What Happens to the QAnon Theory Now Biden is President?

David Fox

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There were no mass arrests. No release of sealed indictments. No military tribunals beamed into everyone’s televisions via the emergency broadcast system. JFK Jr didn’t come back from the dead. Joe Biden was not revealed as a clone. The supreme court didn’t overturn the election result. Mike Pence didn’t, either. The ballots didn’t have secret watermarks. The Kraken lawsuit was laughed out of court. So was every other from Trump’s “elite strike force” legal team. Hillary Clinton still hasn’t been arrested. Donald Trump is no longer president. There will be no second term. Joe Biden is president. There is no “Great Awakening”. There never was a storm.

QAnon followers have passed the time since Biden’s election victory throwing out deus ex machinas one after the other. There were servers in Germany (then Italy) showing the real election result of a Trump landslide. The recounts would confirm it. When that didn’t happen, there would be a re-run of the entire election. No? Well, then, the supreme court would rule for Trump. No? OK, states will nominate faithless electors. Still no? Don’t worry, the result won’t be confirmed. Oh, it was? That’s OK, the military will intervene with martial law. They won’t? Then the people themselves will overturn the result! They didn’t? That’s fine, Biden will be arrested at his inaugration.

Oh, he wasn’t?

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory have seen predictions fizzle out before, of course. The whole movement is based around an anonymous insider with supposed high-level military clearance who has never got a prediction right, after all.

But this is the hardest deadline QAnon has ever faced. Before Wednesday, January 20th, failures could be waved away. Sure, nothing had happened, but Trump had a plan.

As long as their would be saviour Donald Trump remained in the Oval Office, everything was going according to plan. He was just playing a game of 4D chess far to complex for anyone to understand.

But now he’s gone. And it’s pretty hard to justify that the endgame of his plan to bring down the evil cabal and nefarious deep state — decades in the making — was to lose power after a single term in office.

The question now is: where does the QAnon movement go from here?

Online, things seem very much in flux. Some followers are very much toeing the “trust the plan" company line, believing Trump still has a final gambit up his sleeve. And besides, Q never said Biden wouldn’t be inaugurated.

Others are going even deeper into the crazy rabbit hole — Trump and Biden swapped places via Face/Off style technology. Biden is JFK Jr in a “real-time CGI mask". Biden was arrested and tried in secret, but allowed to see out his term to avoid a civil war — with Trump secretly in control as “shadow president”. Over the next few days even crazier theories and justifications will probably come out. And still, as always with QAnon, none will be true.

Some may be finally snapping out of it. Realising they have been played for four years by online trolls and grifters, egged on by opportunist online influencers and politicians who used the idea of Q — and, frankly, the gullibility of his followers — to further their own goals.

I hope that this is where QAnon ends. With a whimper, not the bang of an overthrown democracy they wanted.

But it will likely continue. Heaven’s Gate carried on through several failed prophecies of alien contact and heavenly ascension. The Millerites kept moving the date of Jesus Christ’s second coming when he failed to materialise. Doomsday never really arrives, so the doomsday cults just move the date.

QAnon has been adept at this. Dates are fluid, or in code, or lately, never used at all. Also, it helps that the entire thing — from the satanic cabal to Donald Trump as a force for good to JFK Jr to the underground tunnels of “mole children” — has never made sense. In the context of the conspiracy theory, Joe Biden being president doesn’t make sense. So this is just another thing to fold into the ever-expanding fanfiction of QAnon.

It won’t be long now — and it’s probably already happened on some shadowy corner of the internet — until those who still believe argue that this all part of the plan. Maybe Trump is playing the (really) long game and will allow Biden a term, or maybe two, before striking. Maybe Biden was in on it all along, and it’s he who will take down the cabal in the ultimate third act twist.

Of course, those of us in the real world know that schlocky nonsensical twists belong to the world of fiction. But that’s what QAnon is and always has been. Biden’s presidency won’t mean the death of QAnon, sadly, it will just change the narrative to fit what’s happening. Whether or not it makes sense has never been a concern. It remains to be seen if the believers keep on trusting a “plan” that changes day by day.

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David is an author and freelance writer. He has published two books of short stories and his first novel is due to be released in January 2021. He writes about parenting, relationships and life with a disability, as well as about pop culture, writing, productivity, politics and soccer. His work has appared in The Mighty, Apparently, Movie Pilot, WhatCulture, Vocal Media, What Millenials Want, State of the Game, FootballEye, Football Critic, The False 9 and Just Football.

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