Monday, November 29, 2021

QAnon and Politics

It is hard for a rationalist like me to evaluate something like QAnon. How much does this fountain of nonsense matter? It seems just too crazy to me to have any impact on the real world, and yet polls show that millions of Americans give some credence to the pronouncements of QAnon prophets.

But one thing we know about movements like this is that crazy people don't get along with each other very well, making it hard for them to organize or stay unified. Rolling Stone reports that QAnon stalwart Lin Wood has attacked the "Stop the Steal" fundraising organization created by some of Trump's friends:

Right-wing darling Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen acquitted of murder for killing two people at a racial justice protest, sent the QAnon world into a tailspin when he said in interviews that Lin Wood, a leading QAnon believer and Trump attorney who briefly represented Rittenhouse, was “insane” and had “taken advantage” of him.

That prompted right-wing Trump allies — including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, alt-right activist Jack Posobiec and former Trump White House aide Sebastian Gorka — to come out against Wood. In response, Wood has been posting through it, making wild claims without evidence. Over the past few days, he has shared increasingly outrageous claims on his Telegram and turned on pro-Trumpers who used to be his allies, including Sidney Powell, Sebastian Gorka and Michael Flynn.

“After doing the research and connecting the dots, I have reached the conclusion that the Stop the Steal organization is a Deep State organization to raise money for purposes other than to FIX 2020. … WATCH OUT for anyone affiliated with Stop the Steal. Every lie will be revealed,” Wood posted on Friday. . . .

The posting continued on Saturday after he took a six hour overnight break. Wood accused Trump-endorsed Vernon Jones, who is running Georgia’s lieutenant governor, of being a “career Democrat, racist [and] sexual predator.”

Wood also promised, “More Deep State players will be revealed to you.”


Shadow said...

One way to measure success is popularity. Qanon has gone global and has been doing so since last year.

G. Verloren said...

It seems just too crazy to me to have any impact on the real world, and yet polls show that millions of Americans give some credence to the pronouncements of QAnon prophets.

Fun fact - even crazy people who believe crazy things can vote.

In order for something to be too crazy to have any impact on the real world, it would have to be too crazy for people to believe - and that's clearly not the case. As you say millions of people actually do believe at least some of these crazy things, and that means we have to take those things deathly seriously, no matter how "crazy" they seem to us.

Remember - people laughed at the Nazis early on, and continued to do so even as things actively passed the point of no return. People refused to take them seriously, because they and their beliefs and their actions all just seemed "too crazy to have any impact on the real world". Surely, the sane majority of the world wouldn't allow itself to succumb to such insanity! And yet...

David said...

I think the danger in QAnon and similar groups is if someone much smarter and more determined than Trump were to unite them under a Fuhrer-like personal ascendancy. I'm sure skeptics are tired of the Nazi analogies. But I think there really is an apposite similarity in the groups concerned, their fractiousness without a strong leader, and their potential dynamism under a strong one. And I think Mark Mazower is correct that the hard right is somehow at home in modern western civilization, in a way the left is not.