We Should Talk About Q

The best thing to do first is whatever is the hardest. Okay. I’m going to write about QAnon.

It’s hard to know where to begin, because viewpoints on Q are so divided. Millions of Americans believe that millions of other Americans are being deceived. Something is seriously wrong here.

That’s probably a better way to talk about Q. I don’t think it’s helpful to call it a “conspiracy theory.” Instead: QAnon is one possible answer to the question that is on everyone’s mind.

The question is this: “How could all this be happening?”

I think this is something which keeps a lot of us up at night (or deep into it our distractions.) The major issues in the news today do not feel like the problems of yesteryear. There is chaos and calamity and what seems like nonsense at every turn. When we flip on the TV or go online, we don’t end up feeling informed. Instead—no matter how careful we are in our diet of news and other media—the result is distress.

How could all this be happening? QAnon presents a relatively straightforward answer: All of this insanity must be happening on purpose. Therefore, it’s a matter of tracking down who is pulling the strings, determining the nature of their crimes, and exposing them.

This is why the Q movement has had such dramatic growth and has not been derailed by fact-checking. Yes, there are many examples [1] of predictions that didn’t come true. But Q isn’t about verifiability. It’s about the widespread sentiment that powerful people can’t be trusted.

The exact details of who is supposedly doing what unspeakable act might seem crucial moment to moment. But in the long run what matters is “somebody must be pulling the strings” is a damned compelling answer to the question we are all asking. This is what QAnon is. It’s a dozen million people who believe they have been lied to.

There are several QAnon candidates for the next cycle [2]. But rather than join their number or dismiss them as crackpots, I would rather all of us keep asking the question.

How could all this be happening?

(The answer is: we don’t know who to trust.)


[1] https://www.newsweek.com/qanon-trump-march4-predictions-failed-1573739

[2] https://www.businessinsider.com/the-36-qanon-supporters-running-congress-in-the-2022-midterms-2021-6

1 Comment

  1. I find tolerance for uncertainty useful; if you can say I Don’t Know without gritting your teeth you’re less likely to be, ah, misled.

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