'Full epistemic crackup': How Ginni Thomas’ Jan. 6 revelations expose the GOP’s descent into QAnon madness

'Full epistemic crackup': How Ginni Thomas’ Jan. 6 revelations expose the GOP’s descent into QAnon madness
A QAnon flag on display in Richmond, Virginia in January 2020, Wikimedia Commons

Over the last few years, QAnon has slowly infiltrated the Republican Party, replacing its traditional conservative values with far-right conspiratorial theories that have nothing to do with reality.

Now, NY Mag's Jacob Silverman is explaining how QAnon has practically overtaken the Republican Party. While the radicalized beliefs were previously verbalized among factions of the political party, Silverman notes how those beliefs are progressively becoming more mainstream.

"QAnon’s adherents tend to espouse some selection of bizarre beliefs from the conspiracist’s buffet that includes accusations of pedophile politicians eating children, secret political tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, a great bloodletting, and Donald Trump swooping in to free us from evil. One day. Or maybe the day after. The prophecy is flexible, which is why it has evolved and endured."

Explaining the timeline of the political party's downward spiral, Silverman noted how the actions of Ginni Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, are an example of the radical shift in Republican values and belief systems.

"The latest exemplar of the GOP’s descent into anything-goes nuttery is Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a well-connected conservative activist who recently admitted to attending the January 6 Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C.," he writes. "Ginni’s right-wing beliefs have long been known, but leaked texts between her and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed Thomas’ commitment to overturning the election, based on an apparently sincere belief that Joe Biden had stolen the presidency. She encouraged Meadows to help put a stop to Democratic perfidy. 'The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History,' went one message to Meadows, encouraging him to stand strong."

Silverman is also highlighting Republican lawmakers' latest actions that signal the party's shift toward more extremist beliefs.

"The signs of the Republican slide toward full epistemic crackup are all around us," Silverman writes. "One can see it everywhere lately, not only in the 'why do you want to hurt children?'-type questions hurled by Republican senators at Jackson, but also in the revanchist anti-LGBTQ laws being introduced in Texas and Florida and in fearful talk of teachers 'grooming' children on Fox News. The ginned-up moral panic, centered around the child exploitation themes that helped give life to QAnon, is now a regular part of Republican political rhetoric."

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