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Vice President Mike Pence with members of the Broward County, Florida, SWAT team on Nov. 30, 2018. The officer wearing the “Q” patch was later disciplined and lost his tactical assignment. Wikipedia photo.

One of the many disturbing things about the Trump era is learning just how crazy many Americans are. For years now, susceptible old white people have been taught that only right-wing propaganda can be trusted. Anything else is fake news. All Trump supporters are immersed in a sea of propaganda. On the far fringe is QAnon.

NBC News reported yesterday that a QAnon book was No. 56 on Amazon’s list of bestselling books.

“The book claims without evidence a variety of outlandish claims including that prominent Democrats murder and eat children,” the NBC News story says. QAnon believers regularly appear at Trump rallies holding up “Q” signs.

“Adherents of the Qanon conspiracy theory falsely believe that the world is run by a Satanic cabal helmed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,” the NBC story says.

In an article about QAnon last August, the Washington Post wrote: “QAnon flirts with eschatology, fascist philosophy and the filmmaking of Francis Ford Coppola. Adherents believe a ‘Great Awakening’ will precede the final storm foretold by Trump. Once they make sense of the information drip-fed to them by ‘Q,’ they will usher in a Christian revival presaging total victory.”

A friend who monitors Twitter (I stay away from Twitter) sometimes sends me “tweets” from QAnon crazies. Not only do they really believe that stuff, they also believe that they’re the smart ones, that they’re on the inside of what’s really going on. It’s the rest of us who are fools.

QAnon, it would seem, serves two purposes. For one, it helps to keep right-wingers inflamed and alienated by demonizing those who practice rational politics. And, for two, it makes money for some very nasty people.

NBC News writes: “Conspiracy theory researcher Mike Rothschild told NBC News that ‘An Invitation to the Great Awakening’ is a new way for those pushing the QAnon conspiracy theory to make cash, since recent changes to YouTube’s algorithm have made it harder for conspiracy theorists to find new followers and cash in on true believers.”

The larger problem is that right-wing propaganda is highly profitable. In 2016 (the most recent year for which I can find numbers), Fox News had profits of $1.67 billion. MSNBC didn’t even come close, at $279 million. CNN is moving up, and is probably moving to the right, as well.

If we ever get out of this mess, one of the problems to be solved is to figure out how to deal with the fact that duping ignorant old white people is so profitable. According to Michael Cohen’s testimony last week, that’s why Trump ran for president in the first place. The Trump campaign was to be the “greatest infomercial in political history.” Inseparable from the problem of the profitability of right-wing politics is the profitability of right-wing religion — tax free. Christian revival indeed.

One Comment

  1. Dan wrote:

    These are some scary times.

    Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

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