Why do People Buy into Qanon?
The Qanon conspiracy centers around one individual, who goes by Q and who claims to have access to top-secret information about the government, especially about the Trump Administration. The first posts by “Q” started on the 4chan message board. Since then posts have included conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, other Democratic politicians and anti-Trump people.
In Ben Collins’ ABC News article “What is Qanon? A guide to the conspiracy theory taking hold amount Trump supporters,” Jared Holt, a research associate for Right Wing Watch, says that Qanon gives Trump supporters “a way to explain away any scandal or slip-up the president may face.” Followers of the conspiracy theory can use it to explain any typos or wrongdoings committed by the president.
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
When Donald Trump tweeted about “17 angry democrats” the number 17 became a frequent point of conversation for Qanon followers on the internet. According to “How Donald Trump’s own words have helped fuel the Qanon fire” by Marcus Gilmer, This tweet led to theories about a deeper meaning and a connection or nod to Qanon, because the 17th letter in the alphabet is Q.
Qanon has all the characteristics of all conspiracy theories: nothing is as it seems, nothing happens by accident, and everything is connected. Qanon truly tries to connect every seemingly unimportant detail into an elaborate story and becomes a very farfetched conspiracy theory, that is backed up with what seems like very persuasive evidence.
At first, Qanon and all of the conspiracy that comes from it seems so farfetched and difficult to see how anyone would buy into the theories, but Collins’ and Gilmer’s articles show the ways in which Qanon could be considered beneficial to Trump supporters. Whether or not every Qanon follower believes every statement put out by “Q” I think that the main reason to buy into the conspiracy theory is that it is a way for them to support Trump, even though he makes ridiculous statements sometimes. Like most conspiracy theories the believers want to believe them for their own beneficial reasons. Qanon and the connection to Donal Trump is a great example of how conspiracy theories develop and why anyone would believe them.