QAnon and March 4th


Brent Stirton/Getty

QAnon shaman Jake Angeli

Nika Anderson, Reporter

In the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection that took place in our nation’s capital, a new group of extremists, known as QAnon, have taken the spotlight. This far-right group thrives on baseless conspiracy theories about a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles made up of prominent Democrats and celebrities, who have been threatening Donald Trump when he was in office. They opine that Trump will be reinstated as US president on March 4; this inauguration date used to be customary before the 20th amendment was passed in 1933. Washington D.C. is under tension from this newest danger that has recently surfaced from the realms of QAnon. Though their beliefs have been widely discredited, this group continues to pose a direct threat to America’s democracy. It comes to no surprise that the FBI deemed QAnon as a domestic terrorism threat.

The leader of QAnon, who goes by the pseudonym “Q” posts cryptic “clues” on social media message boards that contain “truths” which the right-wing extremists decipher. Q is a self-proclaimed US government official that alleges to have insight about a global child sex ring run by elites. Many supporters see Q’s posts as a viral puzzle that they need to solve. Those that are drawn to QAnon feel that they are playing a critical role in deciding the fate of our nation. The game-like quality of this online experience leads its supporters to have “political revelations” and believe that they are controlling history. Most are avid supporters of the disproved 2016 Pizzagate theory. They were adamant that a child sex-trafficking ring was being run by cannibalistic liberals at the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria during the Clinton campaign. This disproved belief led to an armed attack by Edgar Maddison Welch, who carried out a shooting at this D.C. pizzeria; thankfully, no fatalities ensued. Pizzagate has contributed to the QAnon ideology and similar unfounded theories have been created about deep-state actors systematically abusing kids. 

 QAnon mythology is popular with anti-vaxxers, 9/11 truthers, and those who believe that mass shootings were hoaxes. These beliefs also bind together white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other various racists. Extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers share many similarities with QAnon; it has also been notably popular among anti-maskers and those who don’t believe in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many influential people have also sympathized with QAnon beliefs, which include some high-profile conservatives, most notably Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. She notes that “Q is a patriot” and ardently supports the imagined existence of the cabal of child-consuming predators. Other QAnon promoters include Rep. Lauren Boebert and several other GOP congressional nominees. Even former president Trump praised the group’s “work” and understood that they were delighted in him. 

QAnon firmly believes that election fraud was behind Joe Biden’s presidency and demanded to overturn the results. They avidly believed in “The Storm” which was supposed to result in mass-arrests taking place on Jan 20, despite none of these promised events occurring. There was zero evidence to support these notions that martial law was declared and that Trump invoked the Insurrection Act. Some have been flummoxed and have been feeling betrayed when none of these events happened. QAnon changed their lore accordingly, adding that Biden’s inauguration was “part of the plan.” The inconsistencies and lack of credibility behind the Q-team still does not seem to deter its base of followers. In fact, this group has gained global popularity, with many European countries amassing large amounts of supporters. There is a Japanese variant of QAnon, which is also known as JAnon. The QAnon movement appeared to be confined to America, but has gotten worldwide attention in the span of these few months.

It is no doubt that QAnon supporters have played a large role in the deadly Capitol riots; the security of the nation had been undermined when these attacks occurred. The raging mob had clearly violent intentions when their “Stop the Steal” rally took a turn for the worse on Jan 6. They stormed the Capitol in hopes of rounding up political leaders to assassinate. The insurrectionists chanted to hang Mike Pence; a gallows was erected. They demanded his execution since he voted to certify Biden’s victory. Some rioters were clad in paramilitary gear and were armed with various weapons including rifles, handguns, grenades, machetes, and even had extra ammunition. One even carried zip-ties, which were possibly for handcuffing lawmakers. Explosive devices such as pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails were discovered nearby as well. Many individuals were found to be carrying loaded guns and several intended to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Five deaths came of the siege; one of which was Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. This infiltration was planned with a disturbing accuracy which could have resulted in many more deaths. These people are not daunted by the consequences of being charged with federal crimes.

Almost 5,000 National Guard troops will be stationed In Washington, D.C. through mid-March, as QAnon supporters believe that another “Great Awakening” will happen on March 4. They want Trump to be sworn back into office and may go to any length to secure his power. Trump racking up prices at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. was seen as a prelude to his return to White House by many Q-Anon supporters. Their movement gained more traction from what they heard about these room rates and ideas began circulating the internet that a second Capitol rampage was possible. QAnon’s reasoning behind Trump regaining his presidency on March 4 also stems from the “sovereign citizen” movement. These theorists insist that Trump would be America’s 19th president and that all of the others have been illegitimate. 

The adherents of QAnon are responsible for violence and propagating misinformation. Unrest is not surprisingly anticipated from these individuals. Over the course of these events, many apps have taken steps to restrict QAnon activity online to stop the spread of their fictitious statements. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have taken measures to reduce conspiratorial content. An example is Trump had been banned from Twitter for “incitement of violence” following the Jan 6 riot. QAnon’s culture makes its disciples prone to fact-checking; it has ingrained them with only accepting lies about child-consuming predators. Hopefully, these falsehoods will no longer pollute the media as time goes on.