The Trump administration has had its fair share of controversies from the outset but few are more mysterious than an individual (or group, we just don’t know) who in October 2017, entered stage left of American politics when they posted on the anonymous imageboard website 4chan some rather astonishing claims.
Calling themselves only Q, which would later become QAnon, they would make the claim that they had exclusive access to classified information regarding the Trump administration and it’s opponents. QAnon would make some incredible claims, first and foremost, is that president Donald Trump is fighting a secret war against an evil global cabal hell bent on world domination.
Consistent targets such as billionaire George Soros have been accused of being some sort of diabolical puppet master, pulling the strings on American politics and the global economy. Another, favorite punching bag of the right wing is of course the Clintons, who have been accused of everything from having a kill list (known as the Clinton Body Count) to being heavily involved in child sex trafficking dubbed ‘Pizzagate’.
This mysterious person or persons has been labeled a right wing conspiracy theorist, a hoaxer, a domestic terrorist and even a cult. More and more Trump supporters can be seen sporting QAnon T-shirts at his rallies, proving that many more are listening to Q’s claims and even more disturbingly believing them.
Is there someone inside the current administration posting coded messages online to inform Trump supporters of how well the secret war is going and they should prepare for an imminent victory? Many Americans certainly think so, as trust in government has slowly eroded over many decades causing many to be more susceptible to conspiracy theories.
This is far from a new phenomenon in American society with around 63% still believing Lee Harvey Oswald was not the only assassin and a staggering 1 in 10 people still believing that the Moon landings were faked. A secret that the 400,000 Nasa employees and contractors it took to make that giant leap possible, have all somehow never let that bombshell revelation slip in the last half century.
The rise of the keyboard warrior has also played a major part in QAnon’s popularity, with more and more people giving themselves the grand title of ‘online researcher’ as they uncover the ‘truth’ behind the curtain of American society as they expose the Illuminati, the Satanists, the New World Order or those shape shifting lizard people who apparently rule us all from the shadows.
Successive administrations from the past have not exactly helped themselves be seen in a favorable light by the people they are suppose to be serving. From the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s, to the false flag Gulf of Tonkin incident that would be used to start a war with Vietnam to Nixon’s Watergate. The corruption and misuse of power has long played a part in the American political psyche of the 20th and 21st centuries.
It becomes far more easier to believe a conspiracy theory when occasionally a few of them turn out to be true. Being party to some secret knowledge that only a chosen few have access to is also an alluring factor. With the rise of ‘fake news’ it has become almost fashionable to believe the truth is being hidden from you.
So, just how valid are the claims being made by the mysterious QAnon? Well, many of the predictions they have made regarding particular events on particular dates have been clearly and easily been proven false. QAnon quickly countered with the statement that his false claims and predictions were a deliberate use of disinformation. This has left many in the bizarre state of believing that any evidence presented by the left or the fake news that contradicts Qanon’s claims, is just more proof that they are right.
But there have been many more outlandish and astonishing claims made by this elusive so-called insider. Revelations like the German Chancellor Angela Merkel secretly being the granddaughter of Adolf Hitler not the Danzig politician Willi Jentzsch or the German policeman Ludwik Kasner. It was also claimed that staffer Seth Rich had been murdered in retaliation for his part in leaking Democratic National Committee emails.
This elaborate plot centers around DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hiring the notorious Salvadoran gang MS-13 to murder Rich for his perceived treachery. There are 12 Russian military intelligence agents who would very much like that to true, seeing how they were indicted in July 2018 for hacking the DNC’s e-mail accounts and networks.
Whether this is a single individual or a group, their identity has remained a secret, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation on who this might actually be. Some theorize that they may be a military intelligence officer while others believe it’s Trump himself squeezing in a few extra tweets to add to his daily average of 26.
QAnon and his followers talk of The Storm and The Great Awakening, an event that will see Trump emerge victorious against the nefarious ‘deep state’, arresting the thousands of members of the evil cabal and seeing the U.S. Military stage a coup. This sort of rhetoric has seen the social media companies step in, with both Facebook and Twitter removing QAnon related content from its platforms.
If the statistics are to be believed, the effect QAnon has had on the general public in minimal at best. In March 2020, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey that found that 76% of Americans stated they were totally unaware of the QAnon movement, while only 3% claimed to have extensive knowledge.
So, while the conspiracy theorists continue to fall helplessly down the rabbit hole, with president Trump’s approval ratings not far behind, the rest of United States will make their way to the polling stations on Tuesday, November 3 and make use of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.