Friday, August 14, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He winked at an insane conspiracy theory.

Marjorie Taylor Greene won the Republican primary for a seat in a deep-red Georgia district this week. Trump promptly congratulated her on Twitter. 

But Greene claims to believe in the weird mix of conspiracy theories known as QAnon, which—for example—has Trump and some (but not all) of the military locked in a secret battle against child sex slavery with Tom Hanks and online furniture companies. 

Greene herself has also called liberal Jews Nazi collaborators, said the mass shooting that killed 58 people in Las Vegas was carried out by anti-gun activists, and had a long history of social media posts attacking Muslims and people of color.

Asked today about his support for Greene, Trump—who has promoted QAnon himself, said "Well, she did very well in the election. She won by a lot. She was very popular and she comes from a great state and she had a tremendous victory. So absolutely, I did congratulate her."

Trump also revived another conspiracy theory this week, coyly suggesting that vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris might be ineligible for the office because her parents were immigrants. Trump's first real foray into politics came as a hype man for the "birther" conspiracy about President Obama.

Why does this matter?

  • A president who didn't want to rule as a dictator probably wouldn't cuddle up to a movement that wanted to make him one.
  • There has to be something evil, stupid, or racist enough for a president to distance himself from.