Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, August 3rd, 2018.


Q-razy

Trump Maladministration

To me, the most bizarre belief of the QAnon hoax is that the military chose Trump to be president. This is from a fascinating interview with a real-life QAnon believer in the Washington Post.

The Clintons, he said, “subverted” Barack Obama, whose presidency, according to QAnon, caused mounting dissatisfaction in the military, where Burton has been led to believe the seed of “Q” was planted.

“Apparently military brass in the Pentagon got sick and tired of it, and they found a candidate that they could discuss everything with,” Burton said. “And apparently they went to Trump and asked Trump to run.”

I asked him why these renegades chose Trump. “They probably thought he would win,” he said.

Or, maybe it’s this part:

The Russia investigation is a sham. It’s actually a cover story for special counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump working together to expose thousands of pedophiles hidden in plain sight — including Hillary Clinton (and Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama), who will soon be under arrest. (Or perhaps already have been and are on their way to Guantanamo Bay.)

Another theory is that the Clintons and Obamas are under a weird house arrest, even though they travel a lot, and must wear ankle bracelets. Also, too:

The GOP lost the Alabama special election for Jeff Sessions’s Senate seat on purpose — a plan devised years ago to reveal the use of fraudulent voting machines and, ultimately, take down none other than George Soros. Or the Rothschilds. Or the Illuminati.

Conspiracy theories about George Soros are a whole genre in themselves, of course. A few months ago I started seeing references to the Rothschilds in social media posts and thought I was hallucinating. But no, we don’t have enough curren craziness but must resurrect 19th century conspiracy theories. And who knows how old the hoaxes about the Illuminati have been in circulation.

But talk about crazy —

And there’s no White House chaos at all; in fact, despite legal scandals and special counsel investigations and bile-laden tweets, everything, absolutely everything, is going just as Donald Trump intended it. …

… [QAnon] has one overarching — and, if you’re a Trump supporter, hopeful — message: Donald Trump is in complete control. Of everything.

Which begs the question — if he has all this control, why evey play games? Why not just use executive power to smite his deep state enemies?

It doesn’t seem to matter that Q’s prophecies don’t come  true.

In a posting on November 1, 2017, Q said that on November 3 and 4, John Podesta, chair of Clinton’s 2016 campaign, would be arrested, military control would take hold, and “public riots would be organized in serious numbers to prevent the arrest and capture of more senior public officials.”

And who is Q? Maybe Trump himself. Or, maybe John F. Kennedy, Jr., faked his own death in order to establish himself as Q. Yeah, that makes sense.

Richard Hofstadter wrote in 1964:

The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.

Now we’ve evolved to a new level in which the government is still evil (except for the military part), but Trump is some kind of messiah figure come to save it. I have noticed that in the theorists’ addled brains Trump is not part of “the government.” If anyone tries to reason with any of them, they often retort something along the lines of “Oh, you believe THE GOVERNMENT story, huh?” If you point out to them that Trump is part of THE GOVERNMENT, and in fact is in charge of it, that visibly disorients them.

The Hofstadter article reminds us that the extreme right has believed since the end of World War II that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by evil people trying to undermine America, and so in some ways the “deep state” isn’t anything new.  It used to be Communists, of course. I’m not sure all the conspiracists agree who the deep state serves. Many put Them — whether liberals, radical jihadists, homosexuals, whatever — all in the same camp, as illogical as that may be.

Is it worse now than it used to be? The crazies used to believe that Dwight Eisenhower was working for the Communists. But now we have social media, which tends to act as a feedback loop that drivess people further and further into the fever swamp.

Hofstadter:

The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millennialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date fort the apocalypse. (“Time is running out,” said Welch in 1951. “Evidence is piling up on many sides and from many sources that October 1952 is the fatal month when Stalin will attack.”)

As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated—if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

Let’s just say that this all bears watching. If something happens that forces them to face reality — Bob Mueller exposes Trump as a traitor, say — they could get very dangerous.

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