For the better part of three years, some of Donald Trump’s most diehard followers have been watching for what they believe to be a signal that their dear one is about to wipe out his foes in one blow. Supposedly, an adviser to Trump has been using 4chan and 8chan to dribble out Trump’s plans to open the trap door under a nest of pedophiles–and in the process, ensnaring nearly everyone who is anyone in the Democratic Party and entertainment.
This theory, known as QAnon, has been debunked several times over. Moreover, its followers have harassed and trolled innocent people by the dozens, branding them as either pedophiles or covering for pedophiles. Indeed, many of the most vocal QAnon promoters believe that those who loudly oppose Trump are, at the very least, covering for pedophiles.
They have also engaged in real-world violent behavior–holding up traffic at gunpoint, kidnapping, and even murder. It’s no wonder that the FBI branded QAnon a domestic terrorist threat. Recently, in what can only be described as a long-overdue move, Facebook has deleted or restricted a number of pro-QAnon groups, while Twitter nuked several pro-QAnon accounts.
But this truly deplorable element appears to have support from an important quarter–the White House itself. Last week, when asked whether he was concerned about QAnon’s growing following, Trump wondered what the fuss was all about. After all, from what little he knew about QAnon, its followers “like me very much” and “love our country.”
This probably explains why the high priestess of QAnon, Liz Crokin, was skipping and dancing when Trump took the stage at the White House South Lawn to close the Republican National Convention. Many observers on both sides of the aisle saw this speech as one of Trump’s swampiest acts yet. At worst, it was a flagrant violation of federal laws against using government facilities for campaign purposes. At best, it flouted longstanding norms against intermixing the trappings of the White House with a reelection campaign.
But Crokin saw something else–a signal that all the calls to “trust the plan” were justified.
Trump took the stage flanked by 54 flags. Crokin noted that if you add the flag that has long flown atop the White House, the White House was festooned with 55 flags. To Crokin’s mind, this was one of many signs that “The Storm”–what QAnon kooks call the supposed crackdown on those “sick and evil” pedophiles–is about to begin.
For one thing, Crokin claimed that the 4chan poster driving this conspiracy, known as simply “Q,” referred to a 5:5 ratio in a video predicting Hillary Clinton was about to be arrested–a post that is generally considered the flashpoint for the QAnon lunacy. She also noticed that just 24 hours earlier, Trump paid tribute to NYPD detective Miosotis Familia, who was killed in the line of duty in 2017. According to Crokin, Familia saw this video. Additionally, Q’s 55th post claimed that “the storm is upon us”–meaning that the mass arrests long heralded by Q were about to begin.
Confused yet? Don’t worry, so are we. But even if you take anything from Crokin and other QAnon cooks with several truckloads of salt, consider what you’d have to believe if Trump really was sending a signal to all of those “patriots” out there. Remember, Trump delivered his speech before some 1,000 people on the South Lawn–with no social distancing and almost no one wearing masks. In other words, this event was a super spreader waiting to happen.
So if you believe Crokin, Trump was willing to throw caution to the winds and put thousands of people in the Washington area in danger–all in the name of giving a signal to some of his most diehard supporters. That prospect is patently loony, even by Trumpian standards. Then again, it’s as loony as the entire QAnon business is as a whole.
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