Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin says the Republican Party is a “refuge for bigots and wackos” in her latest column, the morning after President Donald Trump praised subscribers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, saying they “love our country.”
“It is a favorite game in politics to take the most extreme member of the other party and then paint the entire party as extreme. However, when many candidates and officials plus the head of the party evidence nuttiness, it is fair to label the party as such,” Rubin writes.
QAnon subscribers believe in an alleged plot between the “deep state” and Trump and his supporters. It’s been suggested that the theory practically deifies Trump; the president has retweeted posts from QAnon-affiliated accounts more than once.
Rubin points out that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said the conspiracy theory “is a domestic terrorist threat pushing baseless allegations such as Pizzagate: ‘The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.’ “
Along the way, Rubin takes Trump and Republicans to task for supporting people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon subscriber who the president personally congratulated for winning the open House seat in Georgia’s Republican primary earlier this month, as well as “for the discredited Russian propaganda that Ukraine has the hacked DNC server and worked to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016,” the support for “debunked covid-19 cures” such as hydroxychloroquine and disinfectant, the defense of “Confederate symbols,” and for continuing to allege widespread voter fraud despite evidence to the contrary.
“This is neither the conduct nor the mind-set of a rational, mainstream organization,” Rubin writes. “The party takes its cue from a deeply disturbed and easily bamboozled president who will adopt any theory or embrace any person who likes him — whether it be Greene or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un or QAnon. The only requirement is that praise be lavished upon him. This is deeply unhealthy and dangerous for any democracy, which requires a modicum of good faith and adherence to reality.”