When Q fails to deliver and goes silent, what then? (the outing of a conspiracy theory).
I have been fascinated with the Qanon phenomenon for a few years, observing the cryptic Q posts, and the growing community who support Q, almost religiously fanatical in their posts/reposts/crumb-following digital soldiering and pledges. My one question throughout the past few years of poking around the fringes of the fringe was simply a muttered, " WTF??
Anyone who has done even a cursory investigation of the Q phenomenon during the Trump presidency will observe the zeal and the fanatical energy among the followers. Q, from the early 4chan, to the 8chan and 8kun manifestations, made a point of insinuating that he/she/it/they had special inside knowledge of the US government and the military. Anyone could observe the mysterious "crumbs" of deep-state conspiracy ideas that Q "drops" to his followers, and anyone could chase down the inferences and make sense (or nonsense) of it all in the broader context of Trump's presidency and the over-arching belief that Trump will overturn the "demon-rats" (derisive term for democrats), arrest Hollywood and New York elites and finally try, and imprison the hordes of evil Satan-worshipping, baby-eating, sex-trafficking pedophiles including Tom Hanks, the Clintons and George Soros (who Q followers believe to be especially evil).
And all of this was to happen before the US inauguration on January 20, 2021. However, there were other "goalposts" in the Q timeline of things that were to unfold in America. The overturning of the US election results at the state level was one such objective, with the focus on the swing states that rejected Trump. As the claims of widespread fraud, alleged through more than 60 legal challenges by the Trump campaign failed, and were rejected by the various local, state and federal courts, a damper was placed on that hope. Every time a state had to recount and every time a state was accused of allowing fraudulent ballots to be counted, the Q followers would become excited and hopeful that Trump was finally going to win a second term (why a second term? Because he didn't get to the purging of the Deep-state in the first term so he obviously needed 4 more years to do the job Q had promised Trump would do). Q followers are still hoping the Durham report (the special counsel investigation that former AG Bill Barr initiated) will finally deliver the arrests, trials and justice that have, as yet, eluded the Q).
All of the Q conspiracy theories did not exist only the fringes of Facebook communities and far-right conservative websites and media outlets. Fox' News' talking-heads, the various show hosts from Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, to Hannity, Carlson and Ingram, all enabled so many lies to take root in the minds and hearts of otherwise well-meaning ordinary folk who just happened to get most of their news from Fox (and their various FB communities/links). The lies of widespread election fraud, illegal ballots, and all sorts of unproven claims were embraced and promoted by Trump's political henchmen in the Whitehouse and in Congress and in the US Senate, too, and they all share some of the blame for knowing better but still spreading lies from their positions as elected representatives of the very people they lied to.
All of these lies (the final count of Trump's lies suggests that Trump mis-spoke, lied, fibbed, stretched the bounds of truth, and deliberately deceived the US public over 30,000 times in just 4 years) led to the most egregious (and treasonous) act a sitting president could possibly commit - the gathering, stoking and sending of a mob of violent supporters who tried to take over the Capitol and prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from taking their places as the 46th President and Vice-President of the US. It sounds too incredible to be true, but all of that is a matter of public record, including the thousands of selfies the mob took of themselves as they broke into the Capitol. We, the general public, all watched in disbelief. We all watched, and we all gasped as Josh Hawley raised his clenched-fist toward the mob, as Ted Cruz spoke about election irregularities calling the Biden victory into question and asking for the ballots from the swing states to be ruled invalid. We all saw, and heard the live streams from the Capitol. We all saw and heard the violence perpetrated on the police, who were woefully out-numbered. We all saw and heard the chants calling for the hanging of former Vice -President, Mike Pence. We all saw and heard how some Republican congressmen and women refused to wear masks while they were whisked away to a small room for their own protection during the siege - masks that were offered to them by their colleagues who were wearing them.
What was this madness? And in a pandemic too! How did this erupt in the US of all places? It seems democracy depends on a free press, reporting truth, and that press (derisively maligned as MSM or main-stream media by the other news outlets on the right) was vilified for 4 years and repeatedly slammed for presenting "fake news". Trump himself once warned his followers to ignore what they are witnessing with their own eyes and ears, "What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening". So where did Trump's followers get their news if not from the normal range of main stream media? They got their ideas from Trump loyalists and propagandists at Fox, and other sources from the far right. Once you control the news that the public consumes, it is easy to divide people. And what we saw on Jan 6, 2021 is the logical conclusion of people being fed a steady diet of lies from the president and his propagandists on the far right.
Now to tie this all up and return to Q, it is significant that the far-right media have never distanced themselves promoting and spreading the embarrassing and unproven claims of Trump's election fraud, or from Q's insinuation that Trump will purge all the evil-doers in Hollywood, New York, and Washington, cleansing the Deep-state in the various intelligence agencies of the US government and throughout the various agencies of the US government. This is part of the problem. It is a problem when people who should know better (journalists, lawyers, politicians etc.), deliberately promote their lies for their own political purposes. Will any of them apologize for their lies and for deceiving their electorate, (the people who trusted them to represent them. Will any of the Q followers finally admit they were duped?
January 20 answered a lot. Biden and Harris were inaugurated. Trump made a disgraceful exit. Q has gone dark.
But is this dark chapter of US history over? I think not.