Last Friday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ripped into the “bizarre” and “embarrassing” right-wing, antisemitic conspiracy cult QAnon, whose members have been brainwashed into believing that a global cabal of powerful pedophiles, ranging from politicians to celebrities to Jews, are running child sex-trafficking rings and kanoodling en masse to destroy President Donald Trump.
Biden cautioned that QAnon, its propaganda network OANN, and the free press they enjoy online, on television, on right-wing radio, and from people within American democratic institutions – including Trump – have the power to destroy the United States as we know it.
“What in God’s name are we doing? Look at how it makes us look around the world. It’s mortifying. It’s embarrassing, and it’s dangerous,” Biden exclaimed. “If the president doesn’t know better, which he has to know better, then my Lord we’re in much more trouble than I ever thought we were.”
“This can’t go on. This cannot go on,” Biden pled. “It’s the deconstruction of our democratic system.”
On Wednesday, Biden’s concerns were magnified by Genocide Watch President Gregory Stanton in an article published in Just Security, in which Stanton warned that “Nazism wants a comeback through QAnon” and its supporters within the American political far-right.
“A secret cabal is taking over the world,” Stanton wrote. “They kidnap children, slaughter and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power. Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon.”
Stanton has “studied and worked to prevent genocide for forty years,” he said, noting that “Genocide Watch and the Alliance Against Genocide, the first international anti-genocide coalition, see such hate-filled conspiracy theories as early warning signs of deadly genocidal violence.”
This narrative, including the deification of Trump by QAnon’s disciples, Stanton explained, is the same ideology shared by the Nazis in Germany under Adolf Hitler.
“The Nazis worshiped Adolf Hitler as the Leader who would rescue the white race from this secret Jewish plot. Nazi ‘storm troopers’ (‘storm detachment’ – Sturmabteilung) helped bring Hitler to power. Nazi Germany went on to conquer Europe and murder six million Jews and millions of Roma, Slavs, LGBTQ and other people,” Stanton said, adding that “America had its own dark side. Henry Ford echoed Nazi hatred of Jews and had 500,000 copies of the Protocols printed and distributed in the U.S. Father Coughlin preached the Protocols on national radio. The Ku Klux Klan combined its white supremacist racism with hatred of Jews.”
QAnon is but a mere “rebranding” of Nazism in the 1930s, its “true believers” proffer the hope that Trump will “rescue America from this Satanic cabal,” which “at the time of ‘The Storm,’ supporters of the cabal will be rounded up and executed,” Stanton said.
The latest rise of radical white supremacy in the United States, which has begun to metastisize in Europe, has eerie parallels to the socio-economic plights that befell the German population under the Versailles Treaty, which ended World War I and punished Germany with a debt it had no means, and, more importantly, no will, of repaying:
Many people are perplexed at how any rational person could fall for such an irrational conspiracy theory. But modern social science shows that people in groups don’t always think rationally. They respond to fear and terror. They blame their misfortunes on scapegoats. They support narcissistic demagogues they hope will rescue them.
In the 1930’s, millions of Europeans were unemployed. Violent battles between Nazis and Communists raged in city streets. Democratic governments were powerless. Fascist dictators ruled Spain and Italy. Hitler took power in Germany and conquered Western Europe. Stalin’s Communists conquered the East. The Hitler-Stalin Pact sealed totalitarian rule over most of Europe. It took World War II and the deaths of millions to defeat the Nazis’ genocidal tyranny, and another fifty years to free the gulags of the Soviet Union.
Today, the current coronavirus pandemic, which has taken nearly 200,000 lives in the United States alone since March, is trending toward putting the planet through a repeat of the devastating H1N1 Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920 that killed roughly 50,000,000 people around the world.
Today the American people suffer from a Plague. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Angry mobs roam American cities and battle militarized police and heavily armed militias. The American government seems to be paralyzed. Dictators rule Russia and China. Islamic fascists rule Saudi Arabia and the old Ottoman and Persian empires. The American President appeases Russia, scapegoats China for the pandemic, and looks the other way as Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman murder their opponents.
More startlingly, a QAnon footsoldier won a Republican congressional primary in Texas last month. To make things worse, Trump endorsed her campaign, which Stanton finds absolutely frightening.
In July, the Texas Republican party unveiled a new slogan, ‘We Are the Storm.’ Over a dozen Republicans running for Congress have signaled support for the QAnon movement. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican candidate from Georgia who has endorsed QAnon’s views, is likely to win a seat in Congress. The President praises her as a ‘future Republican star.’ The Trump campaign welcomes QAnon supporters to his rallies. When asked about QAnon on national television, the President replied, ‘I understand that they like me very much, which I appreciate.’
Some Republicans have begun to denounce Trump for enabling the spread of QAnon’s hateful and violent dogma. But for Stanton, history has shown how quickly fascism can overtake democratic societies – through democracy itself, like in Germany – and that western democracy is teetering on collapse.
“The world has seen QAnon before,” Stanton concludes. “It was called Nazism. In QAnon, Nazism wants a comeback.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.