In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.
Tess Riski at Willamette Week:
Hours before Jo Rae Perkins won 49.7 percent of Republican votes and the party's nod to face U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in November, she posted on social media a now-deleted video of herself espousing support for the baseless right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.
"Hi, my name is Jo Rae Perkins, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon," Perkins says in the May 19 video, while seated in front of a bookcase. She then recites the QAnon slogan—"where we go one, we go all"—while holding up a sticker of an acronym of said slogan.
"I stand with President Trump," Perkins continues in the video, which was first reported by The Washington Post. "I stand with Q and the team. Thank you, anons, thank you, patriots. Together, we can save our republic."
Reached by phone Wednesday, Perkins said she did not have time to discuss the video, and instead referred WW to her communications team. Her campaign then sent out a prepared statement from Perkins, in which she partly disavowed the conspiracy theory.
Caroline Mimbs Nyce at The Atlantic:
To believe in QAnon is to believe, among other things, that a cabal of global elites are secretly harming children (think: 2016’s Pizzagate), that their behavior is propped up by members of the deep state, and that President Donald Trump is working to bring their crimes to an end. Adherents learned all this from Q, an anonymous figure who they believe has high-level military ties, who periodically leaves clues on the internet. He is their prophet.
Q-Anon is a pro-Trump conspiracy theory, yes, but it’s also more important than you might think. Adrienne LaFrance, our executive editor, spent more than a year trying to make sense of the movement and its followers. Her full, enthralling report is our latest magazine cover story.
Here are three ways to understand QAnon, as explained by Adrienne:
1. It’s a real-time participatory conspiracy theory.
The eventual destruction of the global cabal is imminent, Q prophesies, but can be accomplished only with the support of patriots who search for meaning in Q’s clues. … Surely there are people who know that Q is a fantasy but participate because there’s an element of QAnon that converges with a live-action role-playing game.
2. It’s a mass rejection of reason and Enlightenment values.
In the face of inconvenient facts, it has the ambiguity and adaptability to sustain a movement of this kind over time. For QAnon, every contradiction can be explained away; no form of argument can prevail against it.
3. It’s not going anywhere. In QAnon, we are witnessing the birth of a new religion.
Among the people of QAnon, faith remains absolute. True believers describe a feeling of rebirth, an irreversible arousal to existential knowledge. They are certain that a Great Awakening is coming. They’ll wait as long as they must for deliverance.