During a recent White House press conference, a journalist finally popped the question: “During the pandemic, the QAnon movement appears to be gaining a lot of followers. Can you talk about what you think about that?” President Donald Trump’s response was jaw-dropping and a perfect example of why many of his followers call him the Troller-in-Chief.
He responded that he didn’t know much about them other than that “they like me very much” and “they love our country.”
The reporter didn’t let him off the hook and followed up by explaining that QAnon believes that the president “is secretly saving the world from a satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Does that sound like something you are behind?”
Trump’s response can only be described as epic: “I haven’t heard that, but is that supposed to be a bad thing?” and “if I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it. And we are, actually. We’re saving the world from a radical left philosophy that will destroy this country, and when this country is gone, the rest of the world will follow.”
QAnon is an anonymous figure called Q that appeared on 4chan in October 2017 with a post claiming that Hillary Clinton was about to be arrested on a specific date. Intertwined with this prediction, Q talked about Clinton’s connection to Saudi Arabia.
The date came and went, and there was no arrest of Hillary Clinton. Instead, high-level people in Saudi Arabia were arrested by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on corruption charges. Q later explained that the Clinton arrest was a decoy to distract the enemy, but that enough information was given to verify the information in hindsight. Or in Q lingo: “future proves past.”
Since then, QAnon has garnered millions of followers around the world. Q writes in cryptic codes, and an entire cottage industry of decoders has emerged. One of the most well-known decoders is Dave Hayes, who on YouTube goes under the name Praying Medic.
The enticing thing about Q is that he, she, or they give the impression of having a military, government, and intelligence background. Q is, therefore, convincingly able to sound like someone with inside knowledge. For instance, Q brought attention to special investigator John Durham nearly two years before he was on the legacy media’s radar.
Much has been written about the QAnon movement in the media. Most of it has focused on unhinged statements by a small group of followers. Many people have asked why the media haven’t confronted Trump with the QAnon movement earlier.
The answer appears to be that they were waiting for the election season to start. The calculation seems to be that putting the president on the spot with QAnon would produce another outrage news cycle, thereby discouraging undecided and moderate voters.
Instead of disavowing or endorsing Q, Trump performed the kind of verbal jiujitsu he has become so renowned and loved for among his supporters. The legacy media probably didn’t expect Trump’s take-home message to be that he is saving the world from the radical left.
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