Since 2017, I have been hearing about something called “QAnon,” a political conspiracy theory that later transformed into political movement or cult. It all started when an anonymous person who called himself “Q” began spreading false claims that a cabal of Satanic cannibals and sexual abusers of children was operating a worldwide child sex trafficking ring that was conspiring against U.S. President Donald Trump. Among other things, QAnon accused Hillary Clinton of drinking children’s blood.
Members of the QAnon cult are all far-right extremists and avid fans of Donald Trump. They supported Trump’s presidential campaign in 2020 and waged information warfare in an attempt to influence voters. When Trump was defeated, they tried to overturn the election. Several eminent Trump associates—General Michael Flynn and two members of his legal team, Lin Wood and Sidney Powell—have promoted QAnon-derived conspiracy theories. And many of Trump’s supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, were QAnon followers. Most recently, Ginni Thomas (the wife of Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas) who participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, is reported to be a QAnon advocate. That attack exposed QAnon for what it is and led to a social media crackdown on the movement and its claims.
The actions of QAnon in support of Trump, including its attempt to overturn the 2020 election, are further evidence of the enduring damage Trump and his Republican followers have inflicted upon our nation. We need to denounce this movement and its conservative champions without reservation. American democracy is under attack. The sooner we fight back, the better.