Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Meet two Florida congressional candidates pushing wildly stupid QAnon conspiracy theories

Posted By on Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 3:05 PM

click to enlarge Michael Bluemling campaign image - PHOTO VIA MICHAEL BLUEMLING/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Michael Bluemling/Facebook
  • Michael Bluemling campaign image
If you’re unfamiliar with QAnon, a quick description: It’s essentially an insane group of conspiracy theorists who believe pedophile Democrats are eating babies and Trump is somehow working with former special counsel Robert Mueller to take down the “deep state,” a liberal cabal bent on destroying ... er, it gets muddy around here. The GOP? White men? America? It's kind of a choose-your-own-adventure thing.

If that sounds idiotic, it's because it is. But as dumb as it all seems, this hasn’t stopped some lawmakers and wannabes from sharing QAnon's unsupported trash. The progressive nonprofit site Media Matters recently released a handy guide outlining all the congressional candidates across the country who have either endorsed or promoted QAnon content.

Here are the Sunshine State's QAnon-peddling candidates, per Media Matters:

Matthew Lusk

Matthew Lusk is a Republican candidate currently running unopposed in the primary for Florida’s 5th Congressional District. Lusk has tweeted multiple QAnon videos and has an “issue” page on his campaign site specifically called “Q” featuring the text “who is Q.” Lusk also appeared in a video on NBC News about his support for QAnon, which he demonstrates partly by including a “Q” on the back of his campaign signs.

Lusk has expanded upon his belief in QAnon in multiple interviews. He told the Florida Politics blog, “Q is one of my issues because it’s definitely a leak from high places.” In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lusk said that posts from “Q” are a “legitimate something” and that they are a “very articulate screening of past events, a very articulate screening of present conditions, and a somewhat prophetic divination of where the political and geopolitical ball will be bouncing next.” And in an interview with NBC News, Lusk said “Q” is “like an advanced news warning,” adding that “it might come out in the mainstream media a week or two weeks later. So I think there's a lot of inside sources, whoever this person is.”

Michael Bluemling

Michael Bluemling is a Republican candidate running in Florida’s 21st Congressional District. The candidate has tweeted the hashtag “#Q” and other hashtags associated with “TheStorm,” another reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory. He has also endorsed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

The problem with QAnon is, while it can certainly be written off as stupid online trolling, it has seeped its way into enough extremely soft brains to lead to dangerous real-life situations. Believers in the wildly debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which has now been adopted by QAnon, literally shot up and tried to burn down a Washington pizzeria. And last month, two QAnon believers were charged with murders that were reportedly motivated by a conspiracy theory that a New York mob boss was part of the aforementioned "deep state."

On top of all this, last year the FBI labeled the movement as an official domestic terror threat. Of course, it’s hard to blame these candidates for spreading this kind of crap when our own president has retweeted it in the past.

Read the full list of candidates over at Media Matters.

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