You Can't Move On From This Without An Accounting

We were promised a storm and a kraken and all we got was Rudy's hair dye running down his sweaty face.

I’m sorry. Everyone keeps telling me I need to move on. But I don’t think we can.

For the past four years, a largely anonymous group on the internet has been seeding a global conspiracy that claimed an international group of child sex traffickers was scheming with the American political deep state and Donald Trump intended to destroy it as God’s chosen.

When the Capitol was stormed, people were carrying signs about saving the children.

Over the last two weeks, Qanon voices have insisted Donald Trump would remain President. Elderly Americans, fueled by internet gossip, were filling up bathtubs with water to protect from coming power outages. My sister’s neighbor in Tennessee was telling the neighborhood to stock up with food.

A listener in Atlanta said his mother was withdrawing large sums from the bank for when President Trump shut them all down. People in my church were passing around the conspiracy theories. This is far more pervasive than I thought and it has seeped into the conservative movement.

North Georgia voters elected a congresswoman who thought a school shooting was a false flag, 9/11 was an inside job, and who believed the Qanon nonsense. Yesterday, driving to Atlanta, I passed two vehicles. One had a Q sticker and another had a homemade sticker of WWG1WGA, which is a Qanon slogan for “Where We Go One, We Go All.”

Hosts on news outlets and talk radio promised krakens, a coming storm, and told people to trust the plan. A mob stormed the Capitol looking to hang Mike Pence as a traitor on the words of Qanon anonymous accounts.

I just don’t think the conservative movement can get back on its feet unless there is an accounting for this stuff. I think the conservative movement needs to clean itself up. This is not something for the outside, the media, the left, or any one person.

There has been a sustained effort to lie to Americans and, in particular, conservatives and Trump supporters. Many so internalized it, they thought God would grant a miracle yesterday and keep Donald Trump as President. Some still think he is coming back. One Qanon adherent, on a chat board, speculated that like Jesus, Trump would return in three days. More than one pastor has told his congregation that Trump would remain as President because God willed it.

A political movement this unhealthy and this wedded to lie cannot and, frankly, should not survive. There must be an internal accounting within the conservative movement and the people who pushed the kraken nonsense and the Qanon nonsense need to repent. We conservatives must clean up our own house or the voters will do it for us.