typos in tweets as interconnected and part of a greater plot, like ancient aliens or Flat Earth. In doing so, it boils down extremely complicated concepts and events into a very simple black and white, bad guys vs. good guys narrative.
It’s actually known as The Storm, or The Great Awakening, and holds that instead of Mueller investigating President Trump’s questionable dealings and his administration’s shady links to Russian oligarchs and spies, he’s working in sync with Trump to take down an unholy cabal of liberal Satanists destroying America for a New World Order while trafficking children for unspeakable acts straight out of the Satanic Panic stories of the 1990s.
The first name for this conspiracy comes from an offhand comment by Trump, who told the press that “this is the calm before the storm” while posing for pictures with military officials and their spouses. The latter is an internet creation, as various iterations of Q competed to become the anonymous entity whose breadcrumbs were supposed to be the definitive take on the secret war against the “Deep State” opposing the forces of everything good and American.
What Is QAnon?
QAnon itself comes from the parlance of 4chan, where posts can be made anonymously. The unknown posters were referred to as “anons” and recurring posts from the same anon would be elaborated with their trademarks and signoffs. As Q established himself on 4chan’s /pol/ board, which a Jedi would describe as a wretched hive of racism and hoaxes, he was described with the site’s typical parlance. He claimed to be a government official with Q Clearance and insider knowledge of the Trump administration and the Justice Department, which was a little odd.
You see, Q is a real clearance, but it’s used in nuclear matters. It’s strange that someone whose day job would be reviewing the safety and design of nuclear weapons and dealing with relevant information about the materials involved would have access to extremely sensitive criminal investigations, especially ones surrounding the country’s top politicians and former leaders.
Internet sleuthing indicates that a trio of conspiracy theorists and Trump cheerleaders Tracy Diaz, Jerome Corsi, and Coleman Rogers, made QAnon the right-wing phenomenon it is today by finding a willing audience in boomers on social media. Since they are the most likely sources of fake news and hoaxes on today’s most common online platforms and it fit neatly into their hopes and dreams, especially since they’ve been primed for a conspiratorial view of the world by GOP activists over the last half-century, they were more than happy to share the news of this covert campaign to destroy the Evil Liberal Menace.
Since many Trump fans are older and seem ready to believe anything that fits their vehemently anti-anything-even-remotely-considered-liberal worldview, QAnon exploded into their political narratives, and finally started making real-world appearances at Trump rallies. That’s when mainstream reporters started truly noticing it and attempting to fact check its claims. By that time, however, it was too late. QAnon is a runaway freight train making constant predictions instantly seized by an ever more extreme core of believers dreaming of another Civil War against the majority of the country, literally.
Why Do So Many Still Believe In QAnon?
And that leaves us with the question of why so many people are grasping on to QAnon even as predictions keep failing to come true and more and more followers are peeling off. What makes them keep the faith? Well, the simplest explanation may be that they have no choice but to keep believing because this conspiracy theory being true is the only shot at any sort of personal or moral salvation they see in a world that’s quickly changing and leaving them behind. After all, some plunge so deeply into this internet-based war against the Deep State, they become estranged from their families and loved ones, and abandon any semblance of real life in the process.
It would be the ultimate validation of everything they’ve been told for decades and if the whole thing was just a hoax, that would mean they spent a generation at their kids’ and friends’ throats, cowering in fear of people they’ll never meet, and who have no evil intent towards them despite their open desire to hurt these strangers with their political choices. Instead of trying to build up their communities and develop a vision on how to move forward by fighting the liberal evildoers, they would’ve spent all their time trying to tear others’ communities down and voting for politicians whose actions made them even worse off in the long run.
Just consider for a moment that America seems to be the only wealthy country in which the public is constantly taught that their taxes should not be used to make their lives better. That any positive change cannot come from their leaders, who are all corrupt, lazy do-nothings anyway. That government workers who maintain all the basic services they never have to think about are all overpaid dullards. That anything positive in their lives comes from their wealthy “betters” who must be rewarded with tax breaks and spending sprees. And if you give the wealthy enough cash, all that money will come back to you tenfold as they create the kind of wealth you couldn’t even imagine.
So that’s exactly what so many Americans did. We poured trillions into the trickle down Ponzi scheme and nothing is trickling down because it turns out that the wealthy have a lot of places they could store money without investing any of it into our communities. They poured it into big cities because these trade hubs keep the companies they own working smoothly and attract the talent they need. But with automation and AI, and countless global opportunities, they’re not coming back to the Midwest or Middle America. They don’t need to, and the government refuses to claw any of their wealth back for its people.
QAnon believers see things getting worse. Healthcare out of reach of many and drug prices soaring. Wages stuck for the last four decades after adjustment for inflation. A stock market that jumped a lot in 2018 but ultimately went nowhere. Nearly 8 in 10 families living paycheck to paycheck. Retirements vanishing and older workers pushed out before they’re able to retire. Record numbers of jobs waiting to be filled but few people actually getting hired into stable, lucrative careers.
And a $1.5 trillion tax cut that’s leaving us further in debt but had no effect on your average worker’s job and salary prospects, or even business strategies, while they’re paying more in taxes after losing their deductions. They were promised the end of the globalist order and instead, the globalists are wealthier than ever while they’re paying more to and getting less from the government. They expected nothing and are somehow still let down.
So, in short, they need to believe Q. There must be an evil cabal of unspeakable monsters behind this mess. They couldn’t have given away their money, their political power, and after being told that all politicians are lying, corrupt do-nothings, elected a government with far too many lying, corrupt do-nothings who benefit immensely from the drastically lowered public expectations for them, headed by an incompetent con man known primarily for trash talking, bragging, and bankrupting every business he ever actually ran.
And they couldn’t have simply allowed underhanded political advisers and tricksters to fool them into thinking their own fellow citizens were out to get them so they kept voting to pillage their own nation’s wealth out of fear and spite. That’s why QAnon must be real. And he and President Trump will fix everything. Just you wait and see.
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