Donald Trump embraces QAnon
The former President has been making explicit overtures to the conspiracy
At a recent campaign rally for Ohio Republican Senate candidate JD Vance, Donald Trump walked onstage to a song entitled “Mirrors” by Will Van De Crommert — something that Media Matters, a Left-leaning media watchdog group, claimed was actually a song called “Wwg1wga” by the artist Richard Feelgood. The latter song’s title references the QAnon motto “where we go one, we go all” and serves as a de facto anthem for the group, which has developed a sort of secular theology around the premise that Trump is engaged in heroic battle against pedophilic elements who control the entire world (his anticipated victory is captured in the hopeful phrase “trust the plan”).
The Trump team’s denial that they had repurposed the QAnon anthem was belied by other contemporaneous Trump nods to the group, including a recent post on his Truth Social network in which the same music is played in a series of clips. In one, the former President can be seen criticising the Biden administration while in another, he is wearing what appears to be a QAnon pin in an image captioned “the storm is coming.”
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Predictably, this has sent “fash-finding” commentators like Keith Olbermann into conniption fits. Never one to let concern about hyperbole get in the way of a viral tweet, Olbermann fired off a post that read “After Saturday’s rally, the modified Sieg Heil, the music, the QAnon madness…Trump IS America’s Hitler.”
The more nuanced explanation is likely that Trump — an enthusiastic if not especially careful salesman — is throwing yet more far-Right doggerel at the walls in the hopes that some of it will stick, unconcerned with its broader implications. Certainly clearer heads concerned with the problem of systematic underage sexual abuse raised by situations like l’affaire Epstein would recognise the folly of perpetuating a zany conspiracy theory that has made the underlying point it attempts to prove a matter of ridicule in polite society.
Of course, this has never stopped Trump before. He rose from reality television stardom to national politics on the back of his support of “birtherist” demands of former President Barack Obama. Trump was still riding that wave in 2013 — two years before he launched his presidential campaign — noting that the issue “made me very popular” and remarking that he still didn’t know whether Obama’s true origins had been convincingly established.
He continued in this vein after winning the 2016 presidential election. In 2017, he remarked that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the violent protests in Charlottesville. And during a presidential debate in September 2020, he responded to Joe Biden’s denunciation of the Right-wing Proud Boys by telling members to “stand back and stand by.”
The larger question of whether Trump means any of what he says or posts hangs heavy in the air — and he surely wants it to remain suspended there. For opponents like Olbermann as well as his most fervent proponents, he is the bright orange sun around which all the hot takes and game theorising revolves.
However, it is entirely possible he means nothing at all, given that he also enters political rallies accompanied by the not-so-subtle strains of the professional wrestler The Undertaker’s theme and hits from Broadway composer (and former Trump Tower resident) Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songbook.
Meanwhile, he remains one of the more strident pro-vaccination Republicans — the release of which he highlights as a significant accomplishment of his administration — as well as the man who delivered on mainstream conservative goals of reshaping the American Supreme Court and slashing corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%. It is unlikely that anything he does now, up to and including shooting someone in the street, could sway public opinion one way or the other; his haters hate him, his supporters “trust the plan,” and Right-leaning voters will hold their noses and vote for him. Embracing Q is just more red meat for his Right-wing base — and they love him for it.
I prefer to judge US presidents on economic outputs, their mood towards the British and their ability to avoid wars in countries far away that they are unable to prosecute to a peaceful conclusion. Nothing else matters to me personally. Trump is a wind-up merchant – entertaining to some – and I can only guess as to why supposedly educated journalists get so worked up about him.
Guardian this morning bemoaning that no UK/US Trade deal is in sight (Tories bad, Biden good) and it seems only yesterday when a Trade Deal with the US was a Bad Thing because it meant the end of rNHS (Tories bad, Trump bad).
FWLIW my instinct is to caution against any trade deal with the US. It will be their way or no way at all.
So what is going on? Biden’s only way of consolidating his position at mid-terms is by convincing the US voters of the merit of his presidency. All I hear so far is unsubstantiated concerns that “Trump is going to run again” ergo, voting en masse for Biden will avoid that unimaginable horror. Little on policies/achievements.
