On the day Jo Rae Perkins won Oregon’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate this May, she tweeted a catchphrase that a select group of people would instantly recognize: “Where we go one, we go all.” It was the signature slogan of QAnon, a far-right conspiracy movement.
Perkins has little chance of defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in November, but her primary win signaled something strange and troubling moving beneath the political waves.
Then Marjorie Taylor Greene, another vocal QAnon follower, trounced her opponents in a June primary in Georgia in a heavily Republican district, finishing 20 percentage points ahead of her closest competitor. If Greene, who has expressed racist views, maintains her current level of support, she’ll win a runoff in August and will likely be elected to the House this fall.
On Tuesday, Lauren Boebert, a pistol-packing rookie candidate who claims to be “very familiar” with QAnon and hopes that it “is real,” ousted a five-term Republican Congressman in a Colorado primary. With her victory, 11 GOP candidates in the general election have embraced or flirted with a conspiracy movement that the FBI considers a potential domestic terrorism threat.
QAnon is, put simply, an ever-mutating cluster of baseless conspiracy theories. Its foundational belief is that a high-ranking government official known only as “Q” has been using cryptic posts on internet message boards to transmit clues about nefarious elites and so-called deep state bad actors who are waging a secret spiritual war against President Donald Trump.
It is a struggle that QAnoners hope will culminate in an authoritarian moment they call “The Storm.” This is when the military will round up and imprison ― or perhaps execute ― Trump’s antagonists, who usually tend to be Democratic politicians, members of the media, Hollywood celebrities and other types targeted by the political right. No lunacy is too far-fetched for QAnon, no...