A new poll foound that 50% of Donald Trump supporters believe at least some aspects of the Qanon conspiracy theory and another 33% think it could be true. According to the theory "there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who rule the world, essentially, and they control everything. They control politicians, and they control the media. They control Hollywood, and they cover up their existence, essentially. And they would have continued ruling the world, were it not for the election of President Donald Trump. ... Followers of QAnon also believe that there is an imminent event known as "The Storm", when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested and possibly sent to Guantanamo Bay prison or to face military tribunals, and the U.S. military will brutally take over the country. The result will be salvation and utopia on earth." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon)
Nearly half (47%) of Trump supporters who have heard of the conspiracy theory just aren’t sure what to make of it. A little more than one in six (15%) Trump voters think QAnon is true, while about the same number (16%) think it’s an extremist theory with no basis in fact. One in five (22%) think it goes too far, butbelieve some aspects of the conspiracy.
However, when the specific allegations of QAnon were put to voters, fully half (50%) of Trump supporters said they think Democrats are involved in elite child sex-trafficking rings, while another third (33%) aren’t sure. Only about one in six (17%) Trump voters say they don’t believe in such a theory. The vast majority (82%) of Biden’s supporters don’t believe the conspiracy, although 5% say they do and 13% say they’re not sure.
Among Trump’s supporters, roughly the same results appear when respondents were asked if they think Trump is working to dismantle said sex-trafficking ring: 52% think he is, 12% don’t think so and 37% are not sure. Again, a wide swath of Biden’s voters (80%) don’t believe it.
When President Trump was asked during his NBC town hall if he would completely disavow QAnon and reject its claims that Democrats run a satanic pedophile ring and that he is the savior, he responded, “I know nothing about QAnon” and went on to say that he knows that “they are very strongly against pedophilia and I agree with that.” Three-quarters (74%) of his supporters said his response was appropriate, while only 5% thought it was inappropriate. About one in five (21%) said they’re not sure. We see opposite responses among Biden supporters: 71% thought the response was inappropriate, 5% thought itwas appropriate and 24% said they they’re not sure.
Before posing questions regarding QAnon, the Yahoo/YouGov poll asked respondents about child sex trafficking as a general issue. Roughly three in 10 (31%) registered voters have seen posts of received emails from friends or family about child sex trafficking, with Trump voters more likely than Biden supporters to say so, by 38% to 24%. A little less than half (45%) of voters think child sex trafficking is a big problem in the U.S., and another 28% think it’s somewhat of a problem. Just 8% think it’s either a small problem (7%) or not a problem at all (1%). When it comes to child sex trafficking, the majority of both Trump supporters (83%) and Biden supporters (64%) think child sex trafficking is a problem, however Trump supporters are more likely than Biden supporters to see it as a “big” problem, by 53% to 37%. (https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/10/20/hal...)
In addition there are 23 Republican and two third party candidates for Congress and two third party who have made favourable comments on Qanon and may well be ready to support Trump as an autocratic saviour. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/16/in-qanon-linked-us-candidates-...)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes conspiracy theories like QAnon and Pizzagate pose a domestic-terrorism threat. (https://www.thedailybeast.com/fbi-warns-against-qanon-pizzagate-in-repor...)
Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon) already describes 11 incidents of violence or threats related to Qanon.
- 11.2.1Tucson cement plant incident
- 11.2.2Hoover Dam incident
- 11.2.3Targeting of Michael Avenatti
- 11.2.4Harassment of Jim Acosta
- 11.2.5Grass Valley Charter School fundraiser
- 11.2.6Murder of Frank Cali
- 11.2.7Kidnapping incidents
- 11.2.8Tintagel flag
- 11.2.9Jessica Prim arrest
- 11.2.10Aggravated assault in Texas
- 11.2.11Misinformation on the 2020 Western United States wildfire season
Whether Trump wins or loses this presents a real threat to democracy in the U.S. A Trump (who has refused to condemn Qanon repeatedly) victory could enable him to gain support for his "Lock 'em all up" comments, that are echoed by his followers, to be activated and to be further supported by extreme right supporters in the military, police and judicial system. If he loses, he could use the theory to help activate then Qanon large part of his base, as well as some of his other hard-core supporters such as the militias that have already attempted to kidnap and kill Michigan governor Witmer, to riot and commit widespread acts of violence.
With so many already supporting Qanon, this and other conspiracy theories of its ilk and their dangerous ramaifications are not going away any time soon, even if Trump disappears quietly into the dark night, which I think is unlikely. Instead, in the event of defeat and failure to ignite widespread violence, I believe he will start Trump TV to foment further problems.