According to a recent op-ed in The New York Times, there are over 70 Republicans running for Congress who fully support QAnon. One of them, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, could very well win and join the House in 2021. Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of “Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party,” penned the Times piece.
He set out to analyze past “fringe” movements within the Republican party, and how prior leaders handled them, for better or for worse. The bubbling up of extremism at its edges is nothing new to the GOP, but the party typically fairs better when it sets out to squander such movements.
Citing examples such as the far-right “John Birch Society” of the 50’s and 60’s, the condemning of former Klan wizard David Duke when he ran as a Republican in Louisiana, and the rejection of the birther theory by John McCain in 2008, Kabaservice makes the point that past iterations of the GOP have done a relatively decent job of denouncing these sorts of conspiracy theories, or advocates of them, when they start gaining momentum.
Trump, on the other hand, seems to embrace QAnon with open arms. Fending off fanatics seems like a rite-of-passage for GOP leaders, and if it could be called a test, you could say Trump has failed it.
The ultimate implications of QAnon for Trump and the GOP will play out in a matter of weeks. Some, such as Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a Republican who has diverged from Trump on occasion, warns that if the Democrats are able to reclaim the Senate, “garbage like [QAnon] will be a big part of why they won.”You can read the full piece on Trump, QAnon, and the historic patterns that follow fringe movements inside the GOP here.