Disillusioned Q Supporters Should Be Welcomed Back to Polite Society on These Conditions
One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that a friend is someone who loves you just the way you are and that if someone tells you that you need to change, then that person is just a hater. In reality, a friend is sometimes the one who needs to light a fire under your backside and tell you what you do not wish to hear.
After Joe Biden was formally inaugurated on Wednesday, tech reporters reported that some believers in QAnon conspiracy theories lost hope and realized that it was all just a sham all along perpetuated by kooks and grifters. While some may retreat to darker corners of internet conspiracy theorizing, extremism, and hatred some may wish to come out into the light, presenting the rest of us with a chance to be their friend, in the above sense of the word.
It is understandable that some way say, “Alex, that’s crazy. These people deserve to be shunned and even punished.” Indeed, everyone has reason to hate these people. Democrats saw their legitimate win soiled, Republicans saw their Senate majority flushed down the toilet, and we all remember what happened on January 6.
Still, it is never too late to repent and if people want to come back to the truth, then it is the responsibility of all mature adults to make that as easy a transition as possible. While the Q foil may benefit Democrats in the short-term, they should want the Republican Party to be a more sensible party, so that when Republicans do win again — and they will — then it is not the end of the world. Republicans should welcome the demise of QAnon because on a principled level the party needs to stand for truth, not conspiracies or a Trumpian cult of personality, on a more practical manner, Q’s demise will help the party win. We all should want to prevent them from slipping even further into more radicalized and hate-filled corners of the internet.
If the good Lord can forgive us, we should be able to forgive them for dragging the country through hell since Election Day. But the first step of repentance is acknowledging that you have sinned. That means while disillusioned QAnon believers, should be welcomed back into the Overton Window, they must first admit they were duped and why they were duped and without their conspiracy theories, the events of the 6th would not have happened.
It does not mean you have to announce your love for Biden and renounce your support for Trump, but it does mean not only acknowledging Biden as the president of the United States, but as the legitimate president of the United States. It means acknowledging that you lied either for power and influence or were lied to by people who took advantage of your disappointment and anger for their own purposes, perhaps both. The people who selfishly lied to you are not your friends, they are the false friends mentioned in the opening sentence.
It means acknowledging that Republicans such as Doug Ducey, Brad Raffensperger and Brian Kemp are not RINO traitors or compromised by the Chinese. It means denouncing anti-American legal ideas such as the vice president having the power to throw out the election and declare Trump the winner.
It has been argued that Trump’s core supporters — the one’s who have been with him since Day 1 — were attracted to his candidacy because the MAGA movement filled a void in their life caused by social isolation, that it gave them a community that shared a common purpose. Organizations like Q give people that similar experience of togetherness where members fight for the common cause, but like all false religions, it crumbles when its false prophets are exposed. For those who want out, this is their chance, and the rest of us should help them see the light.