Former President Donald Trump is deliberately stoking violence and courting supporters of QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory, University of Chicago professor Robert Pape said Sunday.
Trump delivered a speech at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday night. Observers noticed that the background music playing throughout the speech sounded like a 2020 song, “WWG1WGA,” a reference to QAnon’s slogan “where we go one, we all go.” Some QAnon influencers have taken the music as a signal in support of their theory, as Trump has posted a slew of posts appearing to call out his believers in recent weeks.
QAnon supporters believe that Trump will eventually seize power in the country and arrest – and potentially execute – Democrats, celebrities and other influential figures for being part of a “cabal” of Satanic cannibal pedophiles. The far-fetched theory has been widely debunked and is not supported by any credible evidence.
Pape warned that Trump was intentionally reaching out to QAnon supporters, describing the situation as “threatening” and “extremely disturbing” during an appearance on CBS News. Confront the Nation.
“The former president is ready to woo, not only his supporters, but also those who support violence for his goals, the first of which is to be reinstated in the White House,” said Pape, a political science professor who specializes in international security affairs. .
Pape added that it is “clear” that Trump, one of the leading conservative figures in the United States, is aware of what QAnon entails and that his signals to his supporters could have violent repercussions in future elections. He also warned that his research indicates that 13 million Americans “support the use of force to restore Donald Trump to the presidency.”
“The problem we face is that time and time again in the former president’s tweets, he deliberately stokes not only the fires of anger giving him political support, but the fires that lead to this violence,” he said. he declared. “That’s really the core of our problem that we face as a threat to democracy. Because if it’s just a political threat, well, we can have an election. But once , it’s not just about denying an election, it’s about using violence as a response to denial, so we’re in a new game.”
Trump’s social truth posts call out QAnon
The ex-president made several Truth Social posts referencing the conspiracy theory. Last Tuesday, he reposted a photo of himself with the words “The Storm is Coming” and a QAnon pin. QAnon followers refer to it as saying that Trump would return to power and judge his opponents as the “storm.” The post was one of the most direct references the former president has made to the conspiracy theory.
An image Trump shared in August featured the text: “The Deep State whispered to President Trump ‘You can’t weather the storm.’ The president whispered back, ‘I am the storm.’” Another post, which has since been deleted, shared a link to a QAnon website.
Newsweek contacted Trump’s office for comment.