Who is QAnon? Why You Need to Keep Tabs on this Fringe Group

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

If you’ve been paying attention these past few years then you may have heard about the QAnon movement that has captivated American politics. What started as a conspiracy theory on 8chan has now grown into a full-blown fringe conspiracy group with some influence. The FBI has labeled this group as a potential terrorist threat in the United States. Indeed, QAnon has come along way since 8chan. This is the far-right fringe group that you need to pay close attention to in the next few years.

QAnon conspiracy theorists believe in many different wild and out theories but they’re tied to one core belief: Donald Trump was sent by heaven’s to defeat the Democrats that worship Satan, eat babies and run a worldwide pedophile ring. They believe in what is called the “The Great Awakening”, in which Donald Trump will eventually arrest everyone involved in the ‘deep state’. These figures include Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and basically, anyone who opposes Donald Trump.

Here’s why you should pay attention to this group in the next few years.
It is entirely feasible that once Biden is inaugurated on January 20th the movement may cool down. However, QAnon conspiracy believers already hold two seats in congress. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado have both gained congressional seats. Stephanie Bice, the incoming congresswoman from Oklahoma has dismissed QAnon’s grip on the right, even as she casually sidestepped a question about accepting Joe Biden’s election victory. However, the accusation of election fraud from Donald Trump is being amplified by QAnon on social media. QAnon is growing as it finds itself dipping its fingers in different fringe conspiracy theories. Essentially, playing on the fears of the American people.

QAnon has a powerful message that speaks to our sense of altruism. This is the most insidious aspect of QAnon, the rallying cry is to ‘protect’ our children. If we look at extremist groups in the Middle East, people are brainwashed under the threat of violence or abused into believe that group’s extremist ideology. However, QAnon doesn’t need those brutal tactics to snare people. Typically, alt-right groups in America appeal to a man’s sense of masculinity which could be toxic. White Supremacy, for example, can appeal to a man’s toxic masculinity and his distorted sense of pride to protect his ‘race”. It’s difficult to convert women into this type of mindset but QAnon doesn’t appeal to manhood. The group appeals to motherhood and once again, our altruistic nature to protect children. This is why we’re seeing violence from women on the rise in this group.

In August 2020 a woman was arrested for aggravated assault for beating a woman she believed was involved in a sex-trafficking ring.

Q is manipulative because it is using language that attracts and manipulates otherwise good citizens. Q has found its way into the mainstream, producing lies and distorting truth involving COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the 2020 American election. Through social media, this group has gained a cult-like following and needs to be taken seriously as a threat to social cohesion and the United States.

The times are ripe for social disintegration. Never before has America been this polarized as a president stoked racial wounds, empowered white supremacists’ and created a sharp divide between rural and urban populations. QAnon can capitalize on that disintegration to continue to gain legitimacy and continue to disrupt political norms and establishments. A woman from Canada tried to kill the US President with ricin. In Eaton, CO a young man tried to plow his car through a crowd that supported Trump. In Charlottesville, a young woman was killed by a white supremacist.

This potential terrorist threat has been around for nearly three years and it is still gaining in popularity. While social media giants have cracked down on QAnon, it is too late to stop the conspiracy group from spreading its message and this attempt by the social media giants may have only emboldened Q. Once Trump leaves office it is difficult to say if this group will still have the influencing power it currently holds today. However, if Trump does develop his super-PAC or stays involved in the political arena in some way, then QAnon will still have a sphere of influence in politics. QAnon does not believe in compromise with anyone that does not adhere to Trump or its lunacy. This creates a problem in politics as it manifests in an “us vs them’ mentality. Our government would not be able to function with that type of hyperpolarization.

QAnon will be an interesting group to watch over these next few years. As mentioned previously the fringe group has its tentacles in almost every conspiracy regarding social issues, health issues, and political issues. How will Congress act toward Marjorie and Lauren once they take that oath to uphold the constitution? Will they be welcomed by the GOP in congress or will the GOP work against Marjorie and Lauren? What policies will they support or oppose? Marjorie and Lauren will give us a glimpse of how Q decides to govern. Perhaps Q will fade away into nothing once Trump leaves office. It’s still too early to predict the fate of Q but one thing is for certain, this far-right fringe conspiracy theory group presents a potential danger for the United States.

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