One might hope that a president of the United States could be counted on to denounce a deranged right-wing conspiracy theory known as QAnon, which insists that top Democrats are secret Satan-worshiping cannibals. This ludicrous conspiracy theory goes on, insisting that President Donald Trump is fighting against these cannibals, and there’s a nearly constant steam of unhinged pronouncements about imminent arrests that never actually happen. At a Thursday night town hall on NBC, Trump refused to condemn QAnon, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined the chorus of condemnation for Trump in the aftermath.
In his Friday afternoon statement, Romney said:
‘The President’s unwillingness to denounce an absurd and dangerous conspiracy theory last night continues an alarming pattern: politicians and parties refuse to forcefully and convincingly repudiate groups like antifa, white supremacists, and conspiracy peddlers. Similarly troubling is their silence regarding anti-vaxxers, militias, and anarchists. Rather than expel the rabid fringes and the extremes, they have coddled or adopted them, eagerly trading their principles for the hope of electoral victories.’
Romney subsequently added that the two major parties could be “opening a door” to a mass movement that might eventually “eclipse them both.” Check out Romney’s statement below:
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) October 16, 2020
To be clear: it’s Republicans who have, by and large, been the ones to eagerly welcome peddlers of deranged conspiracy theories into their political party. There is no systematic equivalent among Democrats. The much-maligned “antifa” isn’t even any kind of centralized organization — there’s no four-star general of antifa — while QAnon itself is rather centralized, since the theory’s deranged pronouncements come from an anonymous internet user going by “Q.” As for the left-wing activists who those raising an alarm about “antifa” are generally trying to refer to — many of them don’t even like Democrats! To suggest that top Democrats are okay with violence and rioting and the like is just plain wrong, period. Joe Biden himself has unequivocally publicly condemned violence of all sorts, over and over again.
As for Trump and QAnon — the conspiracy movement itself “has been labeled a domestic terror threat by the FBI,” CNN reports, since the utterly unhinged claims about secret Satanic child abuse by top Democrats could be used as an excuse for further real-world vigilante violence. Even still, the president won’t condemn the lunacy.
Check out Twitter’s response to Romney below: