Support The Bulwark and subscribe today.
  Join Now

Not My Party: Your Q to Leave

Q-drops, frazzledrip, and the crazy conspiracy coming to South Carolina—and Republican politicians near you.
May 6, 2021
Not My Pary Ep 212 | Your Q To Leave

By now y’all must have heard about QAnon, the insane web of conspiracy theories that grew on 8chan and then took the Republican base by storm.

In the Q world, JFK Jr. is alive. The Pope might be dead. Democrats like Hilary Clinton are frazzledripping, which apparently means skinning babies’ faces and wearing them for restorative powers. (I’d recommend a rose face mask from Sephora instead. Wow! Just $25!)

But here’s the main thrust of the theory: At the highest levels of government there’s a cabal of child-sex predators and Donald Trump is leading the charge to stop it. So when Trump, you know, lost, the conspiracy twisted and expanded to explain it. QAnon followers became swept up in Trump’s stolen-election lie.

Which led brainwashed people to try to take matters into their own hands.

“Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!” [Capitol rioters]

We’re still not 100 percent certain who is behind Q, but all the evidence connects the origins to this creep, Jim Watkins. He’s obsessed with pigs, weird porn, and Trump. It’s always the ones you least suspect.

As the theory goes, Jim got tired of the Q drops and started missing the pig troughs, so he passed the QAnon baton to his son Ron, aka CodeMonkey, the former site admin for 8chan. Here he is kinda, sorta accidentally admitting that he posted as Q at the end of the recent HBO documentary.

“So thinking back on it, it was basically three years of intelligence training, teaching normies how to do intelligence work. It’s basically what I was doing anonymously before, but… Never as Q.” [Ron Watkins]

Ron had slipped up.

“I am not Q.” [Ron Watkins]

But no matter who Q is, they’ve faded away. There hasn’t been an official Q drop since December 8, and Ron posted on January 20 about going “back to our lives as best we are able.” But here’s the problem: There’s no clean reset or return to normal. People don’t just stop believing because their demagogue shrinks away out of boredom or fear of legal consequences. They get pissed off, double down, and get radicalized further.

Now over half of Republicans think Biden didn’t win legitimately, a theory that of course is also being pushed by Mango Mussolini himself. And a third believe the Q theories about the “deep state” are mostly true. And now one of the most prominent Q adherents is trying to take over the South Carolina Republican Party.

Meet Lin Wood.

“Every lie will be revealed. They’re killing our children.” [Lin Wood]

Wood got rich and somewhat famous as a lawyer who went after media companies on behalf of clients who thought they’d been defamed, but his notoriety skyrocketed after the election as he became one of the most prominent pushers of the election fraud conspiracy theory. In South Carolina, he’s going town-to-town spreading nonsense so absurd that it would be rejected from “Veep” as being too over-the-top.

Trump still has the nuclear codes: “I believe the military will get that authority from Donald J. Trump, he’s got the box.” [Lin Wood]

Joe Biden only got 2% of the vote: “Joe Biden never got more than 2% of a vote in his life.” [Lin Wood]

And when I was down there, he told me Joe Biden’s inauguration was faked. His “proof” was that Biden was squinting when he was sworn in when the sun should’ve been overhead at high noon.

Now, there have always been kooks in politics, and according to insiders in South Carolina, this particular kook is only gonna get about a quarter of the vote.

That amounts to hundreds of thousands of believers in South Carolina and millions across the country. There are even members of Congress who campaigned on this nonsense and still spread it. So while Lin will probably lose, this ain’t nothin’.

When a critical mass of people start to believe that their neighbors and elected officials are enemy pedophiles, they start to act accordingly, in extreme ways. And the only way for the truth to win out is for leaders, particularly conservative leaders, to be relentless about speaking truth and snuffing out this dangerous mass delusion.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump, communications director for Jeb Bush 2016, and spokesman for the Republican National Committee.