Marjorie Taylor Greene’s win in a Georgia House race means that QAnon is headed to Capitol Hill.
Greene openly supports the complex, outlandish conspiracy theory, which posits that President Trump is waging a secret war against a shadowy group of elites who engage in child sex trafficking, among other far-fetched claims. The FBI identified QAnon as a potential inspiration for “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” last year.
Greene’s win is a startling moment of legitimacy for the dangerous conspiracy, though it wasn’t unexpected: her Democratic opponent dropped out of the race for personal reasons in September, clearing her path to the House seat.
Greene’s support for the constellation of conspiracy theories isn’t particularly quiet — nor are her other beliefs. Called a “future Republican star” by President Trump, Greene has been vocal in expressing racist and Islamophobic views. Greene has also espoused September 11 “truther” theories and criticized the use of masks, a scientifically supported measure that reduces transmission of the novel coronavirus.
QAnon, once a belief only at the far-right fringes of the internet, has inspired followers to engage in real-world criminal acts, including fatally shooting a mob boss in Staten Island and blocking the Hoover Dam bridge in an armed standoff.
The conspiracy’s adherents have also hijacked the hashtag #savethechildren, interfering with legitimate child safety efforts and exporting their extreme ideas into mainstream conversation under the guise of helping children. Facebook, which previously banned QAnon, limited the hashtag’s reach last month in light of the phenomenon.
Other QAnon believers are on the ballot in 2020, including in Oregon, where Jo Rae Perkins is projected to lose her race against incumbent Senate Democrat Jeff Merkley. Perkins was very open about her beliefs and in June tweeted a video pledging her allegiance as a “digital soldier” for QAnon along with a popular hashtag associated with the conspiracy movement.