The GOP Must Distance Itself From QAnon ASAP

by

Tuesday, September 29, 2020


Conspiracy theories often emerge at times of significant change, shock, and uncertainty where people find it hard to explain the phenomena surrounding them. Some state that the moon landing was fake, that Elvis Presley is still alive and, more recently, that Bill Gates is using the recent COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to vaccinate and microchip people. However, a recent conspiracy theory that has gained much traction is the QAnon conspiracy theory. 

So what is QAnon and what can be done to discredit it? 

According to Voice of America, “Q” is an online persona, which first emerged in 2017 on 4chan, claiming to be a government official with in-depth knowledge of the “deep state’s inner workings.” Specifically, Q claimed that Hillary Clinton would soon be arrested and that President Trump was secretly battling a deep state full of pedophiles. Other insane claims of Q include the idea that Robert Muller was secretly working with President Trump, with the Russia probe being a distraction, while Muller was actually investigating wealthy liberals such as Hillary Clinton, President Obama and George Soros who were allegedly staging a coup against President Trump. QAnon also claims that the CIA actually implemented Kim Jung Un, that the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is Hitler’s granddaughter and that mass shootings are fake. 

QAnon has gained even more traction now during the COVID-19 pandemic by stating that the coronavirus was designed to shelter Joe Biden, for appearing in public and debates, while eliminating and delaying Trump rallies. 

Even though this conspiracy began in the U.S., it soon reached an international audience. In fact, the majority of QAnon growth has taken place overseas. Apart from Trump, the international members of QAnon see leaders from their own countries as those capable of tearing down their own deep states. 

QAnon may seem like a fringe ideology, generated from internet subculture; however, it is one step before entering the Congress of the United States. On August 11, the Georgia GOP primary, a candidate by the name Marjorie Taylor Greene won the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 14th Congressional district. Apart from making bigoted videos regarding Muslims, Greene has expressed support for the Q conspiracy theory. Her seat has been labelled as “safe Republican,” meaning that she will most likely end up winning the 2020 election. 

Even though President Trump congratulated Mrs. Greene for her victory, many other Republican officials, rightfully so, have distanced themselves from Mrs. Greene. 

One of those who has done so is Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who called QAnon a fabrication that could be the product of Russian propaganda and, above all,that it has “no place in Congress.” He also stated that denouncing conspiracy theories should not be the exception, but rather the rule and that leaders ought to lead everywhere since a “momentary political avoidance” is not what those who wrote our Constitution envisioned for America. Specifically, he argues that representatives must be truth-tellers and that failure to be one break down the whole system. Therefore, even though it might be convenient to “capitalize” on such conspiracy theories in the short-term, the effects will be dangerous in the long-term. 

When Mrs. Greene, or any other QAnon supporter for that matter, enters Congress, the GOP House leadership must act immediately. A good suggestion would be to remove such individuals from committee assignments, as was done with Rep Steve King from Iowa, after making a bevvy of racist remarks. Not only was Rep King unable to accomplish anything, but the voter’s of Iowa’s 4th district voted King out during the 2020 GOP primary. 

However, what is even more critical is for Republican speakers and conservative pundits to speak out against this nonsense. Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney and Rachel Madow can speak out as much as they want about QAnon, and rightfully so, however, the Republican voter who believes such theories and votes for such candidates will most likely not be convinced. In fact, this could backfire. Those who need to take the upper hand and speak out against QAnon need to come “within the house” and should include prominent members of the Trump Administration, if not the President himself. 

Like many other Republicans, I want to see my party succeedespecially at a time where Democrats have moved further and further to the left with members of Congress embracing the mob rule, socialism, the defund ICE and the police movements and even their own share of conspiracy theories. However, in order for our party to succeed, we must be above all decent and should shy away from such conspiracies, which are not only morally wrong but also have the effect of alienating votersespecially young voters which will constitute the future of the country. 

 

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Anastasia is a MSc candidate in Democracy and Comparative Politics at the University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, to American parents, Anastasia has also lived in the United States and in France. During her free time, she enjoys traveling the world and spending time with her two dogs, Jasper and Charlie.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Anastasia Kourtis

Anastasia is a MSc candidate in Democracy and Comparative Politics at the University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, to American parents, Anastasia has also lived in the United States and in France. During her free time, she enjoys traveling the world and spending time with her two dogs, Jasper and Charlie.

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