Whatever Happened to QAnon?

Back in February, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee roles, despite her expression of "regret" for some of her more extreme views.  One of the charges against Rep. Greene is that she has supported QAnon, whose central claim is that there exists an elite whose members exercise political power and who indulge in promiscuity and other corrupt forms of behavior.

In a Washington Post article co-written by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Rachel Bade, Greene was dismissed as having endorsed the "baseless theory" of QAnon.  Stanley-Becker and Bade devoted most of their article to critiquing QAnon rather than addressing Greene's policies, including her unwavering support for the police.  Yet without evidence to corroborate it, the Post authors rejected the central claim of QAnon: that a powerful cabal of elitists, some with a history of pedophilia and other corrupt practices, exists within the Democrat party and the media that support it.

Maybe liberal journalists don't know corruption when they see it.  Perhaps they don't believe that promiscuity or prostitution is "corrupt."  Or that using cocaine and other illegal drugs is "corrupt," or even that sex with underage persons is "corrupt."  By that definition, the press can maintain that liberal politicians are not corrupt, so they can dismiss QAnon's thinking as a "baseless theory."

A Time magazine story of April 16 offered a similar critique of certain conservatives who purportedly view "former President Donald Trump as a messianic figure battling a cadre of deep-state operatives."  This is a good example of rhetorical fudging: is it that Trump is viewed as a "messianic figure" or that he is "battling ... deep-state operatives"?  I don't know any conservatives who view the former president as a "messianic figure," but there are plenty who see him as having battled the Deep State -- and for good reason.  

Most of us know corruption when we see it, and we know there is an element of truth in QAnon's charges.  It goes back a long way — to the Kennedys, the Clintons, and hundreds of lesser figures.  We were disgusted when, in March 1962, Marilyn Monroe offered herself up as a "birthday present" for President Kennedy in front of an approving audience of Washington liberals.  And we were disgusted by the repeated accusations of Bill Clinton's philandering and sexual assault, including those by Juanita Broaddrick, Leslie Millwee, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey — this in addition to Clinton's admitted affairs with Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers.  One must ask the same question one asks of JFK and of his brothers: how many other illicit affairs were there, and why do liberals like Kennedy and Clinton so often stoop to this level? 

The national media don't view the Kennedys, Clintons, or Bidens as corrupt, and electronic media may be systematically covering up their evidence.  If one Googles "most corrupt Democrats," the result will be pages of results on "Trump corruption."  It appears that Google and other high-tech players are suppressing information about the corruption of the liberal elite.

According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, this sort of search result is the result of computer algorithms, as if algorithms wrote themselves.  Concealing corruption is corrupt, and abetting that concealment, as the national media have done for decades, is also corrupt.  It's an endless web of corruption, lying, and deceit.  It's liberals who are most often caught up in such practices because maximum personal freedom — the very opposite of human liberty — is the goal and promise of liberalism. Liberal politicians and the media are in on it together, but anyone who points this out is a "conspiracy theorist."

In fact, there is overwhelming evidence of D.C. corruption.  Bill Clinton as much as admitted to sexual activity with a young intern in the Oval Office, and he reportedly traveled aboard Jeffrey Epstein's "Lolita Express" "at least 26 times."  Rep. Anthony Weiner, husband of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's closest aide, resigned from Congress after repeatedly "sexting" suggestive photos of himself to women.

Didn't Rep. David Wu resign his seat over charges of making inappropriate advances toward a young woman?  Didn't Sen. Al Franken retire following charges of improper sexual behavior?  Aren't there accusations that Joe Biden sexually violated Tara Reade and acted inappropriately with eight other women?  Didn't Barack Obama admit to using cocaine on multiple occasions?  Wasn't D.C. mayor Marion Barry videotaped by the FBI smoking crack cocaine?  Didn't Rep. Barney Frank hire a male prostitute to live with and work for him, during which time the individual reportedly operated a prostitution ring out of Frank's apartment?  Didn't New York A.G. Eliot Spitzer resign after being implicated in a prostitution scandal?  Have there not been calls for New York's Gov. Cuomo to resign in response to charges of inappropriate sexual behavior?

It is impossible for any fair-minded person to deny that widespread corruption exists among our nation's leaders, particularly among those in the Democrat party?  Since that is the central claim of QAnon, how can QAnon be dismissed in toto as a conspiracy theory, as it has been in the liberal press?

Followers of QAnon pose definite accusations that, with enough work, can be verified or dismissed.  Forbes made an effort to verify Tara Reade's charges against candidate Biden and found a number of people who appeared to corroborate Reade's story.  Yet the charges were quickly dismissed by the liberal press, who then raised questions about Reade's competency and motives.  The charges were never followed up by the Justice Department.  Despite corroborating evidence, Reade found few who would listen to her — indeed, she found herself under attack for attempting to expose the Democrat candidate.

Another of QAnon's key charges is that the political elite are globalists who wish to create a New World Order governed by the elite themselves.  In order to do this, they must weaken the U.S. militarily and economically.

No informed person can deny that U.S. military power declined under Obama/Biden or that Biden intends to shift funding away from the U.S. military.  It may be that the Biden family is willing to sell out their country for a few million dollars, but much greater principles are at stake.  A fundamental tenet of the left's thinking is that America must not continue as the world's pre-eminent military and economic power.  As Obama liked to say on his American-guilt tour, America is not the equal of any nation on Earth — it is worse because of its history of imperialism, genocide, and greed.  That belief was the basis of the Obama/Biden foreign policy, and it seems to be the basis of Biden/Harris policy as well.

Is the QAnon charge of globalist bias accurate or not?  Can QAnon's thinking in this instance be dismissed as a conspiracy theory? 

Time's reporter worries that conservatives who share "elements" of QAnon thinking are getting elected to local office.  Again, there's the rhetorical nuance of dismissing those with vaguely defined "elements" of a certain way of thinking.  A more thoughtful analysis would consider the actual policies of these candidates.   

Democrats have treated Marjorie Greene the same way they have Rep. Lauren Boebert, Tara Reade, and others whose ideas and testimony threaten their interests.  It is up to the American people to support those who are truthful and courageous, and to see beyond the bogeyman of "guilt by QAnon association."  Certainly, in one respect, QAnon is correct: many of the Washington elite are corrupt, and their corruption needs to be exposed. 

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

Image via Pickpik.

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