Drop articles about Trump – ignore him. Stop obsessing about what comes from a politicians mouth, just concentrate on his hands. Write articles about recent measurable successes by President Biden, that have changed the world around us. Not bannings, fines, exclusions – actual achievements. Maybe also the EU?
And then I may even be persuaded that articles like the above are not yet more page filler to avoid addressing the real issues facing us in the West and what politicians are doing/not doing about it.
Just be journalists. For once.
Write articles about recent measurable successes by President Biden, that have changed the world around us.
I think, therein, lies the problem for the progressive media because it is the measurable failures of Biden that really make the news and he can only be said to have changed the world for the worst: on every issue from his arguably deliberate mismanagement of the Wu ’flu crisis, the shambles his office made of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his son Hunter Biden’s laptop, the family’s generally shady dealings in both Ukraine (Burisma Holdings) and China (CEFC China Energy), the inflation crisis, his inability to master the trick of putting on a jacket and the obvious fact that the man is either senile or very ill or so spectacularly incompetent to suggest he is both.
Trump at his most oafish was never that bad for the USA. In fact he was very, very good in comparison to Brandon. Like many, I have grown to miss him desperately over these past two awful years for no amount of sour snipes about QAnon or the prime time McCarthyism of the January 6th Committee (hang your head in shame, Amerika) will obscure the criminally dire consequences of the Democrat Party’s policies on the USA and, by extension, the Western world.
I felt strongly enough to comment on another one of Mr Bateman’s sloppy mud–slinging exercises on UnHerd earlier this summer. I am sad to see that he has not changed his tune: pearl–clutching invective is quite simply not a good look in political commentary but it seems to be the go–to tone for progressive analysis.
Perhaps it is an “age” thing. I don’t know. Young folk these days. I despair of the future in journalism &c …
I agree – this article is sheer innuendo-mud-slinging garbage: he EVEN tries to resuscitate the “really fine people” calumny – listen to Trump’s entire response about Charlottesville (somehow, the Keith Oberman clones, like the author, do not let the facts interfere with an opinion.
QAnon indeed! What a thinly disguised crock.
And so? What are the facts?
When a contemporary journalist is writing about Donald Trump, facts don’t matter. The most important thing is the signal the journalist is trying to send to the oligarchy.
Well the facts are that QAnon is rubbish and Trump should steer away.
That’s not a fact. That’s an opinion.
Q-anon? Really? Q is full of trolls who wind up leftist journos with nothing better to write about.
I know a lot of conservatively-minded people, and I have only ever heard “QAnon” mentioned by the folks of the left. Perhaps QAnon is a useful leftist myth?
After last Thursday’s speech, the military guards, the blood red background, the “enemies of the state” rhetoric… Biden IS America’s Hitler.
See Keith, two can play this stupid reducto-ad-Hitlerum game.
He didn’t need the nuance of throwing something at the walls to get Qanon votes. He has them. What an odd misunderstanding of the situation by the writer of this article. No, Trump is the best president in American history in spite of instances of bad character judgement. Qanon are nuts whose predictions never came about. Omarosa was a ridiculous and poisonous addition to his early White House. Dr Oz should never have been his endorsed candidate for the Pennsylvania cabinet and many of us told him so. But his achievements in office are the baby, not the bathwater.
QAnon is nonsense – but so was The Atlantic’s recent article telling us that men aren’t really stronger than women. Progressives mocking right wing beliefs would work better if they didn’t cling to so many bizarre beliefs themselves.
Mr Bateman takes what Media Matters says as enough to build a column around, and believes that Trunp said both sides of the Charlottesville situation were fine people (under aggressive questioning at that press briefing, he specified, repeatedly, that he was referring only to the people who wanted to preserve the Lee statue, and that he condemned the right-wing hooligans). Batemandoes not deserve any attention and is best ignored until he goes away.
The three greatest mistakes of the C21st:
Radical Islam thinking it could bomb itself into MIGATrumpers thinking (?) He is a good man who’ll MAGAPutin’s invasion of the Ukraine to MRGAAll three rely on the trope of a fall from a glorious past, and fevered sense of persecution from progression ….and all three are over, though fights and shouting continue. So begins the decades long empirical study of these phenomena. Why so long?
“Science proceeds one funeral at a time.”
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