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[COMMENTARY] QAnons Join Proud Boys in Abandoning Trump

[COMMENTARY] QAnons Join Proud Boys in Abandoning Trump

It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump’s absence from Twitter would be felt by his loyal fanbase. Without him churning them up every day all day, how could he possibly keep their internal fires stoked? Losing his ability to directly gaslight them with propaganda resulted in them trying to figure out things for themselves, which resulted in a slow leak of their angry energy in the two weeks that have elapsed since their insurrection at the Capitol Building didn’t turn out quite the way they’d hoped.

What happens when a movement ignited by one man’s rage is suddenly abandoned by its Dear Leader? One faction within the many groups comprising the Trumpian right wing fringe base, the Proud Boys, is already walking away from Trump, declaring him “a shill” and “extraordinarily weak.” While some still cling to the hope of a Trump renaissance, even those who believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory are also already waking up to the reality that maybe, just maybe, Trump lied to all of them.

Some QAnon followers had spent weeks preparing for a nationwide blackout starting at noon on Inauguration Day, warning friends and family in text chains and Facebook messages to buy CB radios and stock up on food. They believed Trump would announce martial law through the Emergency Broadcasting System before carrying out mass arrests. Instead, the Biden-Harris inauguration went off without a hitch, and the Q faithful were left astonished at the thought that they had bought into a whole bunch of lies.

QAnon chatter early on Wednesday revealed their hopelessness, with posts like, “God help us we’re beyond ready. If nothing happens I will no longer believe in anything,” from one supporter at the beginning of the inauguration.

“I don’t think this is supposed to be happening,” said another. “We all just got played.”

One of the hallmarks of conspiracy theories is the giant gaps in logic that always accompany them. Several large QAnon groups discussed on Wednesday the possibility that they had been wrong about Mr. Biden, and that the incoming president was actually part of Mr. Trump’s effort to take down the global cabal. Another post making the rounds essentially used the plot of the movie “Face/Off” to explain that what looks like Joe Biden is really Donald Trump in a Joe Biden mask.

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While these fringe groups will never go away completely–there are always people on the extremes–the lack of a real leader to keep them motivated and mobilized should hopefully result in seeing less of this kind of messaging on social media the more they get used to the normalcy brought back to the country by the new Biden/Harris Administration.

Because Trump in a Joe mask? As Biden would say, C’mon man!


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