Here’s a question that would have been worth asking Idaho Republican candidates before the primary, but is still worth it after the results come in and the party’s nominations settled:
Are you Q?
Will you join in with fellow Republicans (and it is all or nearly all Republicans) who cry out, “We are Q”?
The answer would give you something highly useful to know when considering whether to place this person in a position of public responsibility.
For those not in the loop on this, a little background.
The Q may have been launched after an October 2017 remark by President Donald Trump, describing the moment as “maybe the calm before the storm.” Odds are he meant nothing serious or momentous.
But it struck like a thunderbolt in some quarters. Days later, a message appeared online on the 4chan board under the handle “Q” (I’ve wondered: is it coincidental that a character in Star Trek was like-named?), which is supposed to refer to a high-security clearance level. He (or she? or ...?) left a series of puzzling statements, referred to among the cognoscenti as “crumbs,” thought to allude to events of great import, mostly events just about to happen, sometimes with specific time frames attached.
What sort of events? That has shifted with time. One description in one news account offered, “In the black hole of conspiracy in which ‘Q’ has plunged its followers, Trump only feigned collusion to create a pretense for the hiring of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is actually working as a ‘white hat,’ or hero, to expose the Democrats. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros are planning a coup — and traffic children in their spare time. J.P. Morgan, the American financier, sank the Titanic.” There are variations. There have been many predictions of major events, few of which even by generous interpretation have come to pass.
It has moved beyond conspiracy theory to become a kind of club. Adherents to the Q-cult have sort of adopted the slogan, “Where we go one, we go all” (or, WWG1WGA). If this is sounding a little like the origins of a new religion, well, that’s a growing characterization, too.
There are practical impacts. One report this week said, “QAnon users are posting make-at-home recipes for hydroxychloroquine …”
Imaginative stuff from tin foil hat country, in other words. A constituency for it has developed.
Bringing this a little closer to home: Across the Snake River, and like Idaho, Oregon just held its primary election, and the results there are in. In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Jeff Merkley won the Democratic nomination, as expected, and his chief opponent on the Republican side, defeating a number of contenders, will be a financial advisor named Jo Rae Perkins.
Perkins, it turns out — this seems not to have been widely known beforehand — is a Q adherent. In announcing her win, she said on a video, “Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team.”
The political analyst Chris Cillizza suggested in noting this, “The problem for the state Republican Party is that they now have a nominee for the United States Senate who believes in a wild conspiracy theory — and who will, undoubtedly, use the platform afforded her by being the party’s nominee to promote the QAnon message. That’s a big problem for the Oregon Republican Party.”
Bringing this back across the Snake River: How many Q-anoners has the Idaho Republican Party just nominated to office?
So far as I know, none. But, really, what are the odds of that?
Idaho voters should want to know.
And if you’re a candidate, if you’re a Q-anoner, stand up and say so. Let us all know who you are.